Tuesday, September 25, 2018


It’s the end of an era- the Pottery Barn Kids Kitchen era. 

A decade ago, Aunt J and Uncle S bought a then 4 month old E1 an
amazing play kitchen. The mother of all kitchens. The kitchen that screamed,
“I’m going to be the most popular toddler.” Today, we made triplet four year
old girls smile and scream with joy because their mom was able to give them the
“Mother of all kitchens.”
The smiles on their faces reminded me why we loved this kitchen so. 

So goodbye, PBK kitchen (PBKK).
You’ve given E1 and E2 so much in the last ten years.

PBKK you helped both girls learn to stand with your sturdy sink and towel bar. 
PBKK you helped both girls learn what “bang” sounded like when they hit toys on your stainless steel sink. 
PBKK you taught my girls how to slam doors correctly because your refrigerator gave them great practice
for their bedroom doors. 
PBKK you scared the crap out of me many late nights when the timer went off to let me know your
oven was finished cooking. 
PBKK you were a great hiding place for baby dolls because all missing babies somehow ended up in
the cabinet under the sink. 
PBKK you taught red for hot and blue for cold with your awesome retro handles which then let my girls use
real sinks independently. 
PBKK you were the first piece of furniture to be adorned with stickers....and the only furniture to still have stickers. 
PBKK your refrigerator stored ice cream that helped the girls learn colors, cookies that helped them learn to count,
and fruit that helped them learn fractions. 
PBKK your oven stored all our pretend challahs and other Jewish symbolic foods and plates.
There wasn’t a holiday you didn’t help us celebrate. 
PBKK you were a safe place for the teacups and mismatched saucers the girls enjoyed using for countless
tea parties. 
PBKK you graciously held onto containers of toy food that if they were real, could have fed an army. 
PBKK you were the center of all picnics. 
PBKK you were the toy that was sought after and fought about most. 
PBKK, you sparked imaginative play, practical life, and sharing. 
PBKK, you were the first place E1 and E2 washed dishes and fed their babies. 
PBKK, you provided stability when they learned to walk and needed something to hold onto. 
PBKK you were the star of every play date.
PBKK, you were the cause of every mess. 
PBKK, and in your final days you became another place for the hoarding sister to store her crap. 

PBKK, I already miss you. And while the girls will just remember you as a kitchen,
I’ll remember all the memories you gave us and remember you were more than a kitchen,
you were part of a childhood. 

Thank you Aunt J and Uncle S. 
And thank you PBKK

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Rosh Hashanah has just passed and we have entered a new year as Jewish people. The new year brings promises of hopes and dreams and a reflection of the past year. It also brings me the hee-bee-gee-bees. Rosh Hashanah is the time when the Book of Life is opened and names are transcribed for who will live and will die, who will be healthy and who will be sick. We are to make amends between now and Yom Kippur when the book is sealed.

At 27, I was given five years (max) to live. When you think you will barely see 30, you rejoice in being 41. To pray to be inscribed in the Book of Life is a whirlwind of emotions when on a sunny summer day you were told your days were numbered.

The practice of medicine is just that, a practice and with all the overbearing love our Jewish community could provide, my life was blessed by an amazing team of doctors and nurses who made it their life mission to save my life and countless others. Their practice of medicine and my (our) faith in G-d is why at 41 I am still here with the hee-bee-gee-bees during Rosh Hashanah.

It is not that I don't trust G-d, I do. I believe and have faith that my time here is not up. I believe I have much more to accomplish as a mother, friend, family member. I have more to give this world and I will continue to fight to be here. As I reflect on this last year, I am blessed to continue to learn to accept myself for exactly who I am and know that I am a perfect version of myself.

I am a lover and a fighter.
But can you be both?
The saying says "I am a lover, not a fighter."
Yes, you can be both.

I am truly a lover. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and have a hard time containing them. I will laugh louder than anyone in the room, I will smile bigger than those around me, I will cry harder than the saddest scene you see in a movie. My emotions are big. I share them. I am loyal to them. I respect them. If my heart is not fulfilled by those around me, I choose not to be around them. It does not make the others bad people, it makes me honest in whom I share my life with. I choose to be positive, proactive, look on the bright side. I choose to be this way because it suits me, it suits my heart, my life. We are all blessed with life and to be bogged down in the nitty gritty is not something that makes me happy.

