Big picture son

My son is a big picture person. He rarely notices details. Yesterday he pulled out his binder of schoolwork.

I was appalled.

Ensuing conversation:

Me: Son! How can you stand it!

Daniel: Huh?

Me: Look at your binder! All misaligned! Papers sticking out every direction. Torn holes.

Daniel: (peering at binder) Hmmm…. Oh yeah. I never noticed that before.

Me: Let me show you my binder.

Daniel: I’m scared.

Me: See, all papers neatly aligned, colored tabs, papers filed neatly in pockets…

Daniel: (shielding eyes) Nooooo!!!! It burns! It burns! Take it away!


Ha ha! He’s hilarious!

Well, my hilarious son now has a job teaching fencing. And this past week he got his first paycheck!

We call him “Rich Son” because his $80 check is a vast improvement to the $3 a week we give him for allowance.

Not that he even needs $3 a week. He rarely spends money because he’s pretty content and doesn’t want anything.

But since he’s not detail-oriented and hates anything smacking of administration or paperwork, he hadn’t updated his allowance since this past April. Who even knew how much money he had?

So tonight at dinner, this conversation happened:

Megan: Daniel, I can’t stand how behind you are in your allowance. I will update your allowance every week for 10 cents a week.

Daniel: Wow!

Megan: Well, I’d actually like to charge you more but you only get $3 a week, so I don’t feel like I can charge you very much.

Daniel: Tell you what, you update my allowance and I will pay you 50 cents a week! I more than doubled your offer!

Megan: REALLY?! Wow!!!! Ok! Deal!!!

Daniel: What Megan forgot is that I now make $20 a week from my job.

So tonight Megan went through all Daniel’s emails (where I forward him all his payments to deduct when he spends his allowance), forwarded the emails to herself, went to her computer, created a Google Doc spreadsheet, and updated every week of allowance/gifts/spending since April. She discovered Daniel has… well… let’s say a lot more money than Albert or I have in our allowance!

It took her an hour. Another conversation.

Megan: Ok, I finished updating your allowance!

Daniel: As a reward, I’m paying you $10!

Megan: Wow! Thanks! (making transfer between spreadsheets) It feels a little weird deducting money from Daniel’s allowance and putting it in mine.

Angela: Good thing Megan is honest.

Daniel: That’s why I am having Megan do this for me. I am paying her $5 for her work and $5 for her trustworthiness.


This is totally a win-win for both of them!

Daniel said, “I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before! I’m good at making money and Megan is good at tracking it! So I can use my money to pay her to track it and she earns money too!”

Megan said, “I feel such a great sense of fulfillment doing all the finances. I love taking care of finances!”

My kids crack me up!




A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

2 comments to “Big picture son”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.
  1. Carmen Lin - November 14, 2011

    What can I say? Should I say: “I’m proud of both of my grandchildren”?

  2. Carmen Lin - November 15, 2011

    Daniel’s binder seems a lot neater than some girls’. There are girls (or women) who are less-detailed than Daniel. His Ah-Gong’s books used to be so doggy-eared that I could not stand it and tried to open up each of them. In his later years he seemed to pay more attention to details and he was better organized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.