Thursday, July 05, 2007

I Hope This Lasts

Well, we finally did it.

Actually, Diane finally did it. I'm gleefully tagging along for the ride. She finally got sick enough of constantly cleaning the house only to have it completely destroyed mere minutes later that she put together an allowance list. That's right, we've stooped to the realm of bribery and cheap child labor, appealing to the greed of our children in order to keep a clean home. Or, for those who prefer a positive spin on the situation, we're teaching our girls the values of hard work and personal responsibility, as well as the lost art of earning and saving money. Yeah, yeah, yeah...those things will hopefully sink in to their rapidly developing brains, but right now we're more concerned about not breaking our necks after stepping on a strategically placed Happy Meal toy.

Kailey and Kyra each have their own lists for the week. And each list is not limited to the usual daily/weekly chores. They also contain duties concerning personal hygeine, personal development, and the attitudes in which the duties are completed. We're going to experiment and see how far we can stretch this sucker. For instance, will the promise of monetary compensation be enough of a motivator for the girls to "be nice to one another"? Probably not. But we're going to try it anyway, though we haven't worked out the finer details of how much we'll dock the girls for being turds to each other. Now that I mention it, we haven't really decided how much we'll reward them either. No matter. That'll come.

So far our dastardly plan is coming along swimmingly. The house has been clutter-free, the girls' rooms no longer resemble obstacle courses, and the fresh scent of Pine-Sol permeates the air. One of Kailey's weekly assignments has been to mop the tile floor in the kitchen. She's so desperate for cash (not really...she's loaded) that she opted to mop DAILY. I started to tell her that she only had to do it once per week before Diane shushed me. "Don't discourage her," she chided. "If she wants to mop every day, let her." Okie-dokie!

The real question will be how long we can keep up this ruse. How long will the weekly promise of cold, hard, petty cash motivate them to become domestic goddesses? That remains to be seen, but so far, so good.


The Beast Mom said...

This is America, the land of the capitalist free. Money speaks here. Even with kids. Bet it will go a long way.

Good luck with the chore management duties. Sometimes I think it's harder for parents to manage the chore system than it is for kids to actually do them. At least for me management is not my strong suit. There's that little problem of being artistically unsystematic...


The Beast Mom said...

I left you comments yesterday and they are nada, nada, limonada. No where to be found. Oh well. It's not like I ever say anything super interesting. ;)
OR maybe you deleted me and my tiresome commentary. hmmmm...


the battered ham said...

Sorry. I've been a little out of the loop for the past week or so. Diane's brother and family were here last week and her sister and friends were here this week. We've basically been home to shower and sleep!

Diane made the first allowance payout yesterday, a couple days late and a few dollars short. I'm not exactly sure how it all came out, but I do know the girls pawed her with greedy hands whilst she tallied up the goods.

And I think you're right...I think things will definitely get harder for us to keep up once the girls get back in school.