Do I get annoyed with little things? Of course. Traffic, my snoring husband, my whiny kids, too much laundry, the forgotten homework, the flat tire, the mosquitoes, etc all make me want to scream in frustration and sometimes I do and sometimes I remember to breathe and think there are people in this world who would kill for whiny kids and pray they find a partner in life, even a snoring one who never remembers to take out the trash.

Finding the positive and staying happy is no easy task. Happy people are not fake either. They are lovers. They choose to love and smile and make the best of situations that are typically out of their control.

As a lover and a fighter, I will love you and protect you and I will fight for you as I do myself. I am a fighter. With my loving, outspoken, often too loud, personality I will fight. I will fight for my children, my husband, my family, my friends. I will fight when an injustice has occurred. Whether the issue is small or large, I will fight. I am an honest fighter. My mom told me as a child, honesty is the best policy. What she forgot to tell me is people rarely like honesty.

Am I going around telling people their haircut sucks or their outfit makes their ass look big, no. That is just mean. But am I telling you to advocate for your kid? To stand up for what you believe in? To take pride in your spouse and the life you have created? Yes. Yes. Yes. Fight for what's right. Fight for honesty. Fight for justice. My daughters know I will fight for them. My husband knows I will fight for him. My friends and family know too. On days you are not strong enough to fight for yourself, I will fight for you. I will fight with my whole heart and my whole being. I will sacrifice outside perceptions to do what I know needs to be done. I am a fighter. Each day I fight my own securities, my own self doubt, my own self worth and remind myself I am worthy of love and patience and my life is worth fighting for.

Being a lover and a fighter can come at a cost. I am often misunderstood and seen as overbearing and loud. After 41 years of this, I can promise you I am okay with this. I cannot change myself. I am proud of who I have become and those that take the time to get to know me, know my love and my fight are worth having in your life. Loving and fighting out loud can be judged, it can be off putting, but I know as each year passes and I am blessed to live another year. Other's judgement comes from a place of being uncomfortable with such a vivacious personality. With the judgments, with the misconception, I am given a chance to change, but I won't.

I will continue to wear my emotions on my sleeve and I will continue to fight the good fights. I will apologize when I am wrong, but I will not apologize for who I am. We are all gifts from G-d. I tell my children this daily and since I speak the truth to them, I know I am speaking it to myself. I am here now. I choose to make the most of the life I was given and I will continue to be true to my heart and live my life the best way I know how.

When the Book of Life is sealed on Yom Kippur, I will pray my name has been inscribed. I will pray my family and friends have been inscribed too. I will pray that G-d knows I have more love to give and more fights to fight. I will pray that I continue on the path of doing what's right for me, my family, my friends. I will pray for the future and all I have to offer it.

Happy new year, readers.
You have helped make this blogger proud of her contributions.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Day Three

Holy mother fucker! Day three!!

I get it- school started Wednesday and today is the third morning of waking early, but holy shit - it was a damn ass nightmare this morning.

This is the year of the alarm clock for E1. I do way too much for her as it is, so to expect her to wake up by alarm and get ready independently is actually not too much to ask. Beep beep at 6:30. We leave the house at 7:30 for school and in a normal world a 10 year old does not need an hour to get ready, but my morning bear - well, she probably needs two hours. Now it is 6:40 and the beep beep can be heard throughout the house. Beep Beep at 6:45, 6:50, 6:55, 7:00....I now walk into her room and it is 7:05 am. I tell her it is after 7:00 and to get up. I know full well this is not going to be the end of this story.

I walk into E2's room and she rolls over and whines about school starting too early. She then gets out of bed, excited to wear her butterfly dress. The excitement leaves when I pull out the monkey bar buddies for her to wear underneath her dress. Apparently monkey bar buddies are made of nails or needles or knives because E2 was wailing about wearing them. Snot and tears are flowing while she is repeating why why why....I don't have the patience for this shit. I remind her no one should see her panties, she sits criss-cross applesauce at school, and plays at recess so the monkey bar buddies help with keeping her panties covered. The snot, tears, and cries continue. Quite frankly, I don't give a fuck so I cave and put the damn monkey bar buddies back in the dresser. Yes, I know - she won and was rewarded for her "bad behavior," but I myself am not a morning person and as the saying goes....pick your battles.

