Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Monkey business

We try to get David to understand the value of money. He currently gets £4 a week and we encourage him to save for things he would like off his own back. About 2 months ago, he spotted a toy monkey in Morley's Home Bargains that he had seen others with and was keen to own. He managed to save up £12 in the meantime, despite being led astray by tat shops on holiday and the urge to buy stuff that would last 10 minutes before breaking or him losing interest.

Yesterday, I allowed him an advance on next week's money so he could buy the toy monkey for an eye watering £15.99 (reduced from £39.95).

This monkey is called Simon (although it isn't spelt that way) and evolves through stages in the same way as a Tamagochi pet. At first it could only gesture and make monkey noises (mainly to be fed its virtual banana) but it progressed through baby talk to now being fairly coherent. This evening, it surprised us by singing a song about the "monkey in the mirror". What was even more surprising was that whilst talking it had a voice somewhat like Sesame Street's Elmo, but when singing, it was a rich baritone.

It also now puts up a fight when you try to put him to sleep. I suspect Simon has a couple more surprises in store for us...

(By the way, we don't advance David any more than one week's money as we don't want him to see us as a source of easy credit. Perhaps we need to work out a punitive APR.)

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