Saturday, October 20, 2007

Will Work For Food...or General Grievous

Here is a picture of my Spencer. He is weeding. I have many fond childhood memories of weeding for my Saturday chore. It was pure torture, and I think I even got paid. I just remember never doing the job well enough, dirt got wedged under my fingernails, that evil long-limbed plant whose edges cut like razors, and playtime looming so large in front of me I couldn't keep my mind focused on the rooty little buggers in ground.

So, what does a mother do when she buys her child a gratuitous toy before he's earned the money because "it was the last one, Mom! (sob, sob)" at Ross where you can never be sure what's going to be there when? Pick a job that little hands can do and that I still hate: weeding.

General Grievous provides moral support

At choretime, Spencer disappears. Nowhere to be found. But if he has the right motivation that kid can focus. As he got going on the money earning I started to wish I had just weathered the bloody uprising from his siblings and bought the toy for him outright. With each chore completed he demanded a running tally on how much more he had to do and how much he could expect to be paid for each chore on the list. This became my chore. It was taking forever. I became overwhelmed with calculating tithing, savings, and spending on each $2.50 chore. I began wondering if just this once he could skip out on tithing, forget saving. But no, I had life lessons to teach.

So Spencer and I toiled together, because as we all know, the kids' chores are our chores. I don't want the car cleaned 7-year-old style. That just sucks and you don't get much for all your nagging except wet, streaked windows, dried bugs only half-way pried off the paint, and tears when he realizes that the car needs to be cleaned inside, too. So he was my "helper" while I scrubbed, swept, and tried not to strangle on Windex fumes, and then I got to pay him. Where's my money? Oh well, my car is clean. And he finally got his General Grievous.


Paige said...

Oh Jannie, that Manderley hill was torture and I'll never forget it either. I'm glad you are continuing the tradition. My kids did 10 jobs today and wondered where their new DS was. Hard to break it to them that a Nintendo is 130 jobs.

Jocelyn said...

I remember Bolla a little more. That was when we were older so the jobs were more treacherous. We didn't work for allowance or any kind of money, we just worked for freedom do GO somewhere on Saturday. Sometimes those lists were really long too and it seemed like they held us hostage for hours of working before we were allowed to do anything. I think the better way to do it is what I do--let's all play all the time and pretend that there's no work to be done. Forget life lessons, clean houses and tidy yards.

Jack McKinley said...

Hey Janelle- our children work for free and never complain about it. They have to earn their way around our house. They have to even earn extra squares of toilet paper. Okay...just kidding. BTW the way to get our kid to sit in his high chair is to keep shoving chocolate cupcakes in front of him. Works like a charm:) We miss you guys. Hope all is well.