I’m sure you all want to know how my NaNoWriMo experience went, right? What? You forgot that I was participating? Well, that’s okay, because I got writer’s block…or performance anxiety or something…and was unable to write more than about 10,000 words. I am SO not used to underachieving; I’m usually very much an overachiever so it’s weird for me to tell you that (a) I suck because I didn’t finish and (b) I have no good excuse for doing so.

That being said, I have an exciting guest poster for you to meet (if you don’t already know her) and welcome! She is A-MAZ-ING! She is one of my best blogging buddies, and if you tweet, you know how much we adore each other. She is Lori, and her hilarious, funny, and often times crazy blog is called In Pursuit of Martha Points. Yes, she’s one of my favorite bloggers. I can’t tell you enough about her wittiness and charm. But she’s also the fearless leader of Project: Purse and Boots, where many of us bloggers have helped her raise money for the American Stroke Association.

Without further ado, I give you Lori…

When I Knew I Was Doomed

My son, Child A, has always been good at math and had an unusual understanding of the almighty dollar at an unusually young age. When he was six, he suggested that one way to make money would be to take out a cash advance on our credit cards and then loan it to people at interest.

My answer to that: “Well honey, that’s called loan-sharking and it’s illegal, but I like your thinking!”

But the capper was this little event.

The following year he made a Christmas list. Our tradition has always been: one major gift plus a few smaller gifts. Santa brings one gift of modest cost. Our reason to the child: we can’t bankrupt Santa. Our real reason: we want the gratitude going to the right entity.

The list he made that year had a number of larger ticket items. The two biggies were a gaming system and a construction set called “Sky Trails.” The gaming system was going to be $100-$300 depending on the system, and the Sky Trails set was $100 on its own.

Little boy was told he had to pick one of them. He picked the gaming system.

After some research we decided on the Game Cube – it was reasonably priced and had the most age-appropriate games.

Then one day while driving to Target (I don’t remember that for sure, but it seemed we were ALWAYS driving to Target), from the back seat I hear, “Mommy, am I interrupting?”

Uh oh…this is not going to be good.

“No, honey. What’s up?”

“I was thinking. Since I’m getting the Game Cube instead of the X-Box, and the Game Cube is a hundred dollars cheaper than the X-Box, and since the Game Cube already comes with two games that cost twenty-five dollars each, I’ve really saved you and Daddy a hundred and fifty dollars. So since I’ve saved you a hundred and fifty dollars, can’t I have the Sky Trails too?”

The child was seven years old.

On the one hand, I’m pleased with both his logical thinking and his math skills. On the other hand, I’m realizing that I’m in for another twelve or thirteen years of these sorts of arguments and thinking that I’m going to need more iron in my diet in order to have the fortitude for them.

This was my answer: “Sweetheart, a gaming system is a very generous Christmas present, no matter how much it costs. And when it’s your money, and your decision, you may do whatever with it you like. But as long as it’s my and Daddy’s money, we need to make good decisions with it. You will not be getting both, you will be getting one. Which one do you want?”

I hear a heavy sigh from the back seat.

“The gaming system.”

“All right then,” I say out loud.

In my head I say, “Nice try though.”


Now do you see why I say she’s A-MAZ-ING?! Now go…go now and visit In Pursuit of Martha Points at her pad. I know you want more. Thank you Lori, for hanging out here! I owe you one!

And so it goes…


  1. micki @ ADD housewife says:
    bwahaha that's fantastic! Be grateful tho you don't have my son, who at the age of 8, was questioning me about the French involvement in Vietnam and the constitutionality of taxes. he's 13 now and still asks me questions that make my head hurt.
  2. At what age could you no longer help him with his homework?
  3. Natalie are you serious?!? You have at least three great reasons for not doing so, give yourself a break lady :)
    Lori I think you have a mathlete/lawyer in the making!
  4. Hello dear! And so nice to read Lori's words (I haven't stumbled upon her blog yet ... but now I'll happily head over there!) Love her story on her smart boy ... love when kids work it out and he is definitely a clever one!

