There is an awful cartoon in the universe called Beast Wars. It's a revamped Transformers brand from the 90's that even Robert, who until recently I believed could find enjoyment in anything animated, cannot stand to sit through. He was fully aware of the suffering he would have to endure if this cartoon found it's way onto our tv, but he also knew that Nolan, being only five years old, would love it. And so, being the good, selfless dad that he is, he found the dvd set online and welcomed the wonderful world of Maximals and Predacons into our home. Our lives have been severely altered since the day the mailman dropped the dvd set at the door. I'm trying very hard to learn how to forgive, but it will take time.
Slight-sarcasm aside, Nolan loves the show. So, he did what he usually does when he loves a tv-show or movie and asked if there were any toys that go with it (don't all tv-shows and movies have toys?). That question prompted Robert to sit for a portion of an hour with Nolan on his lap, on Ebay, scrolling through the myriad of Beast War toys. Nolan wanted all of them. Robert told him that they were expensive and we couldn't buy all of them. Nolan wanted five of them. Robert told him that we weren't going to buy five of them. At some point during the 'I want' discussion that every parent loves, Robert told Nolan that he could start earning an allowance and save his money to buy one himself. Nolan took the bait, very excitedly, having no idea what he was getting into.
The next day, I wrote a chore list that we discussed with Nolan after dinner. He nodded his head with his hands politely folded in front of him, like a thirty-year-old man doing a business deal, and scrunched his eyebrows together, which prompted me to ask if he had any questions. He considered my question for a few seconds and then very carefully asked, "is this going to be too hard for me?" I told him that we fully believed that he could handle the burden of rinsing his dishes off, picking up his toys, putting his clothes in his hamper, and helping set the table for dinner. He believed us and seemed excited to get started the next morning.
That was five days ago and it has gone so smoothly that I'm beginning to think I went too easy on him! Maybe I should add a few chores to the list - scrubbing the backside of the toilet that get's particularly dirty due to bad aim, or wash all of the collars on the shirts that are temporarily stained with yogart and peanut butter and jelly (because the collar of a shirt is obviously more convenient than the napkin on the table). But, for now I'll stick to the dirty jobs while he masters the more mild chores.
Robert printed a calendar with a picture of the Rhinox toy that Nolan has decided he will buy first (it's a whopping $30!). Each night Nolan gets another dollar (as long as he has completed all of his chores) and before putting it away, he pulls all of the dollars out from the previous nights and looks at them. He was very excited last night to have five whole dollars! I didn't realize that this lesson would be so rewarding for me too! I love seeing him work for his allowance without one word of complaint and the excitement he has at the end of the day when he is rewarded with a dollar bill.
Last night, right before going to sleep, he told us that he was thinking about waiting to buy Rhinox until after he saved up all of his dollars until he had 1,000 of them so that they would fill up his whole room.
Somehow, I don't see that happening.
Standing at the sink after rinsing his breakfast dishes off.
Standing, very proud, next to his Rhinox calendar, holding all of his dollars. Robert stuck an envelope at the bottom of the calendar to hold all of his money.
Displaying his riches on his bed, after receiving his fifth dollar last night.
These have nothing to do with what I've written. The kids are standing on their Ikea kitchen stools so that they can reach the balls on the pool table.
The pool table belongs to the woman who owns the house. Apparently it's the Rolls Royce of pool tables. So, why not let my kids climb on it?
Not everyone can say they've sat (or stood) on top of the Rolls Royce of pool tables (I can't even remember what the name of this apparently very important pool table is, so you can see how impressed I am by it).