last-pennyI handed Noah his $7.00 semi-monthly allowance. “Thanks, Dad!”

He immediately scurried to his bedroom and dumped out his little glass jar where he keeps all of his change. “Dad, I have to see how much I have. I really want to buy a kedama!”

“What’s a kedama?” I inquired, amused at how meticulously he was frantically sorting his change into perfectly stacked piles as he added it all up.

He explained that it was this thing he just had to have. “It is a stick, and a ball hangs from it, and the ball is hanging by a string. And you try and land the ball on the stick. That’s a kedama.”

Oooh, I thought. Those cheap toys everyone brings home from their travels around the world.

He added up all of his money. He had $10.14. “Well, let’s go see how much they cost!” I told him.

He slammed his money onto the desk in front of me, and together we opened Google to first make sure that kedama was the correct word. He was close. Very close. It was a “kendama” that he wanted. How anyone even knew the name of it at all was beyond me. I’ve seen a hundred of them in my life, never heard the word kendama. But there it was.

$11.06 on Amazon.

“Oooh, Dad, can you just pay the rest? I don’t have enough!”

This dad doesn’t do that. Not for little splurges. If my kiddo wants something, he either saves for it or he works for it. I don’t care if the difference is only $0.92.

I offered him some extra chores to earn the rest. I told him he could wait. Instead, he began tearing apart everything in his bedroom looking for loose change. And amazingly he found a lot of it as he went.

In fact, he found $0.91.

He was a penny short.

“Dad, can’t you just pay the last penny?!” he screamed after continued searches with no final penny.

I laughed. “Sorry dude, not for a toy.”

See, I want my kid to grow up self-sufficient, and not to be entitled, and all that crap. I did, however, suggest that he start looking under couch cushions and on top of the fridge. Who knows, maybe there’s a penny kicking around.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!