Also I Soon Expect Him to Have Followers

Last week Eli came home from school with a large plastic helicopter. “Where did you get that?” Misty asked him.

“Oh, I got one of my friends to trade it to me.”

She paused. “What did you trade him?”

“This two-page comic I made in school. It had two robots and they were fighting.”

We explained to him that, while we were proud of his ability to make such a trade, his friend might later regret it and that he should offer to give back the helicopter. We’ve now ruined his ability to go into sales when he’s older.

On the plus side, he’s re-invented micropayments using the barter system. I can’t wait until he becomes a web cartoonist.

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4 Comments

  1. MattO
    on September 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    That is awesome. Reminds me of my 4th grade “Penny Polishing” services: I charged kids a nickel to take an eraser to their pennies for them. I’m sure I made my parents proud 🙂

  2. on September 24, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m to tired to conflate the failure of micropayments with that of commercial interactive fiction. The exercise is left for the disinterested, disaffected college student who buys Despair posters.

  3. on September 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    My gut reaction to this is that’s it’s very sad that you’ve taught him that a plastic toy is inherently more valuable than hand-made art/writing. I remember the feeling, as a child, of realizing that I had done something dishonest, and it feeling very bad. I worry that he might start to conflate valuing his own work highly with a feeling of dishonesty, and maybe not be as excited about creating things in the future…

    Of course I don’t know all the details/context, and I’m just some random guy from the internet. I’m posting not to tell you you’re wrong or a bad parent, but just in case it makes you think of things in a different light and take some action to reaffirm the value of his creative output.

  4. on September 27, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Oh, we were careful not to indicate that he’d done anything dishonest, but that his friend might have buyer’s remorse. I’m confident that we’ve been supporting his creative output.