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Posts tagged with: grandma

Children and Money…


My sister had to take my mom to Urgent Care yesterday (lest dad be ever so lonely in having health concerns). I called to ask if they needed company while they waited for test results and they declined but asked if I wouldn’t mind stopping to pick up my six year old nephew who was sitting with them at the hospital.

I loaded my nephew into the back of my car and about 15 minutes into our traffic jammed commute, he started crying. 15 minutes after that, he was sobbing. Sure I understand. Grandma is in the hospital, mom is busy, it’s scary, and he’s tired but…

I have absolutely no idea what to do with a crying kid.

You’d think I’d be experienced at this since I’ve got 11 nieces and nephews, but crying in traffic? No clue.

I gave him my iPod which kept him entertained for 10 minutes, until the battery died. After that, more crying.

We sat in traffic for another 40 minutes until my gas light blinked on. “I’m sorry buddy. I’ve got to stop for gas. We’ll be home soon OK?”


Long drawn out sniffle.

“Can I get candy in the gas store?” he whispered.

“Sure buddy. Anything you want.”

“Can I get TWO candies?” he asked, the tears drying in his excitement.

“Possibly cause diabetes? Contribute to childhood obesity? Sure. Why not?” I replied.

“How about a large soda too?” he asked.

I was willing to buy part ownership in Shell gas station if that’s what it took to make him stop crying.

He picked out the two largest bags of candy, filled up a soda cup the size of his head, and off we went to sit in traffic again. There wasn’t a single tear the rest of the way home and I got a huge ‘Thanks Auntie Beks!!’ with a hug before he left (I didn’t mention the sugar overload to my sister – I value my life far too much).

I can say no to myself all day long but to kids? I’m putty. If this experience is any indication of my future financial and health dealings with my own children… I’m dead.

Avoiding the Dreaded Gift Exchange…


My family started exchanging names for gift giving about 15 years ago. When you have a family of 9, buying for one is a huge cost savings – not to mention a time savings.

When my husband and I married, I participated in his family gift exchange as well (turns out, his family of 10 was interested in saving money too). It was a great way to feel a part of the family.

Now that the economy has tanked, everyone wants to do a gift exchange rather than a mass gifting. Aunt May, Grandma Joy, and co-worker Suzie want to exchange gifts this holiday. While it’s easy to bow out of work related exchanges (‘My husband is unemployed’ is always a fabulous and acceptable reason), it’s difficult to get out of extended family exchanges. Family members say “it’s only $20 or $30!” but I can’t afford toothpaste much less a $20 Sham Wow. $20 or $30 multiplied by ten or so exchanges just isn’t happening this year.

I know what you’ll say, “Hey, it’s family. They’ll understand.”

Um. Hello?

It’s family. The very definition of people who are allowed to make fun of you and feel no guilt.

Wait. Maybe that’s just my family.


Since I don’t particularly want to say, “Yes, I bought you the Sham Wow but I can’t afford to buy deodorant until February”, I’m going to hold off on gifts entirely this season.

Whew. I said it. No gifts.