In E2's bathroom she asks for pig tails. I double check this choice. I ask her if she wants them high or low (showing the placement). She chooses high. E2 has hair for DAYS. There is so much thick, gorgeous, wavy, brown hair you wonder if she will become a drug mule one day because you could easily hide heroin in that head of hair. I begin to brush the drug smuggling head of hair and the tears begin to flow. I stop. She gets mad I stopped. I brush again. Tears. Brush. Tears. Brush. Tears. I ask her again if she still wants pigtails and she insists she does and then reminds me that I am a shit mom for not scheduling her a haircut like she has BEGGED because short hair means no knots. Uh, sorry E2, but you'll look like a damn mushroom with short hair so I am actually not a shit mom. I am a rock star. Pigtails complete. Teeth get brushed and E2 is all smiles, is happy and ready to start her third day of school.

7:21- E1 is not downstairs. I yell up to her the time and I can hear it in her shrill preteen voice that the monster inside her will be the one joining us this morning. She claims she will be down in a minute. Tick tock. Tick tock.

7:30 am. Time to leave.
E1 in FULL attitude has made it downstairs. As the sneakers are being put on her feet, the tears begin to flow. She hates her sneakers, has no time for breakfast, it isn't fair, blah blah blah - I actually have no fucking clue what she was saying because I don't speak "bitch."(Actually, I invented that language but she's 10 and I needed to prove a point and continued to ignore the tantrum.)

E1 has shoes on, backpack on, and as they are walking out the door the hubs asks E1 where her glasses are. HOLY MOTHER OF G-D! I thought for sure she was going to kill him with her eyes. STOMPING with her backpack on, shoes on, crying, mumbling, snotting, E1 goes into my bathroom to grab her glasses. (Why the fuck were they in there in the first place?)

7:35. The hubs pulls out of the driveway and I can exhale. Happy driving!!

Day three, you're a bitch.
Welcome back to school!!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sweet Seven

August 13

"I won't give up, no I won't give in
Till I reach the end
And then I'll start again
Though I'm on the lead
I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail
I won't give up, no I won't give in
Till I reach the end
And then I'll start again
No I won't leave
I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail"

Oh my baby, what a year this has been! 365 days in a year and I might be a tad off, but I bet I have cried happy tears at least 300 of these days. Every year you remind me in a world of rainbows and unicorns anything is possible and this year is no different.

In one short year my amazing daughter, you accomplished all your goals. Not my goals, yours. Every year you remind me you are on your journey, your path, not mine. Your journey is an incredible one that I am truly blessed to watch unfold. This year especially has been a brilliant.

From six to seven you became a successful student. Kindergarten came and went, speech therapy came and went, occupational therapy came and went, swimming came and went. Each day I watched you find success. Each day I watched you smile. Each day I watched you crush a challenge. Each day I watched you with your teachers, your therapists, your coach prove to yourself you can do it. With their encouragement, you became a kid with big dreams and each day your dreams became a reality.

When we saw the neurologist and heard scary words and heard what you shouldn't be able to do, we, your parents, were faced with a world of uncertainty. But you, you smiled when I told you a neurologist is a brain doctor and were lucky because the pictures of your brain tell your teachers exactly how you learn. And once again, with all the labels that you carry, you showed us there is no cannot in your world, only a smile and maybe next time until you master the skill.

This year I watched you share frustration, anger, and disappointment. These were fairly new emotions for you as this year was one of maturity and your world becoming more intense. Even with the moments that caused you strife, you still found your unicorn for the day and still smiled through it all.

This year I watched how your determination is all you need. I have never known a child to say they are going to do something and then move every mountain in their way to get it done. You continue to be a hard worker. You continue to do all you shouldn't. You continue to make me cry happy tears. You continue to be a wonder.

Grit, determination, hard worker - these characteristics make you unique for such a young child. But you are so much more.  You are kind, sweet, gentle, funny, trusting, loving, thoughtful, generous. You are happy. Happiness is something people chase their whole lives and at seven, you have figured out that happiness is within you.

Your joy, your laugh, your smile, gives hope to all who know you.
Your joy, your laugh, your smile, reminds people dreams do come true.

