Pocket Money

Spending time and “growing up” with my little boy makes me wonder about my own childhood. It is indeed Déjà Vu watching Elkan’s little acts. Like father, like son – Elkan reminds me how similar we are. Of course, I don’t have his good vibe and features. Software-wise, I believe he can do more “impact” than his old dad.

Last Monday, I started giving him “pocket money” and taught him the concept and value of money. Like any first-timer, Elkan was superbly excited.

“You mean I have money everyday now? Like Mummy?” he asked. I told him that he will be attending school and he needs to be responsible and mindful about his money. Elkan stared at the note with his big bright eyes for a long time. It was like seeing a HKD20 note for the first time. Not believing this is a real deal for him, he asked again, “Are you sure this is mine?”

For a father, I was very eager to see his first reaction and how he would spend his first pocket money. Instead of thinking what to buy with this new found “material”, Elkan asked me a second question.

“Mm..Daddy, what about giving me a wallet too? So I can be like you… keeping the money in the wallet,” he requested. I suggested he should spend his money on his own wallet. He quickly answered, “No! If I spent my money on the wallet, then my wallet will be empty. Urghh…nevermind, I will keep my money now and wait for someone to give me a wallet.” It was such a comical moment and I was speechless. Later, Felicia asked him if he likes the “Toy Story Buzz” wallet. Elkan insisted he wanted the “leather wallet”.

Somehow, he wasn’t used to the concept of carrying or spending money. It is a totally new life routine for him. Day by day, he locked his daily pocket money in his candy box. He knows the money is precious but I was very curious why he hasn’t show the urge to “spend it”. I decided to play the devil and “tempted” him to buy his favorite things (like toy cars, fries, soft drinks).

“Daddy, I was thinking of buying my classmates food and drinks like how you always treat your friends… but you told not to show off my money… I think I better keep it for myself,” he said. I asked him why he wanted to treat his classmates with food and drinks. He said, “I wanted to be like you ah…”

“Don’t you want to buy games or toys or even books with your money?” I asked. “Or buy me or mummy something special?”

“Yah rite… You won’t allowed me to buy those things. Better keep my money,” he said. My god, my son sounded like an adult! And he went on to ask me how and when I will increase his pocket money. He questioned “You mean if I do more spelling and maths, I will get more money from you? Like you – you work a lot and you got more money, right? Then where Mummy got her money from? She is not working?” I wondered if I ever give my old folks such hard time when they gave me my first pocket money.

2 days ago, Elkan came to me and reminded me that I forgot about his pocket money. I quickly took out the note and handed it to him. He then said, “Daddy, I have a better suggestion. Why don’t you give me a credit card? In this case, you won’t need to give me the money everyday. And I won’t need a wallet and keep counting these notes.”

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