Sunday, May 03, 2009

Working Hard For the Money

You may remember the policy we have in the house regarding the purchase of large ticket items by the boys. First of all, mom and dad must approve of the item to be purchased. Secondly, the boy must pay for half of it out of his piggy bank, and earn the other half from chores assigned by mom and dad. R is the only one who has used this policy -- he bought a much desired Pokemon game for his DS (which he and his brother have played for over 100 hours in the year or so that he has owned it.)

T has always been a saver -- I think he had over a hundred bucks in his piggy bank AFTER we went to Disney world. Anyway, the object of his desire was a Nerf gun that shot out sponge bullets machine-gun style. He saw it while buying a birthday present for a friend and decided right then that he really, really wanted it. It was forty two dollars! An extremely high price for a Nerf gun, but this one was an automatic Nerf gun. I told him I'd talk to dad about it.

The next morning he nicely asked me if I spoke to M about it yet. "Oh no, I forgot!" I told him." He responded sweetly, "That's okay, mom, no problem. Maybe you'll remember tonight." That conversation happened three nights in a row. Finally, I remembered to mention it to M. Of course, M saw no problem with a machine gun style Nerf gun.

So, I let T know. He lit up like a Christmas tree and said, Great, what chores can I do? Do you have any worth ten dollars? (No fool, that boy, we usually assigned fifty cent to one dollar price tags on jobs.) We did find a five dollar job -- clean up all the dog poop in the back yard that accumulated over the winter when it was hidden in the snow. What a job! I told him on Friday night that he could get five bucks for that. Wouldn't you know it, but on Saturday morning, he was out there at the crack of dawn (7:30) while M and I were still sleeping, and he was shoveling poop. He sure gave his walking cast a work out making trips back to the woods to dump the poop and back to the lawn to collect it. When I woke up, I saw what he was doing and gave him a plastic bag to collect the poop in so he didn't have to make so many trips to the woods.

When he came in after that job was done, he marched over to the counter and grabbed a piece of paper. He wrote $5 in the middle of the page and drew a thermometer on it and filled in about a fourth of it. "What else can I do?" he asked. Here is what he did over the course of the weekend to earn his half of the gun:

* Poop duty for five months of poop (yowzers!)
* Pick up the sticks in the back yard so the lawn mower won't break when it's christened for the
* Sweep and mop the kitchen floor
* Vacuum the water in the basement with the wet/dry vac -- three times over the two days
* Clean the downstairs bathroom
* Clean the upstairs bathroom

He proudly told me on Sunday at about 2:00 pm that he had earned his half. So, we took off for the store. I had told him that dad and I would pay the tax on it and buy the batteries. (That's before I realized that it took six D batteries -- those things are expensive!) Anyway, he is one happy boy. I asked him if he was proud of himself for having a goal and working hard to get it accomplished. He said, "Proud? No, I don't think I'm proud. But I'm really very impressed that I did it so fast." Well, there you go.

He loads up his gun with all 25 "bullets" that it came with. He's sitting on the landing at the top of the stairs so that he can ambush his brother.

Rambo's got nothing on this guy!


jennavar said...

Watch out Rambo!! That is one happy looking boy! JD has the same one and enjoys playing with it.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

What a fabulous lesson you've taught your boys about saving up their money, and even though he had enough to buy it outright, the rule is he has to earn 50% of it in additional chores. Great training! And something they'll remember all their life, and probably even teach their own kids. You gotta love that smile!

Aunt Patty said...

Great lesson to learn! Ambushing his brother looks like so much fun. Wish I had a poop picker upper like T! He's pretty ambitious doing all those chores.