So Peanut and I were curled up in a large, comfy, red armchair before a warm, crackling fireplace of a hotel lobby yesterday. (I get more romantic moments with my kid than with my Spouse. Kind of funny, kind of creepy, kind of depressing.) Peanut was devouring grapes, and I was flipping through the Wall Street Journal. He still isn’t down with me reading adult material, but the fruit distraction helped.
He told me to stop reading. I asked which part he wanted me to read him. (I understand the “pay attention to me.” I won’t heed the “do what I tell you.” It’s a little game we play, where we both want control. And neither of us thinks it’s a game.)
He pointed to a graph of the Dow’s…um…progress over the past two months. “What dat?”
That, I told him is a chart that shows what people’s money is doing. Right now, I said, people are selling their money because they don’t want it. They don’t like to see money go down, down, down like this, and they are scared, so they’re selling their money.
“People scared…[he tried to find the words]…people scared ’bout money…[he tried to sign, but just kept repeating the sign for Roubik’s cube over and over]…people tell Peanut ’bout sad, scared, Peanut give them one grape, they no be sad, scared.”
I wanted to clarify. “So the people who are scared about money, sad about money can tell you that they’re scared and sad, and you’ll give them a grape?”
“Huh. And they be no more scared.”
“Honey, I think that is a great plan. That’s the best plan for being scared about money that I’ve ever heard. What a wonderful idea. We should tell this man about it [showed him Paulson’s picture].”
“hmmmm. No. No tell that man. Only tell people sad scared.” He popped another grape into his mouth and asked about an ad on the next page. I told him it was an ad, and he yelled NO at it, then turned the page with me.
So you heard it here first. We’re only telling you—the people who are scared and sad about the money graph—that you can tell your problems to our very thoughtful toddler, and he’ll give you one grape.
Only I don’t think he understands how many grapes that would be. The graph was small, and he must think that the scale is a bit more grape-able than it might really be. Then again, a sweet faced boy who really wants to fix your sadness with fruit…maybe that is the answer.
Psssst. Mr. Paulson. Mr. Darling. Mr. Lagarde. Mr. Manuel. And all other finance minister types. Don’t tell him I told you, but this guy has an idea to fix your…how do we put it…catastrophic international economic failure issues. Get this–a plan to stabalize markets and boost local, organic farm production. Win-win, no? Call us and we’ll give you details. Just be sure to spell the name correctly on the Nobel Prize.
That was very sweet. You’re doing a wonderful job of parenting to have your son so ready to empathize. I think it’s the best idea yet!