Raising myself while raising my daughter. This is about me and everything I'm made of ... (the good, the bad, the downright fugly)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Will smile for money
I've been having small battles with my kid this past month over the time she spends with her friends and how mean she comes across when she's ditching family all the time for them. We just moved in to a new house and her school is 3 blocks away. This is a very new life for her as she'd been a daycare kid since 7 weeks old and we've always lived out of her school district. Now, she's never home. And when she is, she has her entourage. So we have mini-battles are over family time, and sometimes just evenings after work where I've planned something that includes her but not her friends. Well let me tell you, my kid has a look of death, and standing over me with that scowl can be quite intimidating (of course I never show this ....) Last night was our "family" time. That means we were sitting in front of the TV eating bbq'd steaks (which she said I made too chewy - snob!) and watching poker. I have a small fantasy about winning a free roll on pokerstars which gets me a seat at a televised event where I can play with Ivey, Hellmuth, Dwan, or Negraneau. As I sat there happy with my kid, steak, and World Series of Poker, a new fantasy came to mind - teaching my kid to play poker and taking her with me to Vegas. I'll be the smokin cougar mom at the poker tables and she'll be my 5 inch taller than me side kick. We'll win lots of money, get our rooms comped, and I'll already have my first WSOP bracelet ... ahhh now that's what I call a goal! I'm sure if you asked my kid though what she thought of that, she would look at me like I was riding the short bus with a helmet on. Anyway, my kid wasn't sitting there listening to me babble about what hotels we’ll stay in on the strip because she wanted to. I can assure you that. She was mock-enjoying our time because I told her earlier in the day that I had a surprise for her. She tried to get out of our mother/daughter time but curiosity got the best of her, so there she sat with a smile on her face asking what hand was best with a 9 10 J flop - the pocket J's or Q K, eating her chewy steak. Finally I let her in on the surprise. Which was a huge surprise for me too actually. Her gramma on her dads side (I was going to say we'll call him "Years Wasted", but we'll stick with JBE for simplicity) came into some money a few months back and decided to give me some. Not much, but a nice token. I'll take it. JBE doesn't give me any money and his family plays a rather small role in my kids life, so sure, I'll take the money. The last time JBE's mom gave me money for my kid, I lost it. Instead of putting it in savings account like I should have, I combined it with some of my own cash and bought some stocks in a company I thought for sure would make it off the ground, if not completely sky-rocket. I'm not much of a risk taker and don't usually part with large amounts of money without it being for a good reason (yes, blackjack is sometimes a good reason), and even then, I have a hard time. But I thought for sure we'd at least double our money, or hell, at least not lose it. Well shit, I would have had a lot more fun taking all that money to the blackjack table at my favorite casino. It would have taken all day to lose what I lost on the markets and I would have had a blast. I'd still be talking about that day in close comparison to the day I birthed my daughter. And who knows, maybe I would have won! Well, I'm not putting the money into stocks this time, I have plans for every last penny of it (half is mine, half is hers). I told my kid about the money and let me tell ya, you don't see her smile often. The last time she smiled this big may have been over 2 months ago when she saw her newly painted bedroom in the purple and blue she picked out, and even then, she covered her mouth when I took the picture so there'd be no evidence that she had actually smiled. But she smiled, so this was a great evening if not for the money, for her smile. Seriously. The first thing she asked to buy was a beta fish. She's been asking about getting one since we fostered one for a friend of mine. After explaining to her how bad she'll feel if it dies because she didn't feed so she better be responsible for it, to which she just rolled her eyes, I agreed. I actually approved pretty much everything she wanted to spend her share of the money on. I did not approve, however, the snake bites she's been asking for (see below). Besides the beta fish, her ideas were a new DVD player (her exact words were "and not a twenty-three dollar dvd player from superstore" ... right, we've been through about 4 of those .... ) and she'd like to buy her contract out of her current cell phone company and go with another one. I was all over that idea, I have a deep and pure hatred for her cell phone company. I throw stuff around and swear under my breath when I talk about bell, so we'll just leave it at that. To my surprise, she also agreed that the rest of her money will be put in a savings account. I didn't make any casino jokes at this point because I know me losing her money the last time on the stock market is still a sore subject. Also, to my surprise, when her bedtime rolled around and I went up to give her the hug, kiss, I love you thing she pretends to hate (even the days we've had a knock down drag out fight, I make sure to get the hug, kiss, I love you in at the end of the day) her bedroom was clean. CLEAN. I was stopped in my tracks, I stood frozen for at least a minute running through the last 24 hours wondering what threats I may have made that would have caused this, even considered that someone must have broke into the house while we were gone and cleaned the room. Then it hit me. It was the money. Money makes my kid happy. I'm not kidding when I say it takes a lot to get the scowl off her face, let alone a smile to replace it. Sometimes it only happens when I fall or drop something .... But the money did it. She even initiated the hug, kiss, I love you. Now this is something I can use to my advantage ... this could be fun ....