Friday, April 4, 2008


I made the mistake of stopping at Target to grab wrapping paper the other day and happened into the Target Experience I hear about- you go in for just one thing and all of a sudden you've spent $85. Once I got in I remembered all kinds of things I needed - yoga block and mat, lunch containers for Shane, shampoo etc. And Kateri had carried her $2 all through toys'r'us looking for anything so we stopped in the $1 section for her to shop. And then we found dinosaurs. I only got one for Pippin but the big kids kept playing with it at home so today I decided to take them in and they could each spend $4 on whatever they wanted.

Not wanting them to just expect things for nothing, I gave them a list of jobs, what they were worth, and said they could choose up to $4 each. I've never seen such industrious happy workers. And for $16- plus tax- the floors got swept and washed, the living room vacuumed, and the dishes done. No they are not for hire. Besides, that would be child-labor. Or as I see it- a fair exchange for room and board. Currently, they are still paying down their labor and delivery bills. Mine, not the midwives. So, we packed up and headed to target and they picked and chose, re-thought, traded, and finally we headed to the register. Where they each wanted to pay separately with their own $1 bills. The cashier was very patient and understanding. And the kids were happy as they marched out the store with their goodie bags.
After much deliberation, Kateri finally settled on her four items. A little purse, some pink note cards, a dinosaur picture with markers, and a striped headband, which is not quite up to the job of containg her locks.
You can see Audrey in the background washing dishes.

Cyril set up all the dinosaurs on rug he just vacuumed.
Audrey and Cyril chose dinosaurs and a butter fly net each. And for my very bad part, I only chose dinosaurs for Pippin. You can imagine how it went when we got home. I locked myself up in the bathroom and beat myself up for being such an idiot. Here, I had envisioned an afternoon of dinosaur playing in our nice clean house and instead Pippin was just heartbroken he did not have a butter fly net too.
I figured there was only one peaceful way out. Bribery. Actually, it was a business proposition. I offered either of the big kids $2 for their net. And another trip to Target some time. Cyril was quicker on the buzzer and said he'd do it. Then started listing all the other things he might pick out after replacing his butter-flly net.

Looking back I'm not sure it was the best deal on my end. I suppose its a good lesson to be more cautious when you feel in a desparate situation. I wonder if going back to Target was worth it.

I think I'll go lock myself in the bathroom now.

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