Save. Spend. Splurge.

Week of Money: Where Little Bun becomes obsessed with Monopoly

DAY ONE

??:?? — I wake up to Little Bun staring at my face like a psycho. LOL… He was just checking to see if I were awake, but there is no way I can even sleep with him awake or near me, I was awake before he even came close to me. Something about being a mother made me very attuned to any noises he makes of any kind. I smile at him, he smiles back, and he flops on top of me to cuddle.

8:05 a.m. — I make a mug of tea, and start working on some new pieces of jewellery.

8:47 a.m. — Little Bun creates new toys on the rug out of blocks. He has had more fun with his blocks than with anything he has ever been given as an actual toy. He also loves boxes as well and loves decorating them.

9:17 a.m. —  This is one of the most incredibly well made TV series I have watched in a long time. It is historically inaccurate, but hysterically funny and so witty. It’s a modern take on the past. I HIGHLY recommend it.

10:08 a.m. — We head out in the morning to go sledding. I AM SO EXCITED. We haven’t done this yet as a family (I actually completely did not think about doing this when he was younger). We go up and down the hill a few times, and on the final run, I go with him, but we end up on a huge ice bump where we take flight, and I land hard on my bum, bruising it badly. Little Bun was cushioned by me, snuggled into my snowpants, plus wearing pants of his own, and I was the one who took the brunt of it. Ow.

12:08 p.m. — At home, after lunch, I am lying down. Sitting is painful.

5:28 p.m. — We make videos for people. We would do a chat or FaceTime but we are all on different schedules, some are at their family events, and so on. It is easier to make video messages for people and have them respond back in an email or a video as well. Plus, I plan on speaking to most of them over the telephone once the holidays winds down.

8:51 p.m. — Going to the bedroom, Little Bun sees me get up to go into a dark bedroom with no lights, dumps his stuff and runs ahead of me, looking back to make sure I am okay. He tells me: Mommy, next time tell me before you go into a dark bedroom so I can go in ahead of you and help you turn on the light.You should wait for me instead! … I realize it is because I really dislike going into dark bedrooms (I have a perpetual fear I am going to step, trip or fall over something, even though we keep the floors super clean and do not have things in our way, but with a Little Bun, things have changed!!). He is doing it to be thoughtful / courteous to make sure I am okay because he knows how much I hate going into the dark when I cannot see anything. What a little boy. I give him a huge hug and tell him I will ask him to be my helper for light in the future.

9:22 p.m. — Bedtime. We talk about what we did.

Spent: $

DAY TWO

??:?? — Little Bun wakes up, this shadow wrapped in two blankets, and he shuffles over to me where I open my arms, and snuggle him. I feel like it’s important to let him see and know how much I want to see and hold him in the mornings because children remember these things for the rest of their lives, even subconsciously.. and the warm cocoon of loving parenting I think, really buffers them through hard times throughout life when they have this secure memory and island of love to go to when they need to. They look back and remember how beyond loved they were, and hopefully if they choose to have kids, or have children in their lives in some capacity, pass it on to them.

??:?? — Little Bun tells me he woke up because he had a very vivid dream but now he has forgotten it, and he struggled to open his eyes to end it. I hope it wasn’t scary.

7:41 a.m. — “Mommy, how can CRANIUM mean brain if the cranium is what protects the brain!?“…. I tell him that English takes a lot of liberties and artistic license to refer to things. He is a very precise child, he even gets agitated if I misspell things on notes to myself (as I type quickly), and corrects my uppercase letters, etc. I always have to warn him – Mommy is typing fast, so she is going to make mistakes – so that he doesn’t bleat and call me out.

8:25 a.m. — Breakfast, I finally make tea after I wade through my emails and respond to people.

9:47 a.m. — I get prepped and we sit down to play our first game of Monopoly. This is the compact set I bought, so that we can put it on a bookshelf easily. It is very well made, with older-style vintage game playing pieces.

I am thinking of even buying the Scrabble version of it because the travel version snaps the pieces into place but it can be tricky when we are trying to record points (you have to peek underneath / lift them up to see).

He is VERY excited to play this after having seen it in this book – My Milk Toof – these adorable little teeth comics where they play Monopoly.

I know this game might take a while, so I tell him to set it up on a table so we don’t have to move it.

12:01 p.m. — We play until lunch time where we break, I make something to eat, and then we take a break before his nap.

1:05 p.m. — Down for his nap, I work on my own things now, for two hours. Mostly blog stuff.

2:56 p.m. — He is up and eager to continue our game. I head into the bedroom, turn on music and we start playing.

3:30 p.m. — I basically end up having hotels on 6 properties that he lands on frequently, and the first time he lands on it, he almost bursts into tears because he couldn’t pay the $1275 rent, and starts offering properties to me in exchange. He walks away from the game trying to control himself, and I ask him what is going on.

