My daughter was the casualty of a personal finance lesson gone horribly awry. She was eaten by a swarming pack of rampant Squinkies. Don’t know what Squinkies are? Consider yourself fortunate. Still curious? Look here.
This example of brilliant marketing caught me by surprise. Like I mentioned, we haven’t actually watched real network TV in years, so we aren’t exposed to commercials. My students were somehow not on top of the trend (I cannot say the same for Zhu Zhu pets, I was confiscating those things right and left). So, when my daughter wanted a book at Wegmans, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
We were there in the checkout line. I like the wide one because the candy isn’t quite as tempting (for either of us). This one had books, however. Little Girl really wanted a book. I told her that we didn’t have the money for one (not a lie, unfortunately), but that we could go home and see how much money she had in her bank. If she had enough and still wanted it, I said she could buy it herself. She found this arrangement acceptable, and we went home without further event and found that her funds were suitable for the book. She also planned some long-term goals (Calico Critters Baby Choo-Choo Train). We looked at how much money the train would cost, I showed her how much she would use for the book, and how much she would have to save to get the train if she decided to get the book first. She said that she would think about the book some more.
A week later, I thought she had forgotten the book. She heard me talking to Mr. NTNT about going to the store and piped up “Are we going to Wegmans? I want to buy that book!” I figured it was her money, and if she had thought that long and hard about the book that she should be able to get it. I went 12 years without buying a purse, finally saw one I wanted and got it. It felt great. A week when you are 3 is probably the equivalent of 12 years, so I wanted her to have that same feeling. She bought the book and was chattering about it all the way home.
Little did I know, the book was a Squinkies book. It came with two devilishly small squishy figurines, stickers galore and coloring pages. I warned her that the Squinkies were very small and that she would have to keep them away from her brother, the dog and the holes in our house. (Four years later, we are still remodeling). How was I supposed to know that those little things bounce like Bumbles? After a day of playing with them like they were the greatest toy ever made, one bounced into oblivion and the other bounced into a heating grate in our dining room floor. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The rest of the day was spent planning her finances. She cannot seem to get past the idea of getting more Squinkies. Under no circumstances am I going to fund this venture; I warned her to take care of them several times, and it isn’t my fault that one ended up in the furnace and the other seems to have evaporated. Apparently packs of these things retail for $10, which is definitely not happening. So, I will probably never have to hear about television again. I will just hear about Squinkies. I think I’d take a good row over Wonder Pets any day over the incessant Squinkies conversation. I don’t even like the word Squinkies. It conjures images of “Squishy” and “Twinkies” in my mind, and I am not fond of either Twinkies or squishy things. Squinkies are right out.
This post was brought to you by a pack of multicolored seed beads. I gave Little Girl a plateful of my seed beads that she has been coveting, two empty pill dispensers and the assignment to sort them by color into the pill dispensers. Ha.