APPLICATION #2: Toddie Downs

Toddie Downs is a mother of two from Snoqualmie, Washington.

Here is Toddie's video application:

Here is Toddie's current situation:

"What am I up to? Are you serious?

Like every other mom I know, I'm up to about a zillion things at the same time. I write part-time and have a blog WordHappy, in which I shout out anything I read or see that has fabulous writing. I shuttle my two kids (ages 5 and 7) to school, music lessons, and other various and sundry extracurricular activities that require commutes. I hang out with the other amazing moms in my neighborhood and church communities as we all try to moderate our latte addictions. My hubby and I trade newspaper and internet tidbits that make us giggle. And in the rest of my spare time (heh heh heh), I am addicted to LOST, Project Runway, and Mad Men. And let's not even discuss my Facebook and Twitter habits."

Here is Toddie's blog post:

"Texting the Tooth Fairy and Other Tales of Kids and Money

About a year ago, my son lost his tooth – swallowed it, in fact – while eating pizza at a church dinner. He was deeply disturbed by the fact that he had no evidence to prove to the tooth fairy that he’d lost a tooth. I assured him that with today’s technology, the tooth fairy no longer needed physical proof: "As soon as you lose that tooth, the Tooth Fairy gets texted on her cell phone and puts you on her schedule for that night. So she'll still come, even if you don’t have the tooth to give to her."

Thus was born my children's interest in money. Prior to that, their interest had been largely superficial, primarily limited to asking for stuffed animals or action figures, or to eat out at a restaurant for a second time that week, and being denied because it cost too much. But now, the realization hit them that they could earn money – physical, tangible cash – by doing something as minimal as losing a tooth. Fortunately, they did not take to forcibly knocking out each other’s teeth. But they did begin to see if there were other tasks for which coins or dollars might be had.

How has money become such a powerful motivator in my household? Is this a universal urge, as primal as my daily need for chocolate? It’s not as if they collect money in order to spend it. Thus far, any coins they’ve collected have moved into their piggy banks and then the quest begins again for the next coin. Actually, I would liken their interest to the never-ending quest for the high score on a video game, where coinage amounts are equivalent to game points, and you can always try to improve that high score.

Being something of a saver myself, I'm inclined to support this view of money, to see the earning of it as something valuable in and of itself. I don’t want it to become my children’s only goal or sole external reinforcement, but I do want them to be able to be responsible savers and spenders, and I want them to know the experience of using money to better someone else’s life as well. For surely, one of the best lessons they can learn about money is that the video-game high of collecting it can often be surpassed by the rewards of giving it away.


The Verity Mom Team