Me: I need to talk to you about something. Camp this summer is $295. It went up a lot....we were shocked. $295 for only 5 days.....(pause.....). We're not sure how this fits into the budget.
Andrea: But I really really want to go.
Me: OK...............then we have to make choices. Tennis camp is $108. We can't pay for that, too. We might have to eliminate that one.
Andrea: (quietly) OK.
Me: We have another suggestion you might want to consider.
Andrea: What?? (a tad suspiciously)
Me: You might want to use $100 of birthday money from Grandma and Grandpa to pay for part of camp. (I look at her face for reactions.)
Andrea: Yeah......that's a great idea. I WANT to do that. (I study her face...is this sarcastic? She IS almost 13...they have attitude in capital letters. I raised 3 now-grown kids. She can't fool me.)
Me: Andrea.......do you understand that when your birthday check arrives, we'll cash it and give you the $100? It's yours to spend or keep. (Maybe she didn't understand. Maybe I didn't explain clearly. Her answer does not compute.)
Andrea: Hmmmmmmm......................you know, I don't need $100. I don't really want anything.
Me: (clarifying......I'm in foreign waters now. There must be a catch to this.) So you want to use your $100 birthday money from your grandparents to pay for part of camp?
Andrea: (with a sunny, uncomplicated smile) Totally. I want to.
I don't get it. This isn't in the how-to-parent manual. I am confused.
Honestly...I mean this. We're good parents, but something inside her didn't come from us.
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