    Hope you're doing well!
  5. Natalie, just trying the namo thing was good. You have something to work on when you have the time.

    Lori, good luck with this kid. Maybe he can take over the household bill paying soon. That could so lighten the stress factor.
  6. I love Lori. I'm surprised she's still around. If I had a kid that smart, I'd surely be in a mental institution by now.
  7. WTH am I Doing? says:
    Dear God.

    I have to say, a very nice try indeed. I'm impressed.

    ...and a little fear-stricken. I suspect that my son will be doing something like this to me sooner than my little dusty brain cells are ready...
  8. Well, that is one way to be doomed and blessed at the same time. He's got a bright future though.

    Natalie - stop calling yourself sucky.
  9. My comment just went poof. Dammit.

    Lori, I'm pretty bummed that my trickery is nearing an end w/ my kid. Too smart for words.
  10. Molly @ Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce says:
    Perfect! I always praise my son when he uses his argumentative skills. Of course, I was the same way as a kid so I have to chuckle. Karma!
  11. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:
    Aww..thank you for having me here, Natalie. It is a PLEASURE to hang with you, Tater and Miss L and Miss M. (Who are sitting in front of me on a mug at this very second.)

    I am blessed by my wonderful blogging friends.
  12. Sluiter Nation says:
    first of all? I under underachieved you. I got less than 1000 words before just quitting NanoWriMo.

    And also? Damn, Lori. You are EVERYWHERE today! Just saw you're at Momnom's too! Sheesh!

    I will die if my child is that good at math. I am sucky at math.
  13. Whoa, you can't train that; he was BORN with that brain.

    Impressive, in a take-over-the-world sort of way.
  14. Totally awesome Lori.

    That 7 year old is a lawyer in the making.
  15. should be so proud of the words that you DID write. Your story is going to be great when life actually allows you a bit of time to get your words out. Be kind to have a lot on your plate, my friend.

    Lori...that child frightens me. But I do like his creative money moving ideas. Hee hee. I'm thinking he has a career in politics ahead of him.
  16. Just Another Mom of 2 says:
    Oh how funny! You have to love the logic. Sounds like a future lawyer to me! :)
  17. Just Another Mom of 2 says:
    Oh, and Natalie, I'm amazed how much you could write! I don't think there is anyway I could do a tenth of what y'all did, and I think you should be so proud!
  18. I hate smart kids. Why can't they just make 'em stupid? Sigh.
  19. I used to tell my husband that children were natural lawyers and knew exactly where the fine line was... It just gets taken out of them by the school system... Gotta go visit Lori... Come visit when you can...
  20. That was awesome!! And it makes me scared for the future. My 2-wks-shy-of-3 yr old asked me for a car like mine so she can go drive it around and go shopping. *sigh* why do kids have to be so smart? Good genes. I'm sticking to that - awesome story!
  21. Not Just Another Jennifer says:
    Love it ! That's how I imagine my DH was as a child. His poor mother....
  22. Not Just Another Jennifer says:
    Oh and Natalie, I didn't get to finish nanowrimo either. Next year!
  23. says:
    Oh Nathalie, is it bad that it makes me feel better that you didn't finish NaNoWriMo either? I knew I was going on vacation when I signed up but I thought I would be able to write more on vacation. I had this romantacized vision of me writing my novel, while my kids played in the kiddie pool. I was wrong, I didn't write and I too am not used to failing.

    Lori - Great post and from what I know of you, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Your son might be the perfect candidate for future neighborhood decoration strategies!
  24. Hello! I'm Kate. says:
    Lori: Oh my gosh! That kid is brilliant!!! What do parents do when their kids start out thinking them?! I'm terrified! lol

    Natalie: My cousin does the NaNoWriMo every November and the first time she did it she did not finish. But she has finished several times since then. Don't worry you can do it the next time!