Sunday, October 23, 2011

Leverage

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Some days I question my reasoning for going into Accounting. Five years ago I had a Bachelors degree in English..with a concentration in Creative Writing. I had no real job or career direction. While writing has always been a passion for me..turning into a  paying job seemed impossible. I had two babies at home and was feeling a little less than creative. But, that was 2007. Now I have a stable job and a way to write..on my terms....and a pile of student debt. As long as my kids have food on the table and people tell me they enjoy my writing then I guess I can say like Hannah Montana that I have the best of both worlds.

I also love to incorporate my accounting skills into real life. I like to teach my children lessons based on both morals and logic.  Today, I discussed the idea of leverage. For those whose working lives don't  revolve around numbers..leverage is total assets divided by total assets minus total liabilities. It measures the extent in which a business relies on debt to finance new fixed assets (purchases). Basically, you won't be able to get what you want unless you have something to offer. Buyer leverage is bargaining power. Imagine a scale that measures what you have in relation to what the person wants and what they are willing to offer and what you are willing to accept. Sounds easy enough right? Now take that concept and apply it to parenting.

I decided the one thing I really want now is something that Olivia has. (or says to). If you are a new reader then you may be familiar with my famous trilogy The Shoelace Incident. And if you have, then here is an update. I still have no laces for those boots...AND I can't seem to find a pair of light gray round laces to go in my boots. I have to say..those boots are MADE for fall. So every time I put on a pair of black skinny jeans, I think of how hot those boots would look. I even unsuccessfully googled "gray shoelaces". So tonight, I was discussing with the girls the rights and wrongs of life. I told them that everyone makes mistakes.
Me: What do we do when we make mistakes?
Layla: Tell the  truth
Me: Good. and why?
Olivia: Mommy doesn't like lying
Me: yes.. when you make a mistake it is better to own up then what?
Layla: Don't lie
Me: Well yeah. But also you need to learn from your mistakes so you won't make them again.
Layla: Sometimes predators make mistakes. Then  they don't get dinner.
Me: This is true
Olivia: Sometimes predators make mistakes too. They don't get the other animals they are looking for.
Me: That is what Layla just said.
Olivia: What is a predator?
Layla: Is it like when Olivia stole your shoelaces?
Me: Yes. except we still haven't learned where those are. And I still can't find them. I have looked everywhere. I wouldn't even be mad if you told me right now where they are. You know what? I would actually give you a few bucks if you gave me back the shoe laces. That way I wouldn't have to go back to the store and buy them.

(you see folks, leverage)

Olivia: How about $80?
Me: How about $5?
Olivia: $30
Me: $8
Olivia: $20
Me: $10

Olivia seemed to be squirming a bit. Layla glanced away a bit as if to shield her eyes.

Layla: Ewe..Olivia is loosing her tooth.
Me: Ewe. Is she?
Olivia: Its very wiggly.
Me: Really? Is it coming out?
Olivia: Almost. Then I could put it under my pillow. Or do I need to find the other one first?

Olivia's last tooth was lost as we were scattering around to find her birth certificate as we were out the door for Canada. We were about (aboot?) to get in the car, drive through the night and head into another country. So I told her she would have to wait until we got to our Canadian cabin and put it under her pillow. "The tooth fairy gives you Canadian money when you are in Canada." Josh assured her.

Olivia: Is that more than American dollars?
Josh: It is actually the same
Olivia: What can I buy with Canada dollars? Are there Canada toys?

Since we couldn't give a definitely answer on what she can buy with her Canada dollars. (and we had committed to this bi country currency tooth fairy)..we settled on waiting until we got back from our trip to do our under pillow ritual. Unfortunately..when we got back from the trip..I couldn't seem to find the tooth to put under her pillow. Combine her lack of going to bed early with our overall forgetfulness and we still have an outstanding tooth debt with the tooth fairy. I had the missing tooth...somewhere. (Or I could find a reasonably believable substitution..)

Me: I can get you the missing tooth
Olivia: Sweet. where is it?
Me: I will trade you the tooth for the shoelace
Olivia: oh chiz! (her new term-thanks iCarly)
Me: Yeah. if you give me the laces, I will give you the tooth. even trade
Olivia: Wait do you have the tooth?
Me: Do you have the laces? I will give you the tooth for the laces
Olivia: What if i don't know where they are
Me: Then I don't know where the tooth is
Olivia: You said you do. Are you lying?
Me: Do you have the shoelace? or  are you lying?
Olivia: That's not fair
Me: Sure it is. I want the laces, you want the tooth. So now I have leverage. I will give you the tooth when you give me the laces.
Olivia: Well when we get home,  I guess I will have to Google "shoe laces to trade for teeth".

***Note to Olivia's future shrink: I will go ahead and print this so you can more easily understand....

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