First, thank you for letting me know that Target is running Furby Boom at 50% off right now if you use their new Cartwheel app. Second, curse you, Target, for offering the one thing that would actually induce me to let you mine my Facebook data. I mean, such as it is.
True story: I set up a Facebook account a couple of years ago when my best friend from childhood came to visit and said oh my god you have to see all of the people we knew thirty years ago and I said oh my god I DO. I spent a week or two cruising through my past and then I more or less never logged on again. A couple of weeks ago I was trying to follow... I dunno... something... a news story maybe? Something that required me to go to Facebook but when I tried to log on it stopped me because it didn't recognize this laptop (which I got at least a year ago to give you some idea of what an active user I am.)
In addition to my username and password Facebook wanted me to identify pictures of my friends. I said ummmm ok, however, since virtually every friend on my list is someone I knew when they were eleven I had absolutely no idea who any of the people in the pictures were. Even with multiple choice options I got so many wrong that Facebook suspended my account, at which point I said oh screw this and walked away.
Until Target, those evil beautiful geniuses, created Cartwheel with Facebook in an unholy and unabashedly transparent move to gather every possible scrap of information about their shoppers, luring us into abandoning our privacy in exchange for discounts so deep no one can resist them. Diabolical, truly.
But let us be honest. Caroline is never going to save up fifty-nine whole dollars. She said it at the time and I knew it. She has tried, though. She has worked and cajoled and looted the couch cushions and she went weeks without spending a penny. Eventually, inevitably the chasm between her twenty-seven dollars (my mom sent her a $20) and the $59 she needed for the Furby Boom (the peacock one) wore her down and in a fit of despair she bought a Lego friends animal polybag for $4.99. Then she bought another. She needs a more attainable goal.
So yesterday I held my commonsense under water until it passed out, downloaded the Cartwheel app, gave Target access to my very soul and bought the Furby Boom (the peacock one! I had to go through every shelf and end cap but I found it.) Then I took it home and hid it.
I thought about just saving it for Christmas but that seemed to negate all the effort that Caroline has put into working towards something. So this morning I told her that they are having a sale on Furby Booms and now she only needs to earn $29 to get one. She squealed, rapidly did the math and said "Oh WOW! I just need... TWO MORE DOLLARS!"
Edward looked at her skeptically and asked how much money she has right now.
She asked me.
"Sixteen," I told her.
Edward said, "No, Caroline you need more like ten more dollars."
"Thirteen," I specified.
Caroline said, "Well I can clean my room and do chores and I can get one!"
I smiled and gave myself a mental pat on the back. Parental job well done, me, I thought.
Then Edward said, "I really want a Furby Boom too! They are so cute! They look like creepy little owls."
Caroline said, "Oh Edward you should! Then yours and mine can be friends! You can get an orange and blue one!"
Edward said, "Great!" Then he asked, "Mommy how much money do I have?"
I thought about it.
"You have $29," I said. "You had $39 but you bought those two little lego sets, remember?"
[Edward received $30 from my mother. Not in some act of flagrant favoritism but because Edward - straight up, Edward - won her office football pool three weeks ago and after paying back the entry fees that my mom had fronted, he netted a cool three small bills. The $20 for Caroline (and Patrick) were just freebies; her grandmotherly heart refusing to let her send money to just one grandchild and not the others. Even if the others can't pick football games for nuts.]
Caroline was the first to grasp the significance of this amount.
"Edward!" she gasped. "You have enough to get a Furby Boom right now!"
I shifted uncomfortably. "Well I guess but... Edward are you sure? You would have no money left at all. Zero. Wouldn't you like to save up for a big lego set or something?"
"No," he said. "I really want a Furby Boom."
So if you are following me like a lynx you will see the situation as I left it in the carpool lane this morning is:
1. Caroline has wanted nothing in the world but a Furby Boom for weeks and weeks. She has been saving up for one and is now $13 shy of her goal.
2. Edward decided on a whim that he wants one too and because a little natural thrift has combined with his gambling winnings he is in a financial position to get one today.
I have stopped patting myself on the back for my brilliant parenting. I think the best I can do now is come up with enough chores for Caroline this weekend that she is able to earn the remaining sum as quickly as possible. I just hope I don't establish some ridiculous precedent whereby the kids think that sorting a basket of clothes is always worth $8.79.
PS Oh and yes, I know. Furbys are very disturbing and the only thing I want less than a Furby in the house is two of them.