I have a Dilemma

September 20, 2007 at 9:10 am (Kids)

 When I was younger we had the Fisher Price Little People Castle. We spent many an hour sending little men through the trap door, and raising and lowering the drawbridge.

A couple of weeks ago I took Samuel to the local toy store to look at what they had. I wanted to teach him about saving money, and using a small allowance. I was hoping that he would pick out a Thomas Train, and that after a couple of weeks of saving and some extra chores he would be able to buy one train. Instead he picked the castle below.

PLAYMOBIL® Rock Castle

This PlayMobil castle is $90! We give Samuel $3 a week for an allowance, so you can imagine how well this is going over in my house! Even with his extra dusting he’s only up to $8 in two weeks! I kind of want to get him the Fisher Price castle, and I can get the vintage one off Ebay for around $20, but Samuel wants nothing to do with it. He thinks it’s a girl castle, I don’t even know why he cares considering he spent a good chunk of the time we were at his cousins’ house running around in pink fairy wings!

I know I’m king of projecting what I want, but I really would like him to have the castle that I had (maybe it is a girl’s castle!?) If I can’t let him get the castle he wants, how am I going to be when it comes to picking out a wife (Oh no, Doug is right; I am going to be a horrible Mother-in-law!)?

Also, if I let him buy his castle should I make him foot the bill for the whole $90? After all, he will end up sharing it with his brothers. Does anyone have any ideas for other extra chores that a 3 year old can do. I don’t want to pay him for cleaning up messes that he makes, which has left me with wiping down baseboards and chair rail. Any advice would be much appreciated!


  1. ingrid said,

    That castle was one of my favorite toys growing up and I have been looking EVERYWHERE for it! I don’t particularly think it is a girl’s castle since my 5 brothers also played with it, but in this day and age, I would have to say that the boy’s toys (like the PlayMobil castle above) are definitely ALL BOY and could not go either way like that castle from our generation. I am going to check this out on ebay…

    As far as chores and youngsters, we have been able to get our recently turned 4 year old to help with dusting, folding her laundry, putting away dishes such as sippy cups, kids plates, etc…(those within her reach), making her bed, and washing the windows with Windex (her favorite!). Do you give $3 a week because he is 3?

    We have an extra set of those pink fairy wings. Would you like me to send them? I know Doug would LOVE it!

  2. ingrid said,

    I’m laughing because I just showed Julianna the photos of the two castles and I asked her which one she liked better, and she immediately responded that she OF COURSE, liked that first one. I then asked her why and she responded, “Because it’s girlie and I like the horse.” So perhaps it is and that’s why we both like it so much…

    Sorry for the multiple commenting, but I just HAD to add this comment!

  3. ingrid said,

    I’m laughing again because now Ashley is home and she has decided that she likes the Playmobil castle better because it is a “Ninja Turtle Castle.” Hmmm…

  4. Greg said,

    $3 a week? Wow, when I was a kid I only got 50cents for mowing both lawns . . of course I never walked uphill in the snow going to and from school!

    Besides, I think Samuel would prefer one of these (its very manly): http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00020LZ6Q/downandoutint-20

  5. pam said,

    I’m still trying to decide if I’m way behind the times because I’m not giving Gabe $3 a week. Three spankings is more like it but not $3. And if it’s age related, I guess I should be giving him $4?

    This morning Gabe asked me if pink was a girl color. I said yes and he said, but I like pink Mommy. And of course I told him that pink was for anybody who wanted it – boy or girl and that it was perfectly fine to like pink.

    If it were me – I would make him save up $20 and then buy him the thing for his birthday by shelling out the other $70. Then I would get mad when I didn’t see him playing with it every day for the next 20 years.

    but that’s just me.

    Chores he could do –
    feed tha animals (oh that’s our house)
    dust (as you mentioned)
    set the table
    get you diapers when your changing Ben
    Play with Wil when you need them to leave you alone
    bring the mail into the house
    water your plants (oh that’s our house again)
    clean his room!
    get dressed and brush his teeth everyday all by himself
    help Wil get dressed

    how’s that?

