Posted by Duff

It’s probably wrong even to think about ways the Dervish can use her marketable skills to finance her college education, right?


As soon as the young, terrified intern said, “Congratulations, you have a daughter”, he and my husband exchanged a look laden with responsibility, after which my husband said, “Now comes the hard part — keeping her off the pole.”

He was trying to relax a very kind doctor who was obviously keyed up from his first delivery. But that was the first concrete moment of parenthood: It had become our number one priority to raise a self-assured, self-reliant person. All parents want their children to have options, which requires education, and that costs money.

For someone who just sat through her fourth mortgage closing to offset the rising cost of oil, I have a suprisingly abject fear of aggressive financial planning.

Don’t you dare say 529 to me, because I’ll put my fingers in my ears and sing Rihanna’s “Umbrella“. You don’t want that to happen.

I have an old-school savings plan in place (a piggy bank, a few bonds, a few CDs) and 15 years to scrape the cash together. But I want the money in hand, all of it, now. And out of desperation, I came up with the following:

(Please note that no Dervishes were harmed during the following money-making scheme dreams):

  • She could model for it. Except that I can’t bring myself to put her up for judgement against other kids. She has boundless self-esteem and she wouldn’t care, but I would. There will be plenty of time for her to get edged out in attractiveness and personality by her peers.  And, she won’t let me brush her hair. So that’s out.
  • Her screams could loop in horror movies. Colic is over, but night terrors live on. They may as well serve a purpose, right? If I could remember I am a person with a brain during one of these episodes, I might be able to record one. Scratch that.
  • Government Agencies could use her whines to break terrorists. Though that might be cruel and unusual punishment for everyone involved. That kind of mewling can burst ear drums. It’s a good thing my wedding crystal is still in storage.
  • Military’s Youngest Drill Sargeant? She certainly knows how to bark orders at and demand feats of strength of those she outranks. There is probably an age requirement, though, and I’m not sure basic training would tame her, since currently, discipline is the height of hilarity.

These are my best ideas to date. As charming as the Dervish is, I don’t think anyone will pay to watch her top her fingers with olives, evade soap, or transport dandelion heads in the trunk of the Dervishmobile.

The good news is she’s already raiding my purse, her father’s pockets and all Take a Penny/Leave a Penny cups. The girl’s a natural saver.

Pussycat Dolls, back off.