"Can we count my money again mama?"
For the umpteenth time I tipped the snout-less blue plastic pig and watched as the euros spilled onto the dining-room table. Snout-less because I lost the special piggy bank key leaving me with no option but to to saw the swine''s nose off. Nasty I know, but the kid wants to buy a horse. What can one do?
Finje, not yet able to count money, nevertheless gleans endless hours of pleasure from piling up coins in order of shininess and naming random numbers ranging from a trillion billion euros to thirteen and a bit.
Her grandparents are her source of income. Any time spent with them and she returns home, pockets bulging with dosh (and sweets). Until recently she displayed a healthy disregard for all matters fiscal but now, her desire to buy a horse has sparked a curiosity.
A lengthy discussion about what a real life, living, breathing, snorting horse actually costs proved futile. Her pig, bulging at its blue plastic seams was heavy and full to the brim. In Finje World, that is enough for not only an equine companion but probably a puppy, a full set of armour and a wet suit, which is her Christmas list to date.
It was not an insubstantial amount of wonga. We counted over €200! Banishing thoughts of a pair of boots I'd had my eye on to the back of my mind, I tried yet again to explain the flaw in her plan. Channeling my inner Dalai Lama, I took a deep breath and waded, once more, into the breach.
Emerging twenty minutes later, exhausted, spent of patience and energy I had achieved precisely squat. After a while, as I battled on, blithering about money and the lack of trees that grow it, I became vaguely aware that she was looking at me as though I were that teacher from Charlie Brown and all she could hear was "waa waa waa waa waa".
Then she began to cry. Big, fat, disbelieving tears. All very sad, heartbreaking even, but it's tough isn't it? I rather fancy a personal masseuse and a private chef but hey, that's not going to happen either.
A mini Milky Way and the promise of fifteen minutes of laptop telly later and her tears had crusted up nicely. Then she asked if we could go to the park.
So, for today at least, peace prevails again in the Nowak household.