Ruadhri and I went to Guéret today. I was due for a minor skirmish with French bureaucracy, which has left me with my usual fonctionnaire-induced headache, but Rors had happier reasons for tagging along. One was a visit to the library. Our archictecturally state-of-the-art bibliothèque, built at a walloping cost of €10,000,000, rarely condescends to open and actually let the taxpayers who footed the bill use it. But we caught it off-guard today so Ruadhri stocked up on BDs (comic books) while I made a beeline for the CD department and went for LinkinPark, Travis and Soft Cell.

Ruadhri’s next port of call was Monoprix where he invested his recent takings from the tooth fairy. He’s lost a lot of baby teeth lately and the tooth fairy has been better than usual at remembering to give him a euro for each one. (The French one is a bit scatty and it’s not a done deal that she’ll put money under the pillow the same day the tooth comes out – or even the same week, or occasionally the same month. I think she gets carried away blogging.) Rors is currenly into Pokémon figurines and he’s added a two new ones to his collection today. I got their life histories on the way home but it went in one ear and out the other, I’m sorry to say. After having three kids who were into this Japanese phenomenon, I’m all Pokémoned out and tend to shut off when any of the little fighting critters are mentioned.

Ruadhri’s purse is just about empty now and I realised that we haven’t given him any pocket money for ages. We’ve always been rather erratic with pocket money. We prefer the kids to earn it doing little jobs around the place for it, but strangely they don’t seem to share this view. So every now and again I give the older two a tenner, and Rors is generally allowed to hoover up the loose change from around the place. They don’t need a lot of spending money. We buy the stuff they need for them. What they do get is just for luxuries. Anyway, Caiti earns money from giving English tuition to a little girl so she’s self-sufficient, and Benj has his grant to live on.

I did a bit of research to see if French parents are as lacking as I seem to be when it comes to l’argent de poche for their kids. 3.3% don’t give any at all, and the majority don’t start handing it out until their child is 10 or older. So Rors hasn’t done so badly after all. At least he’s had some under that age.

What’s the going rate? It’s impressive. The average amount for a 13 year old is €15, and it rises to €30 for 16 year olds, and some older kids even get €100. Seriously. That seems rather over the odds to me, but perhaps in two-income households, it’s manageable. Somehow I don’t think many self-employed people or parents running small family businesses can hand out that much regularly, if ever.

Grandparents come in handy with bungs for the kids. We ran out of grandparents 11 years ago so that’s an income stream our three have been deprived of too. If they read this (Caits and Benj usually do) then they’ll be feeling very hard done by. Sorry lads!

However, there is a general trend that as children get older, they’re expected to earn their pocket money, at least to a small extent. So I feel less of a meanie now.

To finish, a gratuitous cute kitty photo. Here’s Wendy after licking out the spaghetti bolognese pan this evening …