Today my 10 year-old asked me if she could save up and buy a kiddie pool to put in the back yard.
My mommy mercenary ears went a-buzzing! Cheap labor! A way out of doing housework chores I have been dreading! Yeah!
“Sure, sweetheart. Do you want to start today?”
“Do you mean ‘money jobs’?” Like she thought this dream might take a long time to realize. No, sweetie. We can make this happen now!
I offered to pay her a dollar each for doing various assignments. Here’s what she ultimately did at a buck a pop.
* Mop the kitchen floor (Sticky from red slush melted and partially dried)
* Straighten her bedroom (Which had her little sisters’ clothes and pull ups all over)
* Pick up the back yard (Decorated with yucky mess)
* Pull weeds in the side yard (The sheer number of thorns in this climate is dumbfounding)
* Make cookies (Which I shouldn’t’ve asked her to do. Cookies are my NeMESiS!)
* Wipe off the stovetop (Let’s just not even imagine how bad it was before)
* Do the lunch dishes (Did I mention I made homemade cream of mushroom soup today? Gray soup. Bless her.)
* Fold a batch of laundry (Her own. I let her off easy)
That, altogether, added up to just 50-cents less than she needed to earn for her kiddie pool, when added to the money she’d already saved up. I’ll have to think of one more chore.
This brought to mind the situation a few years ago when my oldest son wanted to earn money for a DSi video game thingy. I actually didn’t want him to have one, so I said he could get it if he earned all the money for it. Am I the only parent of a determined child who has made this mistake? Serious underestimation.
Despite my horrible, cruel efforts to thwart him (like paying him 25 cents to clean chicken droppings off the floor of the entire sunporch back when I was crazy enough to let my husband talk me into joining the “urban chicken movement”, and another 25 cents to do all these awful jobs like clean out the whole garage), he achieved the full purchase price after several weeks.
Since then, I have softened a bit, I guess. Or else it’s just that a kiddie pool sounds a lot less … brain-sucking than a Nintendo game system. The price per-job has inflated quite a bit since then, too. Ah, the joy of being able to do things on my own whim.
So today was a major case of “everybody wins” because as she did all the chores I’d been avoiding myself, I had a chance to get my lesson ready for church tomorrow, go buy dog food, pull *other* weeds, and get three more pages done on my current writing WIP — which puts me at the halfway point! Yeah! Can’t express what a relief that is, after a rough couple of weeks finding time to write at all.
Daughters are fabulous.
Only downside: we have to now go to WalMart on a Saturday afternoon to procure her prize.
(Almost negates all the positives of this situation.)