Admittedly, I have done a disservice to my oldest-P, by doing waayyyy more for him than I should have. My philosophy was that part of the way I show I love him is by making sure to cater to his every whim. Now he’s 12 and here is the conversation we just had yesterday morning….
“I can’t cut these pancakes, there too hard.” P whines.
“You can cut them. Use the pizza cutter if you have to.” I say.
Audible gasps of frustration come from P like he is just so disgusted that not only am I making him get his own breakfast but cutting them too? This is simply unheard of.
“You know I swear to God, your little brother is going to walk through the front door having just killed his breakfast. He’ll walk through the hallway,” I began to imitate someone walking with a huge load on their shoulder. “With a deer slung over his shoulder, plop it down on the stove and fry it up!”
This made him laugh but it’s true. Take for instance earning money. The oldest one was looking to make money and here’s how things played out…..
“Mom, I need to make some money. Can you give me some chores I can do to earn some?”
“Sure,” I said, impressed with him FINALLY taking initiative. “Let’s see, we really need to clean out the front closet so $5 to clean it out.”
He looked at me as if I had just offered $5 to mow every single one of the 226 lawns in our neighborhood.
“$5 dollars?” He scoffed. “$5 dollars?” He rolled his eyes. “How ’bout 10?”
The negotiations had started.
“10? Are you crazy? That closet is so small it will take you 30 minutes tops to clean it out.”
“Forget it!” My son said and walked away.
“I’ll do it,” My 8-year-old pipped up.
“You will? Cool. Have at it buddy!”
And below is a pic of C taking the bull by the horns and earning $5 for a 30 minute job.
Like my 401K, I’ve got some making up to do with my oldest. I’m trying VERY hard to teach him life skills now like laundry and not putting plastic cups on the bottom of the dishwasher.
Conversation 20 minutes ago…..
This is the conversation I had with my 12-year-old at 6:40 a.m., at the bus stop (an ungodly hour I might add).
“So you’ll power wash tonight for $20?” I asked.
“Yep! Dad said it would take the whole day.” He said, rolling his eyes.
“He’s ridiculous. It’s not going to take you all day, like 2 hours.”
Again, he looked at me as if I just told him Puppymonkeybabies were real.
“$20 for 2 hours?”
“Are you kidding me right now? That’s $10 an hour.”
“But I didn’t think it would take that long.”
“Oh really? How long did you think it would take you and while were on the subject, how much do you think that job is worth?”
“I don’t know, maybe 45 minutes to an hour.” He responds.
“Your not a doctor. $10 an hour is way more than minimum wage not to mention your 12. So you’re not going to do it?”
And sure enough, I decided to do a little experiment. I told my youngest about this exchange and the results are what I thought:
Like my 401k, I’ve got some catchin’ up to do with my oldest and teaching him independence and the value of the dollar. Ugh!