Does he want chores?
Does he want an allowance?
He wants day work. He wants to come to us with little jobs that he feels he can do, and make a bid on it.
My boy, the Independent Contractor.
So last weekend I went to their house and was going to try to take care of the yard a bit. I grabbed the rake, and set to work on the leaves. Not two minutes later I heard a voice behind me. It was Handsome, and he was looking at me with his huge blue eyes and doing his Oliver Twist voice (he's never seen the movie, but it's the pitiful voice he uses to beg for something, and whenever he uses it all I seem to hear is 'please, sir, may I have some more?).
"Dad? Can you stop doing the leaves, please?"
"What?" I said. "Why?"
"Mom's paying me $10 to get up all the leaves."
Well, I went in to ask about that. It seems it's true, his mom is paying him $10 to get up all the leaves.
"Well, when's he going to start?"
"He started yesterday," she answered. "He says he has a three-stage plan."
A three-stage plan? For the leaves? That sounded complex, and well thought-out, quite surprising from my nine-year-old. When I heard that, though, I had but one thought:
"Did he get the money up front?" I was smiling, but curious.
"No, I told him he had to do the work first, then he gets the cash."
So, he's still an inexperienced con man, I thought. Good.
So that afternoon I showed him where the leaf-blower is kept, and what extension cord to use, and where to dump all the leaves this year ( tend to stagger where I put them in the woods out back. I don't want to build up the forest floor too much in one spot.) and let him have at it.
Eventually he asked for a little help moving a pile he had gotten together, so I helped him shift it. Then I needed to make an adjustment to the leaf blower, and I used it a bit to test it and make sure I had it the way I wanted it. after I had been blowing the leaved for a while, Handsome asked me how long I was going to be doing that.
"Just long enough to get me a discount," I said.
So I stopped. That was almost a week ago. The yard is still pretty full of leaves.
Tomorrow he has a play-date. While they are in the house yelling and playing the wii, I'm going outside to rake up some leaves.
Hell, I can always use ten bucks!
Talk to you later!