He tells me he is a little stressed because he cannot make the payment, and I tell him we will stop the game, this was just a practice round. I point out the main things to learn in this practice round that did not count, as it wasn’t fair that Mommy has played the game before and he has not, so I had a few ideas of what to do:

  • Buy as many properties as possible
  • Buy in colours groups as much as possible
  • Conserve your money to have enough to buy them
  • Try and get all the railroads and utilities
  • When you get a colour group of properties, begin building immediately

He nods. I also point out having enough cash on hand to buy properties, but not so much that you’re not building or buying properties. It is good to save money, but not at the start of the game.

5:25 p.m. — We have dinner and a small break. He reads a book, I work on some other things, I watch some shows, and try out a holiday movie but they are all terrible. I only like very few holiday movies, for instance – Love Actually which isn’t a one-note romantic comedy. The rest is just garbage. Terrible. Truly terrible with no depth of plot, character….

9:11 p.m. — Time for bed. We talk about strategies in Monopoly, and other things that we did today.

Spent: $0

DAY THREE

??:?? — Little Bun comes over to me, wrapped in a blanket and snuggles. I kiss him and say: Good morning, my baby!.. and he replies back: Good morning, my Mommy! … it’s too cute.

7:12 a.m. — We make a tea and relax until we have access to the bedroom table again and he sets up Monopoly.

8:20 a.m. — Back in the bedroom, Christmas music albums on, we are playing Monopoly.

9:47 a.m. — We finish the game and he wins (well I did not go bankrupt and he had no monopoly but it was clear he would win)! I told him a few more things:

  • Check to see that people land on your property so that you can collect rent, otherwise they don’t pay (he missed a few from me)
  • Check to see you have a full colour group – he missed this one until I pointed it out and told him to buy as many houses as was reasonable
  • Always max out your property building – he had over $1500 in cash, and I told him to just build houses and hotels as much as possible because I had no colour groups and couldn’t build any of my own; so his cash was sitting idle as he would never have to pay more than $30 in rent to me, at the most!
  • We learned about mortgages in Monopoly – the mortgage is not worth it. Getting $200 but then having to repay the $200 plus the $20 (10% interest). I read the rules wrong, and ended up thinking I had to repay the FULL amount of the property (e.g. $60) as well, which meant I paid for the property twice, PLUS the mortgage + 10% interest. I ended up handicapping myself severely.
  • I told him mortgages could be an interesting move if you landed on a property to finish a colour group but did not have enough money – to leverage (a big word now), or use debt to get an asset, and then work to clear it afterwards.

10:15 a.m. — Break for the morning.

12:30 p.m. — Break for lunch, he goes down to nap. He hasn’t napped in a while but he has dark undereye circles. I wonder where they’re from or if they’re just genetic.

1:06 p.m. — My break begins. I continue catching up on blog stuff and emails. Not for nothing, these posts take anywhere from 7 – 10 hours to write, with all the typing, images, organizing, etc.

2:54 p.m. — Up from his nap, he goes into the bedroom and sets up a game by himself to play alone to teach himself with his Stuffies. It’s so cute. He even puts himself in jail after he rolls doubles 3 times in a row. I like that he practices things on his own, and he even read the rules in detail to see what we could have missed (it has been literal decades since I have played this game).

5:30 p.m. — Dinner!! Then we do laundry, our own things, I watch movies (all terrible), and try to make sure I do not miss anything on my list. I also browse my upcycling idea projects.

8:47 p.m. — Time for bed. We chat about Monopoly again. Then he asks me out of the blue: “Want to hear the life cycle of earwax?” I tell him of course I do, and he proceeds to list out the steps. Between the magazines I bought for him – Highlights subscriptions, OWL magazines and so on, he has been picking up a lot of things. His favourite are the quizzes to find out what you are, like “What kind of Ice Cream are you?“… which I also greatly enjoyed as a kid.

Spent: $0

DAY FOUR

??:?? — I wake up to the sound of a head bang on the wall and Little Bun yelping lightly. I try to will myself more awake, and after a third yelp, I roll over blearily. I hug him, pull him onto my lap, and cover him in blankets. I whisper-ask if he is awake, and he tells me he is (nooo.. I wanted an hour more of sleep).. and we get up.

6:04 a.m. — Ungodly hour.

6:41 a.m. — I do my LED face mask and my LED neck masks. I think it has been working quite well, very deep, painful acne cysts have for the most part disappeared from my skin as problems, and now I only get acne where my mask usually sits – cheeks, chin, nose, upper lip… The main thing is the painful red cysts are gone.

7:09 a.m. — I clear my credit card for the chance to be able to use it on a big purchase for next year. They ironically, will not increase my credit limit because even though my credit score is in the high 800s, and so on, they do not see a steady T4 employment slip from me in the 6-figures, so I am stuck at my “max” limit. It’s a bit frustrating when you want to do big ticket items and get the maximum cash back. It is why I think banks in general are outdated and pretty stupid. Just because someone doesn’t have a T4 employment slip, it doesn’t mean they don’t have the resources.

