Where’s the money?

♪ Money money money
must be funny
in the rich man’s world… ♫

That’s an ABBA song…

Many of my peers delayed having children until they were well into their 30s. Money, or the perceived lack of, was often at least one significant contributing factor for this delay.

Most people are consciously aware that children cost money. There’s food, shelter, diapers, education funds, toys, stuff.

And all that stuff costs money. But it’s not until well after the offspring has integrated himself into your world that you begin to realize just how much money you spend on his well being.

Or on his entertainment.

This is because in today’s western society, batteries are a part of this entertainment.

Sure we used batteries before the kids were born. But we never used to be big battery consumers.

But now we receive things, toys in particular, requiring batteries from all kinds of people.

Some of these people do not have small children themselves, or have grown children. They do not realize that certain toys come without batteries included in the package. So when the child unwraps the toy, and wants to play with it, and can’t because of the missing batteries, it’s usually daddy that has to make a quick trip to the local convenience store to pick up some inflatedly priced batteries.

We try to be responsible battery consumers. We keep the used ones in a jar, save the jar for Environment Day, and dispose of them in the environmentally proper way as is recommended (and should be enforced in some way if you ask me). We usually had two mason jars to bring to the hazardous waste depot, which I thought was still a lot for a year’s worth of batteries.

Today, I replaced the mason jars with pickle jars. Pickle jars are much bigger. Especially those that we get at the Polish Deli.

Most toddler toys that are battery operated are crap. But some are not. Either way, we have them in the house. Gift-givers who provide the batteries with the toy may save us some initial cost, but if the toy is well-loved by the child, chances are sooner or later mommy or daddy have to go to the store to pick up more batteries.

I have now reached a point where I am reading Canadian Tire (or Walmart, or Zellers, etc) flyers more thoroughly. I am looking for a battery sale. I need some. Lots actually. And of different sizes.

I can’t control what gifts the kids receive, I can only make suggestions. And I will need those batteries anyway at some point. For things like flashlights, or digital cameras.

So perhaps the next time one of the children will receive money from a well-intentioned relative as a gift, I will take a portion of it away and put it into the battery-saving jar. And place that jar next to the pickle jar with the dead batteries in it.

Start ’em early, I say.