[From Nov 28, 2011]
Last year we spent Christmas at my sister's house in St. George, where two of her young sons received Buzz Lightyear toys that stood about 12" high and had cool pop-out wings and lasers and everything you could ever want in a toy. Scott was so inspired by this toy that he decided to save up his money to buy one for himself. He and R hammered out a pay scale for various chores (clearing dishes, sweeping, making his bed, cleaning up toys) and taped the illustrated document to the kitchen fridge, so that Scott could start working his way to his goal.
Looking at the box
He supplemented his earnings with money from recycling. His job was to take the bottles and tetrapaks down to the basement to the big orange garbage bag, and then he shared in the deposit refunds from the bottle depot. The target was $30, which seemed like a lot of money when we started. But finally the big day came, and R took Scott to a machine that would convert his wristband full of coins into paper currency (she picked up the processing fee), which we took to the Disney Store to make the big purchase.
Standing outside the store
In the store he wavered a little bit, looking at all the amazing Cars 2 merchandise that was available, but he finally settled on his coveted Buzz Lightyear figure knowing that he could always save up some more money to buy all the other amazing stuff they had on offer. He paid the clerk his $30 (we picked up the tax) and then the only thing standing between him and his new best friend was a box and a bunch of plastic fasteners.
At home with Buzz
For the next few days he announced to everyone that he saw that he had purchased a Buzz Lightyear toy WITH HIS OWN MONEY. He wanted to show it to all his cousins, but they wanted him to share it, while he mostly wanted them to watch him play with it. He learned to share it with them a bit, but he's still not to sure about letting Katie play with it (she learned the word "Buzz" very quickly).
Playing with Buzz
Most of all, Scott loves to play with Buzz. He makes little boy sound effects and flies him around the house and just enjoys it. Sure, some of the novelty has worn off now, but it was so refreshing to see him play with a toy and just LOVE it. We haven't seen that from him since his birthday or Christmas, and it showed how he's growing up in to a little boy, and is no longer just a little toddler.
But really, what toddler has $30 in the bank?