Friday, December 19, 2008

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Ya'know the saying "You're just robbing Peter to pay Paul."? I respect the principle this statement represents. It's the driving idea behind why ponzi schemes end up collapsing. Once you open the door to the idea of shifting resources around to make it appear that things are covered, things go from bad to worse. It's a slippery slope. A no win game. There are some short term benefits though. But in the end it's not worth it.

Yesterday I robbed Peter to pay Paul. Here's what happened:

My oldest son Josh was leaving to school in about 10 minutes. I asked him "What's going on today bud?" Josh repliess "Today is our class Christmas party. We're having a gift exchange. Except, I am not going to get a gift because I am not bringing one?"

My wife Carla and I simultaneously gasped "WHAT?!" My son, in such an non-chalant way, "Yeah, no biggey. I'll just sit and watch all the other kids open presents. It will be over soon." I, putting on my game face, start to calculate how fast I can race to Wal-mart and back. What will I get? It's gotta be under $5. Something for a boy. Josh would be leaving in five minutes for school.

Carla comes over and whispers in my ear, "Just go out to the bag of Christmas toys and steal that one yo-yo ball that we were going give to Nathan (my second son)." Ah! Great idea! I told the kids "I will be right back, I'm running to the store." I came back in the house and showed Josh the present. He was pleased. They all thought I broke the world record for a round trip to Wal-mart.

Nathan though saw the ball and wanted to touch it, smell it, have it. (A yo-yo ball is one of the top items on his Christmas list.) He wanted it - now! I explained to him that he "might" be getting one for Christmas. Of course to him Christmas was not today and so he got ticked and went into an emotional nose dive. I tried my best to calm him down with no success. Now I had one son happy and the other one upset and another present to remember to get before Christmas.

After school I asked Josh how the party was and to see his present. He said "Oh, the party is tomorrow. Sorry Dad that things went crazy this morning. But thanks." I love Joshua, it's not at all his fault, but I am suppose to learn from this, right?


LadyD said...

In that situation we would have done the same thing as you. And we even have- a couple times. Next time just don't let the "Littles" see the hand-off:)

blackbelt_oma said...

I will take this as a warning of things to come at this house.