Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Klondike Economy

My kids love ice cream and so when it is on sale at the store, I swoop in to get extras as kid currency.  Then, I wait for the right moment to set things in motion.

It's Saturday afternoon.  Lunch is finished but the dishes have been left for the cleaning fairy to address.  Only there's a problem. Mom is also wanting to enjoy the weekend.  She goes to the freezer and pulls out some ice creamy goodness and begins to eat her treat all by herself at the table. 

Sweets are like a dog whistle is to pooches.  The kids come at the first silent sound of a bite.  "Hey Mom! That looks good.  Can I have some?"  my teen asks as she comes in the room.  
"Would you do the dishes first?" I ask innocently.  

"Thanks." I say as I move on to my next victim....I mean to the living room to consider the laundry.  There I find three children watching a movie they've seen hundreds of times.  I deliberately take a larger than normal bite to be sure there is a crackle of the chocolate skin being fractured.

"ICE CREAM?!!!"  "Who has ice cream?"  "MOM! YOU HAVE ICE CREAM!"  followed by "I WANT SOME!" In chorus.  I smile, take another daintier bite and give an eye glance at the twelve stationed laundry baskets and the huge pile of clothing on the couch heretofore ignored. 

"What would you do...." I sing. 

"But that will take forever!" one complains. 
"It's three loads. There are three people..."
Two of them are already on it.  I seize the higher ground. "If they do it and you don't.  They'll get the treat and you won't." He's already moving. 

I'm thinking VICTORY!  My husband comes in to the room and sees all the worker bees.  "What's going on?"
"Mom said we could have ice cream if we folded the clothes."  My daughter volunteers. 

He goes to find the other children of age to be of assistance.  I'm thinking, "Klondikes.  Is there nothing you cannot do?"  Sure enough, three of the younger children happily march out with their dad to pick up trash and weed the garden for the promise of chocolate and icecream without a stick.  But that still leaves one older child unaccounted for.  

The final daughter unseduced by the lure of frozen dairy yumminess comes by.  "If you want ice cream, you have to do a chore." one of her brothers volunteers.  "No thanks." she says and walks towards the computer room. 

Suddenly a new thought has taken hold.  We could opt out.  We were happy before the mention of ice cream.  Now we're working and don't yet have ice cream and she's happy and isn't eating ice cream.  If we work and even get the ice cream, she'll still not have done work.  She doesn't care that she isn't getting ice cream because she doesn't LIKE this ice cream.  That's not fair!  The workers of the world who hadn't finished their jobs unite to stop working.  I'm losing momentum but not without options. 

"No screens until the task is done." I explain.  Then to the sole hold out I give the same ultimatum plus a specific chore.  I hand her the equipment to clean the bathrooms. 

"I hate that job." she whines.  I turn off the computers.  She gets to work.  The strikers return to their task. 
Five minutes later she pipes up, "But if I do it, can I have some ice cream too?"


Natalie said...

Haha. Can't outsmart the Mom, but she gave a good try. lol =)

Mum2eight said...

Haha. I knew the can I have ice cream was coming.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!