I.O.U.

one of the many options

We promised our daughter a trampoline for her birthday, which was in March. And we still haven’t got her one. How Beta is that?

I’m overwhelmed by the choice – you can get a piece of equipment to bounce on for anything from £80 – £600. Presumably the £80 ones won’t last the summer, especially if they’re prone to rust, but how much do we need to spend to get one that’s big enough for two, strong enough for me to have a go, and sturdy enough to last until they’re too old to get out of bed in the morning?

We could always give her an I.O.U.
She’s used to those.
She went to her purse the other day for a spot of Scrooge-like counting – they both like to know exactly how much money they have at any given time – and found very few coins, but a piece of paper instead.

It said –
“I owe you £4. Love from Daddy.”

And it wasn’t the first time he’d filched from his six year old daughter.
Last week on the way home from school Hannah suddenly complained that she had less money in her purse than she thought.

This simple statement escalated into full-blown attack and counter-attack.

“You took it Ben.”
“No I didn’t, you always blame me. I didn’t take your money.”
“Are you sure Ben?” from me, trying to mediate, but suspicious given his past history.
“Why do you always believe her and not me?” from Ben, quick to twist an accusation into a counter-accusation.

And so it went on until we reached the house, where we found Mike sitting at the kitchen table engrossed in the crossword.

It took him a few moments to register –
a) our return
b) the ongoing conflict
c) the reason for it

“Ah,” he said, finallly putting his pen down, “it wasn’t Ben, it was me.”
“You?” I thought I was the only one who would stoop low enough to steal from our children.
“Yes, er, I needed some cash. It was only £1.50.”

Hannah, not one to miss an opportunity, countered with a quick -
“It was £2 Daddy.”
And so she was reimbursed, with interest.

Ben felt he deserved compensation for libellous assumptions about his behaviour, but had to make do with an apology.

At least Mike averted another war by using an I.O.U. the next time.

But I don’t think a large piece of paper with “I.O.U. a trampoline” would do the trick, so we will have to make a decision and fullfil our promise.
Otherwise she may move back to her original request – a real dog.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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5 Responses to I.O.U.

  1. Erica says:

    Imagine Daddy trying to do her out of 50p tut tut :)

  2. I found an old diary and it was all ‘Mummy owes me 2p”, “I owe daddy 1p”. Oh God, a trampoline. Still, hours of uninterrupted blogging for you I suppose…

  3. Sigh. Kids and money. Not looking forward to the day as described by the woman who writes Living with Teenagers in Guardian when your kids start nicking 20′s out of your purse.

  4. Drunk Mummy says:

    My God – get the trampoline quick! If she changes her mind and opts for the dog, you know who will be looking after it!

  5. midlifer says:

    We went through exactly the same thing with the trampoline issue. Couldn’t decide on size, whether to have a net or not, whether it would stuff up the view down our narrow garden etc. Then fate looked kindly on me. i was in ALDIs and they had a deal that was too good to ignore – I love a bargain. 10foot with net for 130 smackers.

    We gor it as an advance joint present for both kids whose birthdays are within 4 days ofeachother.

    I promise you, it’s the best buy I have ever made, they love it, we love it, my son can do wrestling moves on it, I can lie down on it and look up at the sky, i can even bounce, but it always reminds me I should have done those blessed pelvic floor exercise.

    And so far – no injuries (though our local hospital is full of trampoline disasters…)

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