Sunday, May 17, 2009


This is a girl with a mission. We didn't rake our yard before the snow covered it last winter, so I've spent recent days raking all the old sticks and mulch from our grass before it got too long to do so. 

Unfortunately, the lawn didn't get mowed before a windstorm knocked a whole new army of sticks into the yard. Not as bad as the pressed in muck left over from winter. But not so fun to mow over.

I was so over raking, and the grass was crazy long rendering raking impossible anyway. The kids and I were playing outside much of this weekend and when I looked at the sticks I felt totally unmotivated. I looked at the abundance of energy in my kids and heard myself say... "I'll pay you 10¢ per stick you pick up." Immediately, I felt sort of worried, but looked around the yard and felt reassured that there probably less than three dollars worth. Combine that with kid-length attention spans, I wasn't that nervous about my wallet.

Enter this child. This is the child that will be rich before she's twelve. She emptied her piggy bank to count up her money the other day and it was filled with green. Only three were ones. She's been coming up with get rich quick schemes since she was three. She's not really materially oriented, don't get me wrong. She's just industrious by nature.

Which is good, since she will be able to support him. :) For him, 10¢ per stick... Why bother?

In fact, this crazy stick scheme was cutting into some serious dig in the dirt with sister time.

Here he is, trying to stop the madness. By this time, I was secretly rooting for him to lure her away. I was going out of town with my mom the next day and wanted as much mad money as possible. But she is driven. 

Off he goes, ready to dig up the yard himself if need be.

Not this one. Still working.

And working.


Finally... no more sticks to be seen. Perfect timing, since big brother got home soon after and mowed the whole thing. Don't you love children?

123 sticks hauled, and she let me know quickly that meant I owed her $12.30. Like pay up. She takes cash and cash and well, cash. I am poking fun, but seriously, I am happy in the way she takes pride in hard work. It isn't like she wouldn't have done it for free, I just opened my mouth without thinking it through. And well, this was really a win/win situation. She knows she won't always make that much money on a chore. She knew quicker than I did, the slip up in the amount. But she did a task my back dreaded and learned that hard work pays off, sometimes crazily well.

And playing is even more fun after a job well done. :)


MiniKat said...

And wouldn't you rather pay your kid $12.30 to pick up sticks instead of $25 to sharpen a mower blade... or even have to shell out $50 per week for total lawn care? ;-)

I have been known to pay my friend's kid for dusting my house. At one point she was saving for an ipod. Now she's saving to build a 1:12 scale replica of Laura Ingallas Wilder's house.

I do believe she will be called over to do more chores soon. ;-) I would rather support a mini habit anyway. ;-)

Anonymous said...

That is awesome! Just look at her go! Learning about hard work and money...beautiful. Job well done. I love that photo of her brother with his hand around her...precious.

Open ID is not working for me, so I sign:


Katherine said...

Look at that girl work! Good for her. I'm all for paying well. Why teach them to work for cheap?

lots of love, Katherine

Mommylion said...

MiniKat - my friend's kid gives my little ones violin lessons. She saves her money to buy things like ipods and stuff. I love supporting industrious youth :) A Laura Ingalls Wilder home sounds adorable. I bet you are excited to assist that kind of endeavor!

Maria, that photo is one of my favorites too. :)

K, good point about the teaching them to work for decent money. I never thought about it that way before. Hmmmm... You always make me think!