This weekend I decided I was tired of being up to my knees in dead leaves, so it was time to get the girls on the job of raking and bagging all those leaves. These are girls who generally enjoy helping out, but can also throw a hideous fit when asked to hang up their clean clothes. So I didn't really know what to expect. They knew the job needed to be done by the end of the day Sunday, and (predictably) they put off doing it all day Saturday because it was "tooooo cold outside!"
Sunday rolled around and we still had all those Cottonwood and Aspen leaves burrowing themselves under my shrubs and perennials, so I reminded them again. Their response was unenthusiastic. Until the subject of payment (or bribery?) came up.
You see, we had been at their final race (they've been running in a series of four races this fall) and on the way home we passed Jack in the Box (or, to me and my high school friends, Jack in the Crack). Scott was hankering for some Two-Tacos-for-99-Cents. The girls both ordered salads (I love my children) and Scott ordered 5 Two-Tacos. For all of us to share. During the Bronco game. Because, you know we don't normally eat fast food, right?
Anyway, we got home and the girls ate their salads but smelled the tacos. Brynn asked for two. We gave her one. Callie asked for one. She wolfed it down like it was...fast food. There was one taco remaining and both girls wanted it. You can see where this is going, right?
"Go get those leaves raked up and in the garbage and I'll pay you each with half a taco." Whew! You'd think I had offered them $20 each to take care of those leaves. I left to run some errands and when I came back, I was shocked to see that the girls had almost finished their task. I raked up a few more piles for them, shoved Callie into the leaf garbage can a few times to pack the leaves down, and within half an hour, they were done! With good attitudes (for the most part)! And totally thrilled to receive half a Jack in the Box taco as payment!
The lesson? In our family, food speaks more loudly than money. Not such a surprise, I guess.