Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Golden Dragon (or Pride in Earning a Quiet Afternoon)

This is an afternoon I've waited a heck of a long time for. An afternoon to be proud of.
An afternoon I have more than earned.

Kiddo, at long last, has done enough jobs and finally saved up enough allowance to buy his heart's delight, Lego's "Golden Dragon" from their Ninjago line. Never mind that I hate how Lego uses cartoons and books only for merchandising... I don't even freakin' care. I have earned this afternoon, down to the very last dollar.

Y'see, Kiddo earns money the old fashioned way, he works for it. His allowance is kind of small for a reason; it gives him a chance to really gear up and work if he wants things. A couple months ago, Kiddo stated his intent-- The Golden Dragon-- and began to work pretty diligently at small jobs I'd offer him. When he'd hit about $15 dollars or so, I talked to Joe about the some of the very real problems with Lego sets, namely that their prices do go up and that they do eventually discontinue making sets. Long story short, we decided to buy the set for Kiddo without his knowledge, this way the price would stay fixed (and we wouldn't have to bail him out or disappoint him at the time of purchase) and that they wouldn't run out, because he would have been crushed.Yep, a bit helicoptery on that one, but frankly if he was busting his butt around here, I wasn't going to let him get shorted because he was too late for Lego.

And so we've both been busting our butts. It's taken me twice as long to do the dishes when I'm also helping him with vacuuming the bathroom. He's emptied out countless buckets of yard trimmings for me (so much work for me!), he's very, very cheerfully helped me completely empty out his room of nearly everything for a deep clean-- he was doing it for $1 but wouldn't you know I paid him $3 because of his cheerful attitude and no complaining. (Yes, he's found my weak spot, I will pay extra for no complaining!) I dug out a whole ten square feet of canes to Freecycle to a new home so he could earn a dollar hauling the endless paper bags of them up to the porch. Ah, the chicken and the egg... is he earning more because I've been a busy lady or am I a busy lady to help this kid out? In any case, I have a lovely symbiotic relationship going here, stuff is getting done and I am glad for it. And this afternoon, he vacuumed both the living room and kitchen, complete with helping to pick up items and delivering a pair of snow boots to a younger neighbor besides.

He'd earned his $30 and now wanted to take the bus to the store for the Lego set. I wanted to surprise him and played along. We got our shoes on, I grabbed my purse, and we made it down the stairs before I stopped. "Uh-oh" I said, "I forgot to bring Gus (our cat) in. Let me go get him, you stay here."

Then I ran through the house and grabbed that precious box from the Room Dedicated To Cribbage Boards*, and called Kiddo to the back. "Oh, honey, there's something here you need to see...."

Enter the first hour break I've had in a LOT of days. One where I am not working at something or re-arranging the house (that's another post) or thinking about school stuff or dinner. This afternoon, dammit, I earned this. I am not going to lie-- there is a gin and tonic within reach and the spanakopita just came out of the oven, so I'm going to have a snack. But first-- " Mom, watch this!" a ball shoots out of the dragon's mouth, the head not yet attached to his body. Boy, do I love this kid! He's so much fun. And he's once again playing quietly. ah.........

*Yes, we have a room dedicated to cribbage boards. Someday, it might be tidy enough for you to take a tour. For now, it's disguising itself as a bone of contention/ junk room. C'est la vie- I'd rather have cribbage boards in the old back bedroom than skeletons in my closet!

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