Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Great Nail-Pulling Fiasco

It is so nice to have helpful kids. They don't just help because they are forced to (and bring the bad attitude with them), they help because they think it is fun to can, bake, or whatever. Sure there are things that are no fun--like folding laundry or cleaning the bathroom--but there still isn't the attitude of "I'm doing you a favor here, so give me something in return."

Although, if I am going to be completely honest, I would have to mention what will forever be known as The Great Nail-Pulling Fiasco. We had some big piles of wood with nails that needed to be pulled.

We also have a bunch of kids who LOVE to go out to dinner.

In June right after we were done with school work for the summer, we thought of a plan to get all the nails pulled. Pull nails and fill the bucket (about a quart sized container)= $5.00 toward going out to dinner. It would take at least 10-12 containers to have enough to go out. They thought this was super and set to work. When we saw the small pile of nailess wood and the full container of nails we got nervous.

"How many times this summer are we going to have to take these kids out?" we wondered.

Well, the novelty wore off quick and soon only the 2 oldest boys were pulling the nails.

"Whoever does the most work gets to pick the restaurant," we said.

Energy renewed and a few more buckets were filled. Then all work stopped. I really don't know what happened except that I wasn't constantly nagging for the job to be done.

"If you don't get the job done this summer for pay, it will be done this winter with Dad, for no pay, IN THE RAIN." we threatened.

Work began again and finally we got to go out to lunch after church one Sunday in mid-August. Since then I haven't seen any nail buckets (I have to check them and keep count) and when I recently returned from my trip to the coast I was informed that "Dad said" no tv until the nails are all pulled. He has since admitted that was a bad move but the 10 year old had been on his every last nerve. She is not a lot of help when she doesn't like the job. I have also been informed that the oldest boy has claimed that all the nails in a particular box are HIS to go toward HIM going out to dinner BY HIMSELF. I don't think so.

So, I am supposed to let the kids know that the tv ban was a mistake and no longer in effect, but they have actually been pulling nails again the last few days so it is mighty tempting not to tell them. Hmm, shrinking pile of naily wood, no tv on in the afternoons. This is totally win-win for me. But I guess I will be nice. Or will I?

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