I have been trying to instill in La Fille a sense of the value and cost of things. It started when I remonstrated with her for breaking a toy. It was a small, inexpensive object broken carelessly rather than wantonly and I might have let it go except she said: "Let's buy another one." This made me really cross, so cross I found myself trotting out that hoary parental cliché about money having to be earned and not growing on trees, which just baffled her.
Then we arrived at St Pancras station and I told La Fille I had to go to the bank to get some money. Her eyes turned as wide as saucers as a wad of used notes spewed out of the mouth of the cashpoint machine. "Wow!", was all said. I could see from her expression she thought this was some kind of magic. ("You're right Mama it doesn't grow on trees it comes out of walls".)
Today, I told La Fille I was not prepared to spend my hard-earned cash on the merry-go-round if she planned to sulk her way through every go for no apparent reason. I said this more out of principle than penury - for now at least - but after a brief reprise of my diatribe about money and arboretum she said: "Shall we go to the bank?"
Later reading newspaper reports on certain bosses of British banks and their eye-watering bonuses and pensions it made me think of La Fille's saucer-eyed reaction when my money emerged from the hole in the wall and how, apparently like some bank chiefs, she now believes there is an unlimited supply of free money in this magic machine there for the taking.
Then again, in her defence La Fille is only four years old.
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