So, with the holidays approaching and all, I figured I'd help y'all out with how to make some easy money:
Take it from your kids. Take all of it.
It started out last spring when Daniel displayed some unbecoming behavior and ended up breaking his glasses in the process. It's one thing for a little boy to be clumsy and fall and accidentally break his glasses and it's quite another thing for a little boy to behave like a little butthole and break them because he didn't want to do his homework. When quite another things happen, you decide you are not paying for round six of specs. You charge the villain in question. Luckily for him, we order from Zenni Optical which was suggested to us by a friend who guessed that the prices were so low because they were probably made by child laborers in some southeast Asian sweatshop.
Right after we cleaned out half of Daniel's birthday money on his new glasses, he and Eve were horsing around in the bathroom. Now, there are a few things you do in the bathroom, including pooping, peeing, and checking email. There are a few things you do not do in the bathroom, including body piercing, DIY tear-drop tattoos, and climbing on the toilet. Why no climbing on the toilet? Well, because I said so. LIKE A MILLION AND ONE TIMES. Every time you climb on the toilet, I have to buy a new toilet seat because you get it all cattywampus and the next person to sit down and take a leak is leaking in all the wrong places.
So I leave the house and when I return, Matt is in the bathroom with an entire roll of paper towels on the floor and the hallway smells like cinnamon apples. Suspiciously like the cinnamon apple oil that I put into my "make the bathroom smell like pie, not poop" vase. Interestingly enough, the vase was intact. Well, the front side was. Dan and Eve had turned it around so the broken side was in the back. But just how did they reach the vase, which is on the top shelf above the toilet? Oh wait, now I see the toilet tank lid is broken. I have a guess now.
The cheapest we could find a replacement was $50. So they had to pony up, meaning Daniel handed over the remainder of his birthday money and Eve was on the hook for her half until her birthday money started rolling in. You break, you buy.
Well, a week or two after the new glasses arrived, Nat and Dan both managed to break them. This was good because now Natalie can't complain that we left her out.
These kinds of repayments went on for a while before I realized that I wasn't really profiting from this parenthood thing. There has to be a way to do this better.
The kids get off the bus and Daniel says that Natalie was trying to humiliate him? Well, of course I'll ask first. You can't just dole out punishments without getting the other side of the story. But when the accused in question first lies and then gets caught and actually seems proud of whatever they stand accused of, then PAY ME FIVE DOLLARS. Every time you lie to me, I want cash. Bonus taxes if you are extremely terrible to your siblings. Unless they deserved it.
Then, in a Mama Berenstain Bear huff, after having told the kids nine times a day for the past four years to put their dirty clothes in the hamper, I filled a small box with dirty socks left around the house, socks that were stiff with dried sweat, dirt, and gag-inducing odors. Socks that could be used as a shiv in a prison fight. Nasty, nasty socks. I won't even mention how many pairs of underwear had made their way onto the stairs, next to the sofa, and under the dining table.
It was at that moment that I decided any article of clothing I saw on the floor would be subject to a $0.25 penalty. It's kind of reasonable. The thought is that they won't like to lose money so they will start to remember that, hey, dirty socks aren't confetti to be thrown around the house. If you follow this same system, you will find that in one week you will have collected $14 dollars in fines.
If you are caught stealing money from a sibling to pay said fines, fines increase two-fold, plus damages will be awarded to the plaintiff.
The next phase of my plan includes charging a quarter each time you do not do something I say the first time. Which means between Turn off the computer and do your homework, Clean your room and Stop armpit-farting, we're going to be rich.