Opinion with Matthew Munson: Pocket money, savings and escapades with ‘Poseidon’

Bryan and Poseidon

Organising the toilet rolls when you get a delivery from Tesco is not a glamorous job. They have to be stored somewhere, and we keep our loo rolls in the bathroom; when I had a Tesco delivery on Friday (and erroneously ordered a 24 pack – that’ll teach me for not reading the screen closely), I asked Bryan to unpack and organise the toilet rolls.

This is what I walked into later on that morning.

That’ll teach me.

Bryan has to do some jobs around the flat every week to earn his pocket money – tidying his room, putting his plates away after our meals, and so on. There’s also the occasional income he receives from teeth falling out, birthdays, and Christmas – he does well out of an ordinary year, let me tell you; I suspect he has more loose change at home than I do.

I approve of teaching him the value of money; he is determined to find a 20th teddy to add to his collection (that’s the limit I’ve allowed him before we move and he gets a bigger bed). He wanted to get one today when we popped into a lockdown Ramsgate, but I gently reminded him that he was going to have a birthday soon – and if he wanted to buy it, then he would need to use his own money. He thought about that for a moment, then decided against spending any of his money; I suspect he’ll be a bit of a saver when he is older, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Half term is now upon us, and I was wondering how we would fill the days given that we don’t have much in the way of activities to go to – but, of course, we endured the first lockdown for six months and found enough to be getting on with.

It doesn’t mean that we don’t miss our other activities – cinema, arcades, and so on – but it does mean that a slower-paced week doesn’t hold any fear for either of us. He has some money that’s going up slowly, so he knows that he can spend it when circumstances allow; occasionally, I catch him trying to figure out if there are extra jobs he could do and earn extra cash. I might need an extra job to fund his saving skills.

On the plus side, I am fascinated by his attachment to Poseidon, his wonderful friend and wolf – he is most certainly a wolf, and not a dog. Back in the summer, we had the trauma of losing Poseidon’s first body at the Science Museum in London but managed to recover by transferring his soul to a new body – a la Dr Who.

We seem to have moved beyond that grief, and Poseidon is back in full form. To help keep Bryan’s spirits up in these locked down times, I have been taking pictures of Poseidon every day in different situations to entertain Bryan with when he comes out of school (he’s in a very fortunate position, and we both know it); it’s a way to pass the time, and I end up having to get more and more inventive every day.

So far, Poseidon has been;

Sneaking out into the snow on Monday when I told him not to.

Falling asleep instead of helping me work.

And stealing drinks meant for Bryan.

They might seem daft ways to pass the days, but my storytelling comes to the fore when I want to help Bryan with his mind, and he genuinely seems to look forward to these moments of humour.

Poseidon has become a real source of loyalty and love, and it delights me to see how they are inseparable – I also have to “voice” him every day, and no-one does it like me apparently.

When I look back over my life, I have done many interesting things and feel like I’ve helped people … but nothing will compare to this time right now with my son.