Economics 101

‘Mommy, can I get a bicycle for my birthday?” Sean asked from the backseat as we were driving home from school yesterday.

“I think that it is a very strong possibility that you will get a bicycle,” I said.


Several moments of complicated thought-processing silence followed. Then he asked:

“How do we get a bicycle?”

Oh goody! A chance to talk about money.

“Well, you know daddy works all day, he talks on the phone and helps his company make money.  At the end of every month they give us money for daddy’s work and then when we need something or want something like a bicycle, we take our money to the store and trade it for what we need. Sometimes, though we have to save up enough money to buy something really special, like a bicycle. And then the store, they take our money and pay the people who work there and then those people can buy food and bicycles for their children.”

Another moment of thoughtful silence.

“No!  I mean how do we get the bicycle on the checkout?  Will I ride it on the checkout?”

So much for Economics 101.

20 thoughts on “Economics 101

  1. Gotta love it! My sister was very young (5-6) when she asked my dad if he knew how whales breathed. He promptly imparted all of his whale breathing expertise to her, and her reply was, “I know that. I just wondered if you knew.” 😀


  2. A good lesson to learn is to ask for clarification: “What do you mean by ‘how do we get it?'” Comes in especially handy when, in a few years, he asks where he came from. Why wrestle with a complex explanation when all he needs to hear is “Cleveland, honey.”


  3. You would do well to remember this when the questions of where babies come from start. Simpler explanations are always better…most of the time they know more than we do anyway.


  4. Cute!

    When my sister was very young, she asked my dad (while we were at some friends’ house) where she came from. Dad, wanting to answer truthfully but without goinging into great detail, answered her question.

    Then she said, “No daddy, you came from Texas, mommy came from Louisiana and sister came from Texas. Where did I come from?”



  5. Leave it to a kid.

    Just goes to show we always make things more complicated than they really are.

    I think us Moms could learn a lot from our children if we would start thinking like them.

    I’m off to see what Molly “thinks” about eating a chocolate bar at, umm, 10 in the morning.


  6. I’ve started asking for specifics before answering questions anymore. Why? Because I’m terrified of the “where do babies come from?” question when all they want to know is from the hospital.

    But yours was the the best Economics 101 class I’ve had since college!


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