Sometimes something unexpected inadvertently gives you insight into your parenting successes...
Charlotte is going to Nicaragua this summer on a World Challenge expedition. This is the same as Marcel did back in 2014, though for his trip, India was the chosen destination. Because it takes eighteen months for the kids to pay their way, they pay the trip in instalments. To make things easier I've always set up a direct debit from my own account and they pay me back each month when they have the right money.
Last week I paid £200 towards her trip. Léon's primary 7 residential trip is in two weeks so needs the outstanding (approx) £200 paid off this week. Charlotte was sitting on her computer trying to work out how to transfer £200 to my account when I had a brainwave: I could simply use her debit card to pay Léon's trip online and then we'd be quits! So she went upstairs and fetched her debit card just as Léon wandered into the living room. In she came and tossed her card to me. Léon asked what we were up to and before I could say a word Charlotte decided to have some fun.
Charlotte: I was just up getting my debit card to pay for your trip to Lochgoilhead.
Léon (somewhat surprised!): you're paying my trip????
Charlotte (completely straight-faced): Well, you didn't think mum was paying it did you? There are five of us for goodness sake, that would be over a thousand pounds!!!
Léon: True - I hadn't really thought about it before...
Charlotte: Mum paid for Marcel, then Marcel got a paper round so he could pay for mine and now I've been doing odd jobs and babysitting to pay for yours!
Léon (wide-eyed): Awwwwh Chim! (his rather strange and incomprehensible nickname for Charlotte).
Charlotte: I'm actually getting a bargain cos you are going to Lochgoilhead and it costs about £40 less than when I went because we went to Castle Toward. Anyway - what are you going to do so you can pay for Anna's trip in two years?
Léon: Emmmm - I don't know... I will only be 13, maybe I could get a paper round or do gardening or something. Don't worry, I'll think of something. I wouldn't want to let Anna down!
Charlotte: So you're ok with paying Anna's?
Léon: Of course. If that's how we do things, I'll make sure I make enough.
Charlotte: You do realize I'm winding you, you doughball?!?!?!
Wee man - he has a good heart!