8:08 a.m. — I continue on my projects, I know Little Bun will want to play again and I want to keep teaching him how to get used to playing to win. I want him to beat me and have strategies so we can have a real game together.

8:50 a.m. — True to form, he sets up the board again after he checks when I will be done “doing my thing”.

12:03 p.m. — Lunch. I feel like eating rice, so I have that with cauliflower.

1:05 p.m. — Down for his nap, I work on the blog. I don’t have time to read more books only because I am so far behind on catching up on the blog, having a full-time job plus homeschooling, etc. It is not easy to have time to think about what to write and how to do things that need to be done when you’re always half a brain distracted.

2:55 p.m. — He grabs me for a game. We have one, and he is getting much better.

6:17 p.m. — I beg him for a Monopoly break – he watches Paw Patrol instead, and more of Shaun the Sheep. He adores both shows so much.

8:45 p.m. — Time for bed.

Spent: $

DAY FIVE

??:?? — I wake up to him snuggling me.

7:04 a.m. — I make a tea, and heat it up three times, getting distracted by my things. I drink the tea, it’s too hot. I let it cool down, then it gets too cold, so I heat it up again. Very frustrating to get the PERFECT level of tea temp between scorching your mouth and lukewarm. I really might buy that silly bougie tea cup warmer.

7:59 a.m. — I work on my things, going through my To Do list.

8:58 a.m. — We start on our next Monopoly game. I AM SO HAPPY I kept the game for the time off because he is relentless and doesn’t want to stop. He also loves playing with me rather than his father because I really get into the game, and his father hates all sorts of card and board games but tolerates them to play with him (which Little Bun can sense).

12:01 p.m. — Time for lunch.

1:00 p.m. — Down for his nap, I am re-watching a show – Girlfriend’s guide to divorce – I watch it mainly for the fashion, less for the show itself. The plots are outrageous, etc. But I like some of the characters, and so on. It’s a bunch of super rich (obviously white) mothers who live in mansions, have private school issues.. etc. It’s like a peek into the elite life but with a lot of drama which may not be too far from the truth.

I do like Marco, the only “real” non 1%-er in the show who talks about things we are all concerned about now (the show was made in 2015, FYI), and is the only character I thought had any real tension and substance for interesting topics.

3:15 p.m. — Up from his nap, I get a break before he asks me for another game.

5:17 p.m. — We break for dinner.

6:23 p.m. — We continue the game. He is getting so good! I keep landing in jail.

8:54 p.m. — Time for bed.

Spent: $0

DAY SIX

??:?? — We wake up super super early.

6:10 a.m. — I am definitely sleep deprived. I make a cup of tea while I work on the blog.

9:25 a.m. — We start a new game of Monopoly.

12:16 p.m. — Little Bun has a melt down just before his nap because he is losing. He had to pay $1100 in rent to me for one of my properties and he had no cash at all, had to start selling back his houses… he, like all competitive children, hate to lose. I do not sugarcoat and let him win anything because it isn’t fair to have him think we can bend the rules in real life, and it starts by role modelling that in games. He has to learn how to deal with disappointment.

I owned Illnois Avenue and had a hotel on it. He is seen gathering the funds to pay me and then he had a meltdown just after.

We stop the game. His father, frustrated says – if he cannot play a game where he doesn’t win all the time, this game is NOT FOR HIM. He should not play these games or bother with these things if he is going to just get so angry each time he loses. This is meant to be fun, not to be painful like this. If he wants to win all the time, read a book and study, and learn a topic, then he will always win with more knowledge he obtains.

Sigh.

He screams that he is too upset for a nap now, tears streaming down, angry everyone is upset with him and he is upset too, and I take him out to the living room. He sits on my lap, and I just talk to him about how this was meant to be fun and not something difficult. He finally calms down after I tell him that Daddy will extend the nap time if he doesn’t. get his bum into bed.

Finally in bed, he grabs my arm and won’t let me go. I almost lose it, and I say – LITTLE BUN, PLEASE. I need a break.

He almost bursts into tears again but I NEED A BREAK.

1:25 p.m. — Finally down for his “nap.

1:28 p.m. — I just watch mindless shows. I also rather like this rug as decoration on a wall:

2:59 p.m. — Up from his “nap” I catch him (now that he’s calmer.. ish) for a talk. I lead him to the bedroom and say – Let’s talk. He nods and settles into my lap. I ask him what happened. To explain.

He blubbers out that he worked SO HARD to save his money in the game and buy properties and so on, and he is basically losing it all. I tell him that this is life. Sometimes you work REALLY HARD and you still lose. There can only be one winner. Not everyone wins.