  6. pam said,

    I feel I need to clarify since your blog doesn’t allow me to preview my comments. I don’t get to see how much of an rambling idiot I am until it’s in print!

    The whole pink meandering was just about the boy/girl thing and how they are just starting to get the gender specificness of things. i liked it better when gabe wanted to play in his plastic kitchen and didn’t think pink was a girl color (even if john got a little weirded out by it). If you had just caught him 6 months earlier, I’ll bet he would have been all over that fairy princess kitchen.

    Maybe you can buy the $20 kithcen with the guise that one day you will have a girl so you’re just snapping up a good thing while you see it. Then secretly let samuel play with it until he doesn’t want the other boy castle!

  7. pam said,

    okay – me again. you know what I meant, not kitchen but castle. That’s what happens when I’m bloggin when I should be sleeping.

    And by the way, thanks for the nice comments regarding my housekeeping abilities. To be honest – keeping the house tidy is way easier when everyone is gone all day, 5 days a week. The days I’m home with the kids, it’s a disaster. Besides, you have a new born and two really active boys. You have to go for the low hanging fruit, which I would imagine at this point is just keeping them out of the emergency room and making sure they get fed once in a while. That in itself is a full time job!

  8. liz said,

    I love the vintage fisher-price castle. We had it too. There is a new version of it, which I would say is mildly girly, even though I bought it for one of my boys’ birthdays a couple of years ago. I wouldn’t vote for buying him what he expressly doesn’t want — he won’t play with it and you’ll just feel frustrated. You should buy the vintage one for yourself though, and your future female offspring. I have a bunch of the new little people stuff, and it mainly gets played with when little girls come over.

    I’d say $90 dollars is a lot for a 3-year-old to save up, even with a huge allowance (Jonathan gets a dollar! Don’t tell him — he’ll ask for a raise!). I agree with deciding on an amount for him to contribute. Also, have you hunted for other Playmobil castles? I guess we’ve had ours for awhile, so maybe they don’t make it any more, but it’s smaller and definitely wasn’t $90. Maybe $40 or so.

    At our house the boys get a penny for each weed pulled, stray stick picked up, and piece of rotten fruit gathered. You may not have the need for this that we do, though. A penny sounds like not much, but I’ve shelled out as much as $5 to an ambitious kid on a fall day. Even Mary can pick up apples off the grass.

  9. Christina said,

    See if he can save for it. $8 already, he’s well on his way! Maybe in the six months it takes to earn the money the thrill of the castle will wear off and if it doesn’t maybe he’ll like it even more! Or if Grandpa reads this post maybe he’ll get one for his upcoming birthday!

  10. Sarah said,

    I did choose $3 because he’s three, but I’m feeling kind of cheap because I have been making him do a lot your suggested chores for free! Although, Liz, I love the weeding idea. Our yard is kind of a disaster, but it’s been too hot to get after it. Also, I’m leary of large bugs, snakes and scorpions!

    I am thinking about getting the old school one just for me to play with! I may one day have a girl!

    And Greg, thanks for the suggestion! We’ve started a little fund, and you can expect this for a wedding gift!

  11. Anne said,

    I’m really partial to all of the old little people stuff. It’s so much better than the new stuff. I guess because the new stuff doesn’t remind me of being 5.

  12. sillyjillybean said,


    I bought what I WANTED and paid dearly for it. You should check out my investment in Fisher Price Little People which NEVER GET PLAYED WITH! Go with what he wants, make him work for it, make him be patient-but to the degree a 3 year old can tolerate. Yep, our kids get a dollar per age. Another idea is making him earn only half of the cost and you will fork out the other (but this is quite the expensive toy!)

  13. Nisa Hunt said,

    I read your comment about the large bugs and scorpions, please tell me you are kidding!!! I hate bugs.

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