Caroline: Mom, can I pleeeeease get an iTouch? Do you keep saying no because they’re expensive?
Me: It’s not about the money. It’s about wants versus needs. Really, Caroline, why do you want an iTouch? I know many of your friends have
She just stared at me.
Caroline: Never mind.
She walked into the family room.
Caroline: Daddy? Can I please have an iTouch? Do you and Mommy keep saying no because it’s expensive? Mommy says it’s not about the money.
Whit: It’s totally about the money. Those things cost $400.
Caroline: How about if I earn some of it?
Whit: Great idea. If you can earn $300, I’ll give you the last $100 and you can get an iTouch.
Caroline: Awesome, Daddy, thank you so much. I love you! That’s great! Thanks for really listening to me. Mommy said no then started talking about smushy strawberries. She just doesn’t understand me like you do. $300! Yeah! I can do this!
She runs off.
Me to Whit: That was evil.
Whit: It was brilliant parenting, babe. She’s pulling weeds for the neighbors...they’re paying five cents a weed. Everyone wins.
Me: Except Caroline, because she couldn’t earn $300 if her life depended on it.
Whit: Eh, it’ll keep her busy until she realizes the futility of it.
Me: You’re diabolical.
Clearly co-parenting can work (as opposed to the dictatorship I prefer, particularly when I’m the dictator) once you leap past the ethical hurdle of completely screwing with your children.