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Allowances

February 16, 2010

I looked around the house, puffed with pride at how well the kids were doing at taking care of their playroom and their various chores. Although our days are busy with school, practice, visits to Grandma, and church activities, I’m pretty retentive about making the kids do stuff around the house. Autumn empties and occasionally even loads the dishwasher, cleans the cat-box, dusts and vacuums her room and the playroom. Lawson picks up sticks out of the yard, attempts to dust (usually emptying the entire can of Pledge in the process), and vacuums his bedroom. Both kids make their beds, put away their laundry, and of course pick up and put away their possessions. And then of course there are the other various and sundry other odd jobs that I think of now and then.

I’m a slave-driver.

I pay pretty well, though.  All of this good work definitely deserves some reward, and so I call Autumn and Lawson into the kitchen. “Allowance time!”

Autumn is in the kitchen within thirty seconds. “Do you want any of your five in I-Tunes or all of it as cash?” I ask her. Lately Autumn has been asking to download a song here and there, which is fine—but I have to approve the song, and she has to use her allowance to pay for it.

She puts her finger to her cheek thoughtfully. “Cash,” she says after a moment’s reflection. I hand her a five.

Lawson still has not made an appearance. “LAWSON!”

Vaguely, I hear his voice from the rear of the house. “Come and get your allowance. Lawson does fewer chores, and is not upheld to quite the same standards as Autumn, and so receives three dollars each week. Lawson struggles a little, and so doesn’t always receive his allowance like clockwork like Autumn does. He gets distracted easily, and might forget to clean his part of the playroom, or he might decide that his dirty laundry should go in with his stuffed animals.

Finally Lawson careens into the kitchen. “Here,” he breathes, holding out his hands. They’re just a little grubby, and cupped around a handful of coins.

“What’s this?” I ask.

“It’s my allowance…” he says.

I have to laugh. “Oh, no…I  give you money for your allowance, Lawson, not the other way around. You keep your money.”

“Ooooooh! Oh. Okay. Cool.” With a smile, he accepts his three dollars and runs back to tuck it in his money jar.

Such a little thing, and yet so big. He brought his “allowance” to me cheerfully, willingly, never once demanding an explanation for why I wanted his money, or how much I was going to take. He was going to give it all, and give it with a smile. What a lesson there, and from such a goofy little guy.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2010 10:40 pm

    Love it. He’s a keeper, that Lawson.

  2. February 16, 2010 11:31 pm

    Let me know when he’s up for adoption…I’d like to make a bid.

  3. Anaise permalink
    February 17, 2010 7:53 am

    Now THAT is precious.

    I know the word is over-used, but I mean it. Unselfish, accepting, trusting, and generous–those are other good words, but I chose ‘precious’ to mean all of those things in a way that made my heart twang just a little.

  4. February 17, 2010 11:49 am

    And you didn’t take it???? You could have gotten an ice cream cone out of that. You could have taken it as payment for all of those 11 loads of laundry you had to do. 🙂

    What an adorable boy. I do believe his parents might have something to do with his open and willingness. I’m just thinkin’…….. His mother at least! 😉

  5. February 17, 2010 12:56 pm

    oh, i love it. another fabulous boy and fabulous mama!

  6. February 17, 2010 6:24 pm

    Oh, man. I love the openness, it’s very sweet. Here’s the funny link that scared my son: http://www.pyzam.com/toys/view/tictacscare. We got it in an email from my Mom!

  7. Lori permalink*
    February 18, 2010 9:23 am

    G–“I got very lucky with him, didn’t I?” said the mother of one keeper to the mother of another keeper. 🙂

    J–Now, look here mister…if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times–he’s not going up for adoption! 😉

    Anaise–not overused at all, when you put it like that. And we sort of like “twang” here in the country.

    Rachel–you notice you’re the only one asking if I TOOK THE $$? Jeez, louise! (THELMA!) You bust me up.

    Misty–pshaw. Thanks for getting that spot there on my back…I was having trouble.

    Sarah–Thanks, and thanks for the link! Can’t wait to scare him! *evil laugh*

  8. February 20, 2010 3:04 pm

    Wow! Cute kid you have there! 😉 Little moments like that sure make parenting fun, don’t they? Thanks for sharing!

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