Mar 12, 2011

Bills to pay

Sometimes I think Zach and Tyler don't get equal time on the old blog, but this week is definitely an exception!

On Wednesday the weather was glorious and the boys spent all of their after-school hours playing outside with the neighbor kids. Much of their play time was in our back yard, and when they came in I happily contemplated their successful afternoon.

Then, during dinner, a neighbor mom called. All was not well in paradise. Apparently my boys had broken her son's brand-new (as in new that day) water rifle. Even more disturbing than that news was the revelation that, unbeknownst to me, this kind of thing had happened several times before. I returned to the dinner table with these sad facts. The boys immediately offered shameful confessions. We talked about repentance and restitution and made a plan to buy the neighbor a new toy.

The broken toy cost $4.00 -- a clearance purchase at the Albertson's grocery store. Sadly, we could not find the same toy (or one comparable in style and price) at that location. Given my nausea and fatigue, I decided after conferencing with Garry that we would buy one more-expensive toy from Albertson's and allow that to act as compensation for all of the infractions with this particular neighbor. (The previous plan was to write a check for the other toys, the last of which was broken several months ago.) The next day, Zach and Tyler delivered the $18.00 bow and arrow set to the neighbor boy. He was ecstatic, and the new toy has been the hit of the neighborhood. My boys are not allowed to touch it.

To help drive home the consequence of the their bad behavior, Zach and Tyler had to work off the cost of the new toy. I added 50 cents each to cover tax, so each boy owed me $9.50. Since their piggy banks were empty, the boys paid their debts by doing jobs around the house. I thought it would be amusing to make a record of their slave labor.

Sweep out garage: $1.00
Wipe down all door jams and around all door knobs: $2.00
Remove ballpoint pen mural from mom's bedroom walls: $0.50
Collect all garbage and recycling: $0.75
Read ten books to Gavin and/or Lexi: $1.00
Sweep kitchen/dining room: $1.00
Vacuum upstairs bedrooms: $0.50
Clean off ceiling fan: $1.00
Empty dishwasher: $0.50
Sweep kitchen/dining room (different day): $1.00
Get the mail (down the street): $0.25

Vacuum out van: $3.00
Vacuum stairs: $0.50
Vacuum downstairs rooms: $2.00
Collect hangers: $0.25
Wipe down appliances: $0.50
Wipe table and sweep under it: $0.50
Sweep off back porch: $1.00
Empty recycling container (different day): $0.25
Clean up tub toys: $0.25
Clean out microwave: $0.50
Get the mail (different day): $0.25
Empty dishwasher (different day): $0.50

Please don't tell me if the totals don't add up correctly. I just know that the boys did a lot of menial work around the house and were really grumpy about it. That's proper penance, right?
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