Z and I have had a deal for a little over a month now that in order for her to receive the benefits of all the cool trips and “toys” in the future she would have to earn them. This is because she was becoming spoiled in the literal sense: she honestly felt that she deserved all of the things she was getting simply because she continued to breathe. That’s what she’s essentially been taught for the last 11 years, and I have been as guilty of it as anyone for the last two that I’ve been in her life.
So, I got her some construction paper and we made an earnings meter with a $600 goal on the top. We’d done some budgeting back in August and she determined that was how much she needed to save in order to go to summer camp again in 2008. As of yesterday, she’d saved a grand total of $0.00 in almost 4 months. Last weekend I dropped her off at home early because I wanted to visit the Boardwalk one last time before the season officially ended (and our passes expired). Since she hadn’t saved anything she couldn’t go. One point of clarification here – She doesn’t have to spend the money to go on these treks, she just has to have exhibited that she’s doing work and saving money. Then I’ll gladly pay her way. If she doesn’t earn and save then we don’t do fun things on the weekends, we just hang out at home. If something time sensitive and fun comes up that I want to do and she hasn’t been pulling her weight then she stays at home with nothing to do. Unfortunately, the lesson didn’t really take last Sunday because she convinced her mom to let her go swimming at a friend’s house, so she had fun anyway.
Which brings us to yesterday’s email from Six Flags Magic Mountain informing me that their prototype 4D roller coaster, X, would be running for the last time on December 2nd. It didn’t take long for me to decide that it would be worth the 500 mile round trip to ride this bad boy before it’s gone forever. A quick search of weather.com and the park hours made clear that today, Saturday 11/24 would be the best time for a visit. Obviously, I didn’t go because I’m sitting at home writing this. But the story is in why…
I texted Z yesterday after making my decision asking her to call me. No call. So I called her. No answer. Finally, I called her mother’s phone only to learn that Z had left her phone somewhere else entirely for the entire day. We have an ongoing battle about her having the cell phone so that I can reach her. When she doesn’t keep it with her it defeats the entire purpose of having it in the first place. Anyway, I convinced her to spend Friday night with me instead of her mother (as planned) without telling her that we’d be leaving at 6am Saturday to go to Magic Mountain for the day. But then her mother called to tell me that Z had been given $25 Thanksgiving cash on Thursday and immediately spent it on clothing during Black Friday shopping. The complete antithesis to her savings goals. This was a stark reminder that I was, once again, breaking my own rules. So, I canceled the trip.
Then I got pissed off that I didn’t get to experience X before it closed (Z had ridden it with her mother in 2006). Thus I decided that I would go Sunday, alone, and let Z know why she wasn’t able to go. So, long story medium, there it is… Tomorrow I’m going to drive 250 miles each way, alone, to go on a roller coaster, alone. And I’m incredibly unhappy about it. God forbid there’s a semi truck accident or something on the highway and traffic gets backed up as then I’ll not only never get to ride X, but I’ll blame Z for it entirely. Look for the trip/ride report on Tuesday or so 😉