On this seventh birthday I have so many wishes for you. I wish for another year of extraordinary feats, another year of smiles, another year of friendships, another year of  look what I can do vs cannot, another year where each day you prove to this world what I have known all along - You are destined for greatness,

Happy seventh birthday to my rainbow, unicorn loving daughter. May this be a year you never forget.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Double Digits


August 6th

I don't even know where to begin. I am in disbelief that you are officially ten years old. It is true what they say- the days are long but the years are short. 

On a ridiculously hot August day I woke up and went to my professional development. My principal texted me and asked me what I was doing so I told him I was learning at the meeting he asked me to attend. He called my bluff, told me to quit playing brick breaker (you can google that), and come to the school....I had more important work to be completed. 

As I approached the building our caseworker called. While she was talking, I walked into the building, into the library, started crying, walked out of the library, walked out of the school while my principal and colleagues were saying my name. As you know, our caseworker was telling me you were born and we were chosen to be your parents. With more joy than you can imagine I called your dad, who of course, was out of town. He had but one question....boy or girl? Yep, your favorite part of your story, I was so happy I did not even ask. 

IT'S A GIRL!!! our caseworker said when I called back and the rest...is history. 
Ten years of history to be exact. 


My beautiful daughter,

On this special birthday, I wish you many more years of happiness and joy. I wish you all that life has to offer and wish you the knowledge to know you can accomplish anything. I know this for a fact because in the last ten years you've proved to be a strong, exceptional young lady.

From two in the morning feedings to sleeping through a hurricane, ten years have passed
From similac sensitive to a true foodie, ten years have passed
From orange spit up everywhere to surviving stomach bugs, ten years have passed
From crawling to running softball bases, ten years have passed
From barely talking to never being quiet, ten years have passed
From messy paintings to wearing make-up, ten years have passed
From sleeping through car rides to becoming a thrill seeker, ten years have passed
From your first plane ride to loving traveling, ten years have passed
From tantrums to pre-teen meltdowns, ten years have passed
From hugs and kisses to 'good night mom', ten years have passed
From a bald head to gorgeous long locks, ten years have passed
From crying on the first day of preschool to a nod hello from the classroom, ten years have passed
From Barney to Double Dare, ten years have passed
From dolls to video games, ten years have passed

In ten years you have grown from the smallest baby to a phenomenal child. I have seen you at your best and your worst and while we sometimes get on each other's nerves, our love is a force to be reckoned with. Your big brown eyes and incredible smile have filled my heart with such happiness. Every day you show the world what a caring, sensitive, thoughtful woman you truly are. 

In one decade you have traveled a short distance in your journey, but you have chosen the path well. At each challenge you've faced, you proved your integrity. You are honest and loyal. You are brave and inspiring. You are stubborn and head strong. You are kind. You are amazing. 
In this next decade you will continue your journey, but this time it will begin to lead you to adulthood. I know for you it will pass slowly. For me, it'll be another blink of an eye. 

I wish from ten to twenty, you continue to be true to yourself
I wish from ten to twenty, you do not fall victim to peer pressure
I wish from ten to twenty, you continue to do what's right when no one is looking
I wish from ten to twenty, you see yourself as others see you 
I wish from ten to twenty, you love more and hurt less
I wish from ten to twenty, you laugh more and cry less
I wish from ten twenty, you let your passion become your path
I wish from ten to twenty, you remember what an astounding young woman you are 

I hope and pray you know even when you're mad, I love you more.
I hope and pray you know even when you're disappointed, I love you more. 
I hope and pray you know even when you're frustrated, I love you more.

I love you because you are you and no one else. 
I will always love you.

From your head to your toes, 
From your thoughts to your actions, 
I love you more.


May your next ten years be a ride you'll never forget. 

I love you more today than yesterday.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

I See You

I see you.

I see you every day making a difference.

I see you smile when you're exhausted.

I see you kneel down so you can speak on eye level.

I see you covered by lamination while you sit on your floor.

I see you frustrated when someone has another question at the never ending staff meeting.

I see you sending emails at the most ridiculous of hours because you spent all day teaching.

I see you typing each parents' name carefully into your distribution list because hell hath no fury like a parent not receiving emails.

I see you spending more time with my child than your own.

I see you helping my child learn more than I ever thought possible.

I see you continue to put forth effort even when the student is reluctant.

I see you put my family first.

