The Aunt Goatie vs Snowflake debate

Ever since I showed The Tibbles the fainting goats video on YouTube my animal-obsessed nephew, Liam, has become goat obsessed.

Liam, who is seven, reminds me a lot of my thirteen-year-old nephew Max when he was Liam’s age. Sensitive, video-game loving boys with a penchant for collecting stuffed animals. Liam owns a stuffed zoo, with Junior the penguin, the captain of the zoo team. Liam loves Junior and would only sell him for $6,000. At least he claims he’d sell Junior for $6,000.

At the start of the goat obsession, Liam discovered the Webkinz Mountain Goat. It was love at first site. Liam wanted that Mountain Goat more than he wanted anything in his entire life. However, because he’s spoiled rotten, Sister #3 made Sister #2 and I vow not to just buy it for him no matter how much he begged. She said he had to earn the goat.

Because Liam is only seven, money-making opportunities are hard to come by. He tried to sell me his “rarest crystal worth $500!” for $50. I declined because I knew the rare crystal came from a $9 archeology kit I bought Cade off Amazon that week he was obsessed with rocks and minerals.

I offered to buy Junior for $50, but as you know the going price for well-loved, stinky penguins is $6K. At one point he even offered to name the goat “Aunt Goatie” if I would just buy it for him already.

Liam was left with chores, emptying the dishwasher, scooping cat boxes, etc. This was working really well for him and he’d earned a good four or five dollars toward the $10 goat in just a few days. But then one morning he spied a Phineas and Ferb game in the iTunes store for $1.

The urge for the game was strong, and even though he was a little bit disgusted with himself, Liam grabbed a dollar out of his treasure chest (which is a literal purple and yellow plastic treasure chest the size of a shoebox). “Here,” he said, throwing the dollar bill at me. “I don’t want that stupid goat.”

Aside: I’ve made about $8 in change off The Tibbles this summer because of the stupid crap they buy from the iTunes store

After that, the money he’d earned disappeared pretty quickly and so, it seemed, did the desire to own a stuffed Mountain Goat. That was, until, Wednesday when the desire for the Mountain Goat struck like lightning. All day he begged to just look at the Mountain Goat on Amazon.

“I just want to see it,” he whined. “I promise not to beg for it.”

Eventually I caved and let him look at the Mountain Goat. Upon arriving on the age he promptly freaked out.

“THERE ARE ONLY THIRTEEN LEFT!” he cried. “What am I going to do?”
“Earn some money,” I said.
“I might have enough already,” he said and turned to the treasure chest. He and Nolan counted three times and each time they came up with $2.86 (most of it in nickels and pennies).

Liam tried the crystal pitch again. “I’ll sell you both of these crystals for $10.”
I stayed resolute and passed up the crystal offer. However, he was quite convincing, and after some negotiating we agreed I’d buy the goat that day but he wouldn’t get it until he’d done seven chores.

So today we’re at Supergenius HQ and he’s dusting under the herblings, chore #1.

“You’re still gonna name the goat Aunt Goatie, right?” I asked as he handed me the dill.
“Uh,” he said dusting where the plant was. “I was actually thinking of Snowflake.”
“What?” I screeched. “You have to call it Aunt Goatie. It’s the funniest name.”
“Fine,” he said. “I’ll name it Aunt Goatie and call it Snowflake for short.”

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