Something not everyone knows about me is that I do not believe in giving children weekly allowances. Perhaps it has something to do with my upbringing.  My dad didn’t believe in paying us to do household chores either. It doesn’t make sense to get paid to clean up your own mess. Don’t get me wrong. I totally disagreed with his opinion while I was growing up…until I turned 14 and wanted my own money and got a JOB that paid far more than my friends $5 a week allowance.  I bagged groceries every Saturday at the commissary (military grocery store) for tips and usually cleared anywhere from $20-50 a week. So, my dad instilled a good work ethic in me from a young age. And my mom made sure we kept the house tidy with her and even insisted that we do our own laundry. (You know, once we were in high school and began to complain at 10pm Sunday night that we “needed” our jeans for school Monday…though they weren’t in the hamper all weekend and instead wadded on the floor in our room.)

Anyway, since I buy my kids snack foods and clothes and toys and shoes and pretty much anything that they need, I don’t find it necessary to pay them an allowance. They go to school for less than 4 hours a day, so they don’t take a lunch. I give them breakfast in the morning, buy them a pkg of cookies each on the way to school and they eat as soon as they get home.  With classrooms holding more than 70 students, I do not want them eating after touching the desks, walls, etc.  I’m grossing myself out over the germ factor as I type this.

So when my kids want money, I make them earn it by giving them jobs that aren’t on their regular list of chores to do. (And when I say regular, I mean outside the scope of stuff that I tell them what to do daily but don’t run around inspecting with a check-list.)  I had three of them last week whining about wanting money and “a job” to earn it.  I HATE scrubbing the top of the stove so I told Ismail to wash up all the dishes and the counters and the stove top for 3 E.P.  The bathroom needed cleaning, so I told Samiya to clean the bathroom thoroughly, including the tiles for 3 E.P. (Honestly, she did such an awesome job that I gave her 5!)  Then it was Aiman’s turn. He begged me for a job. I really didn’t have much else for him. So I told him to clean out the fridge with vinegar and water.  He was pissed. I don’t know why. It was fairly empty except for the usual mayo, mustard and the usual jars in the door and one crisper drawer that has dried dates and coconut in it for whenever I have a baking itch to scratch. Every other shelf was pretty much empty. All he had to do was wipe down the shelves and voila! Three pounds would be his.

No. He wanted to do the bathroom or the dishes….that his siblings were already doing. Whatever. He went to bed sad and with no money. Honestly, I’d already swept the house out and mopped earlier that day and Randa had dusted for me when she was pretending to paint all the furniture with a dry paint brush. (I LOVE that game.)

Ismail stayed up until midnight cleaning out the fridge, too. He gladly took Aiman’s 3 E.P. and I could go shopping and put away new produce and cheese without feeling like a terrible mom for not washing out the fridge first.

So, tell me WHAT on Earth could put that ‘dead animal smell’ back in my fridge a week later?? Ismail searched and found it. Rotten cheese from the day after the last fridge cleaning 7 days ago.  Guess I forgot it was in there. I wonder if Aiman will want to earn 5 E.P. today. 

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