I see you and your extra snacks just in case a student forgets theirs.

I see you and your Wal-Mart bill because inevitably supplies run out and get lost.

I see you and your car in the parking lot way before 8:00 am and way after 3:30 pm.

I see you lesson planning and then redoing them when the children need to be retaught.

I see you being honest with parents.

I see you continue in this profession when most people think you barely work.

I see you appreciate the tiniest of gestures because someone finally noticed your dedication.

I see you and your pride when a student achieves something great, big or small.

I see you sweating on the playground making sure the students are safe.

I see you opening a million juice boxes or chip bags while trying not to puke from the cafeteria stench.

I see you conferencing with students, parents, colleagues all to ensure success.

I see you and your desperate need to use the restroom because you cannot leave your students unattended.

I see you eat your lunch in seven minutes because there are more important things that need to be completed.

I see you have no time.

I see you taking work home each night and on the weekends.

I see you attending professional development during the summer while the public says you're on vacation.

I see you and your crazy amount of unused personal days because parents get angry when you are absent.

I see you prepping for all outcomes.

I see you teaching the at risk, the average, the above average, the gifted, the learning difference all in one classroom.

I see you putting your life on the line to protect my child.

I see you being mom, dad, therapist, nurse, and teacher without a simple thank you.

I see you and the mountains you move because you are capable of a level of motivation that is inspiring.

I see you and the love you have for your career and know this is why you continue.

I see you and the joy the students bring you and know this is why you continue.

I see you nervous on the first day of school hoping you will reach each child and praying for supportive parents.


I see you.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Operation $40 Part Two

Need the back story? Read here.

What was supposed to be a lesson in "you are privileged" and need to understand "tough times" quickly turned into many lessons that I did not expect and a realization on my part that I cannot actually teach poverty. Yes, I can expose E1 and E2 to other parts of the world and we can volunteer our time in helping others, but I cannot actually teach what it is like to grow up in poverty. I have never been in fear of my lights being shut off or being evicted. I have never lived a life in which I could not afford the basic needs. I know I am privileged and giving my children a privileged life, which I cannot change or apologize for. What I can do is try to engage in meaningful conversations with my children, help them learn the value of hard work, the importance of budgeting, and an understanding that they have it better than many.

With her food taking up a small section of our counter and $19 (not 40) in her wallet, we began the life lesson first thing Sunday morning even though the hubs literally said, "Oh..we are still doing this?"

E1 woke up and eagerly had one of her coveted croissants for breakfast. Lunch was plain pasta and cupped pears. This pasta was the first lesson of many. E1 cooked her own pasta -  she filled the pot with water, turned on the gas stove, learned to add olive oil and sprinkle salt into the water, how long it takes water to boil, and how to tell if the pasta is cooked. While I supervised, E1 learned to cook a basic meal.  She was nervous and excited and proud. So proud that when I offered her to empty the dishwasher for some money, her response?
"What's the point of doing the chore? I still have money."
SIGH. Case in point why we started this damn lesson.
A few snacks were had: pudding and a granola bar.
Dinner was interesting as she ate microwavable Easy Mac and successfully peeled her potato and cut it into slices to make fries. E1 is a master of peeling potatoes...I can thank Hanukkah traditions for that!

What the hubs and I noticed this Sunday was E1 did not waste her food. She ate everything she cooked. E1 also only ate when she was hungry. One cannot eat because they are bored if one does not have enough food. E1 also felt independent which was a good thing because the week was just starting.

Monday's breakfast was a croissant again....whatever. We had lunch plans scheduled, so E1 brought her wallet and had previewed the menu so she was all set. I reminded E1 to put her wallet in her purse and because she is the smartest child I know she did not listen. Shockingly, the nine year old did not listen. We stopped at a store before lunch. As we were leaving the store, walking to lunch, I asked E1 where her wallet was.....DEEP FUCKING BREATHS because it is not with her. She left it "somewhere" in the store. "Maybe on a shelf?" I gave her the eye glare that I learned from My Aunt Cheri and trust me, this eye glare could be used in terrorist interrogations. E1 walked swiftly to the store and because she is one lucky bitch or because G-d didn't want me to lose my shit, she found her wallet.

E1 got her own bill at lunch and ordered the cheapest lunch option and water to drink. #winning
She learned how to face bills the proper way when paying cash and learned about tax and making change. All in all she was a good sport while we were out to lunch.

