Dollars for Dandelions

We are exchanging dandelions for dollars over here because once again I have made a mistake as a parent and I continue to underestimate things.

My boys are always looking to earn money. I don’t (at this time) believe in giving them an allowance. You can read all about that here. But my oldest has been begging us for money lately and he’s been driving me nuts.

So when I saw a lawn full of dandelions last month I had a great idea. I’d pay my 9 and 7 year olds 10 cents per dandelion.

There were rules – they had to pick the dandelions, put them in a bucket, let me count them and they couldn’t sneak off to other people’s yards to add to their lot.

They also only had one afternoon. I was planning on mowing the lawn the next day so there was a time limit.

I have never seen my offspring work that hard or fast. They ran out to the backyard before I could finish laying out the ground rules.

And they picked, and picked and picked until their little fingers turned yellow.

I thought maybe I would fork out $5 or $10 per kid for this special assignment. Oh no.

I had to run to the bank to get enough money to pay up – $110 total – $52 for one kid and $58 for the other.

That’s crazy good money – a lot more than I ever imagined they would earn.

Together they picked 1,100 dandelions. It took me 20 minutes – no joke – to count the yellow-flowered heaps.

I was flabbergasted.

But I set out the ground rules and I felt a responsibility to own up to my end of the deal. This was my first special assignment job for them and I learned a valuable lesson.

Now that they’ve seen how much money they can make, they are begging me for more jobs.

Little do they know I wised up about weeds. I’m going to lower my rate and settle closer to my husband’s proposition – a penny each.

I still can’t drive by a yard full of dandelions and not mentally estimate how much my boys might make picking it clean.

But then again based on this experience they would probably make a lot more than I could ever guess!

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