I also ask him to stop and think about our priorities again. What is important, I ask him? Name 3 things.

Little Bun: I want to name 5. No 6 things.

Me: Okay fine go ahead.

Little Bun: Water, Air, Food, Shelter, Mommy and the MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL… *dramatic pause*

Me: Yes?

Little Bun: NITROGEN.

(Well that was unexpected.)

Me: Well. Why nitrogen?

He proceeds to explain to me that there is nitrogen in oxygen that we breathe (did not know that), and it was very important because we couldn’t breathe pure oxygen. He also then criticizes books for saying oxygen is O2 when it is clearly with a bit of nitrogen as well. He wants to know why it says that!

Me: Well. It’s just easier I guess to say oxygen is O2 even though it is made up of other elements. BUT BACK TO YOUR MELTDOWN (I did not say that but I thought it).

I repeat what I say about working hard and STILL not winning and give an example from my childhood about how I worked on a project and still didn’t get the mark I wanted. I tell him that playing games is meant to be FUN and without screen time. He is very preoccupied with not having too much screen time for various reasons – his father gets annoyed, but also he watches videos that talk about how too much screen time can affect sleep etc, so he has started as of late, saying to me – what can we do that doesn’t have any screen time?

So I mention that this game was meant to be a way for us to do something fun together without screen time at all and now I really feel like I don’t want to play it if it makes him angry.

3:40 p.m. — I tell him I don’t want to play any more for the next while. I need a break and to do something low key. What’s low key?, he asks. I tell him it means something where I do not have to think. He runs off and starts playing with the Scrabble board and I just watch videos. I am so tired. I am exhausted from sleep deprivation today as well.

4:28 p.m. — He asks me to come to the bedroom, and he gives me a Scrabble quiz where he made up a blank spot and I have to choose the right block of square letters (he had 3 options) that fits into that section. I choose it, and he is so excited to show me all the ones that did not work, and then the one that is correct with all the words fit in the ‘block’ of 4 letters he created.

5:28 p.m. — After dinner, I settle down for a Christmas movie with him. He had no choice, I wanted to watch A Boy Called Christmas

which is apparently based on a series of books by one of my favourite writers – Haig – who wrote The Midnight Library – a book about different paths and choices taken in life. You have to read it, I do not want to spoil it.

6:55 p.m. — After the movie he comes up to me and shyly asks – Can we just START a game of Monopoly? I look long and hard at him. I tell him I sort of didn’t want to start anything more tonight, but we can start a game then.

8:44 p.m. — During brushing session (we all paused to brush), Little Bun wanders off (while brushing) into the living room. After another meltdown, it turns out that he was NOT trying to play Monopoly while brushing or whatever else, he just did not like brushing his teeth with Daddy. I am certain it is because my partner tells him all the time to brush properly (to his credit, Little Bun doesn’t), and there’s just frustration all around because Little Bun is now being scolded, which he hates, yet he brought it onto himself.

9:55 p.m. — Another meltdown done, we settle into bed after I talk through this one with him. We talk a bit about our day, and I can see him starting to drift off to sleep, his eyes closing slowly and opening like when he was a baby. I know why he melted down today – he woke up way too early and we are both sleep deprived. While I am fatigued and just brain-slow and unable to do much, he has major meltdowns because he hasn’t slept enough.

Spent: $0

DAY SEVEN

??:?? — I wake up somewhat rested. It is already light outside so I know it isn’t too early.

7:54 a.m. — Little Bun tells me – WOW WE SLEPT IN! And it is perfect because I do not feel brain dead.

8:19 a.m. — I make a cup of tea while I work on the blog.

9:20 a.m. — We continue the game of the night before. He starts learning how to play strategically, building a hotel on only one property I seem to land on a lot, rather than the others.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time.

1:28 p.m. — Nap.

12:56 p.m. — I take a break and watch shows while I do a little beading.

3:20 p.m. — Up from his nap, we continue the game.

6:56 p.m. — Dinner time. I also do dishes and laundry, then we vacuum the home – I give him the vacuum but he is a bit too short to hold it properly (it is a Dyson and very top heavy), so I switch it out to the “roo roo” attachment which is the hose and he works on the corners and parts underneath the tables that collected dust.

7:40 p.m. — We finally end the game – I lost because I didn’t have enough to pay for rent on his hotels, and I just forfeited. I re-iterate my little speech that sometimes people win, sometimes they lose, and I hug him and tell him I am happy he won (you have to also model good, gracious behaviour at losing).

8:44 p.m. — He watches some Shaun the Sheep, while I lie in bed and mindlessly scroll on Instagram. The Stuffies bounce on “Squishy Mountain” (my down duvet blanket made into a mountain):

8:47 p.m. — Bedtime.

Spent: $0

———-

Want more? Read all of my previous Week of Money Diaries.

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