When we got home I asked her again if she wanted to complete a chore for money (sweeping the kitchen floor). This time, after finally paying for a meal, she agreed to sweeping. Because it is E1 and because she is a child, the job was quickly done and done in a half-ass manner. Half ass job gets half ass money....THAT pissed her off. I told her in the real world she might have been fired and not paid at all. An eye roll and back to reading her Harry Potter was the reaction. E1's dinner was tuna fish and canned pineapples. She paid me $1 and "bought" another potato - the love of fries is strong in my young Jedi.

Tuesday E1 woke up more willing to participate? Hungry? With a realization I was holding firm? I am not sure why, but she asked for a "big job" worth "a lot of money." Um....How about she cleans out the garage? After eating her daily croissant (seriously, what the fuck with the croissants?), she got to work. Tears and sweat were experienced. Each time she thought she was finished, she wasn't. There was no half assing this. After E1 truly finished cleaning the garage one of the best unexpected lessons happened. E1 said to me, "I get it. I get why daddy is so tired when he comes home. Hard work is exhausting." My heart filled with such pride, I almost ended the week right then and there! (But I didn't)

We went back to school shopping and were headed home when Miss Money Bags asked me to stop at the froyo place...funny how when E1 is paying the yogurt and toppings weigh in at single digits.

E1 ate more Easy Mac, pudding, cupped mandarin oranges, and bought another baked potato from us along with butter and cheese.

Money total: $36.

E1 started with $19, earned money for sweeping and doing a damn great job cleaning the garage, spent money at lunch, froyo, and on baked potatoes and fixings. We reminded E1 that we would double anything she saved.

Wednesday is no longer hump day. It is forever burn a hole in my pocket day. Like a girl without a care in the world and so much money she clearly thought she was rich, E1 spent the day spending. Of course we couldn't leave the house before she ate a damn croissant. Chick Fil A for lunch, but an adult sized meal because she could afford it....a double scoop of ice cream with sprinkles in a waffle cone later on that day because... she could afford it and my favorite part of the "let me piss away all my money" day was dinner.....a shirley temple, an appetizer, and a main course.

Each instance, E1 had her own bill. Each instance she physically counted her money. Each instance, I thought would be her last. Nope, not at all because she is a child. This is when I realized she cannot begin to understand poverty. She has never been exposed to it, never met anyone living in poverty, never even heard a story. And let's get real, all the poverty she has seen during our trips to other countries is eventually forgotten because she is a child vacationing to other countries....privileged. So, I began to focus more on budgeting, money management, saving, etc.

Money total: $7.07

Oh Thursday, you were no fun. E1 realized she wasted all her money. She did not realize this on her own, but more from me asking E2 where we should go for dinner and/or a fun treat, etc. After truly realizing she made a mistake and saying "I get it. I swear I understand the saying money doesn't grow on trees" we decided to spend the day at home playing and doing summer work. I am not sure if it was the poor diet or the lack of money or just that she is almost ten, E1 lost her shit. I SO love preteen tantrums....is there a "stop being an asshole" pill? No? Just checking.

Because she's a week away from 10 (I will cry about this later), we have been practicing her being home alone. So while she was pissy and rude and less desirable, I told E2, "Let's go." E1 was flabbergasted that I was leaving. I reminded her she was old enough to be alone and since she was being icky, we were leaving and when we got back I hoped her work would be finished and her attitude would be better. E2 and I left for about 15 minutes and just because I am a jackass, I let E2 walk into the house holding her Icee. E1's face said "Are you fucking kidding me?" but her words said, "I'm sorry."

The last day, Friday, arrived. Cereal for breakfast because the damn croissants were finally finished. E1 spent no money again and kept reminding me she had $7.07 and daddy said he would double it and it is so awesome that she has $14.14!!!
E1 was feeling great until her bitch mom reminded her that at one point she had forty dollars and had she not blown it all Wednesday on a ridiculous amount of food, she would have EIGHTY dollars.

Cue the angry tears and the return of the attitude.

I will say overall I am happy we did this and I do believe E1 learned many things - work ethic, the value of a dollar, how to save money, budgeting, self control, tax, tipping, responsibility, independence, and the best lesson of all - don't fuck with mom - she never caves.