Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Hardest Worker...So Far

(Last week, Luke was the proud recipient of the family "Lift Where You Stand Award")

Luke is a hard worker.  He is a lot like Mike in this regard.  He is very happy and content when doing something productive.  If a job needs to be done, he does it.  And he does it well.  (Now, it does not always happen without some whining and complaining, but once Luke decides he's going to do a job, he carries through with it.)

Megan takes a little more coercing, a little more nagging, and often a little yelling. 

At our house we have a reward/point system.  The details aren't really necessary, but it is designed to teach a work ethic, personal accountability, responsibility and contribution.  It is working well for us.  Well, it is working especially well for Luke.  He has already reached and earned the first threshold, and as I jokingly predicted, Luke is close to reaching it a second time, before either of the girls has reached the first.

Last night, I heard a little negotiation taking place between Megan and Luke.   Megan, who has more cash, yet way less 'points,'  had an idea.

"Hey, Luke if you make my bed, open my blinds and pick up six things in my room each morning, 
I'll pay you." 

Luke would then get cash (which he doesn't have much of), and Megan would get her 'points.'  Both would win.  They turned to me to ask if it was okay.  I turned to Mike and asked his approval.  As he was giving his answer, I recalled a story from Mike's childhood.  I knew his reply before I heard it...

Mike used to tell me of his entrepreneurial enterprises as a child.  For a small wage, Mike had the responsibility of mowing the lawn as a  young teenager.  One Saturday morning, the lawn mower could be heard, yet Mike was still in bed...Mike had hired a neighbor boy to mow it for a slightly less wage than he was being paid.  So, essentially, Mike was earning money while laying in bed.

"Absolutely,"  Mike replied to Megan and Luke's question. After all, it is a help-help situation.  Luke earns money, and Megan still gets her points.

Later last night, Luke called me while Mike and I were enjoying a milkshake while sitting in a Walmart parking lot.  He asked if he could do his morning chores, tonight before bed.  I told him, no.  Really, that would be like asking to eat breakfast before bed, instead of in the morning.  Luke's anxiety of his new tasks, turned to a shaky voice as he fought tears and said, "But I have to make Megan's bed, open her blinds and pick up six things of hers. And still brush my teeth and do my stuff."  I encouraged him in his new endeavors, by telling him to go to bed.

This morning, I couldn't understand why Luke was yelling at Joshua at 6:44am.
'Get.Out.Of.Bed.Joshua. I. Have.To.Make.It.Now.'  
(Joshua and Luke share a bed) 
Followed by, 
"Mom, Megan won't get out of bed. 
If she is going to pay me to make her bed she needs to get out.  Now."

Oh dear.  Looks like Joshua and Megan can say goodbye to sleeping in for a while.  Luke has a job to do.


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