Child Labor


     My twins have quickly learned that they can talk their Grammy into giving them chores to do to earn money when they come to visit.  In fact, it’s one of the first things they asked this time when we arrived at her house.  It’s actually a win-win situation, because the kids get to buy a toy they’ve been eyeing, and she gets some labor done for a cheap price. 

     This all started back when they were younger and became fascinated by collecting coins.  We’d give them a quarter here and there for doing little things around the house, and they’d proudly add it to their piggy banks.  Then, one time when we’d come to visit Grammy, I caught them red-handed trying to steal from their grandpa’s enormous spare-change jar.  I came in from the garage to find two VERY GUILTY-LOOKING three-year-old faces staring at me.  They had dumped the entire contents of the jar all over the kitchen floor and were dividing it up between the two of them.  And voila –that’s when the idea for making them earn their money at Grammy’s was born. 

     This time, Grammy decided she wanted another stepping stone buried in her backyard.  The twins were so excited to help — they are all about digging in the dirt.  She took them with her to help pick out the stone at a landscaping store and gave each of them a shovel to help dig the hole.  They worked their little fingers to the bone, but, by gosh, they buried that stone all right!  Their sweat-covered little faces were bursting with pride as they each collected their ten-dollar bills.  (Hell, when I saw how much Grammy had agreed to pay them, I offered to bury a stone for her!)

     I took them yesterday afternoon to spend their earnings — my daughter bought yet another Build-a-Bear stuffed animal (because, apparently, the 1,000 other stuffed animals she has at home isn’t enough), and my son bought yet another Star Wars video game.  I wasn’t going to dictate their purchases, because they had clearly worked hard for their money.  As long as nobody turns us in for breaking child labor laws, everybody remains happy….


One Response

  1. Too cute. My kids used to pick up pinecones for their grandma. Now we have a neighbor across the street who gives them $5 every holiday….they LOVE that!

    Side note- my 11 yr old didn’t want to babysit yesterday while I organized for a friend a few blocks away. After being stuck with me and her siblings for several hours in a messy classroom, she told me she could hardly live with herself. When I asked her why, she said she had figured out how much money she would have made by now if she had babysat like I wanted, and it was enough to almost buy a DS game she’s had an eye on. Yay for life lessons!

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