Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Incentive Power

It's amazing what kids can accomplish when they have the incentive to work hard.  Our 3 kids had their hearts set on going to the movies this weekend.  We told them that before we could play, we had to clean the garage and finish spreading the mulch.  If they helped us get these two tasks completed, we could see whatever movie they wanted.  The mulch was the biggest task.  Even though I had been working on it for a couple of weeks, we still had a huge pile.  I wasn't sure we would be able to finish it.

We got right to work.  Ryan stood on top of the pile and loosened it, the girls shoveled it into the wheelbarrow and I dumped it and raked it into place. At one point they found a giant spider in the rich mulch which of course freaked them out.  They didn't want to get near the pile.  They called me over.  Normally when they find a "huge" spider it's no bigger than an eraser at the end of a pencil.  But this spider was truly, horrendously large.... like the size of a credit card. They didn't want to kill it, but they didn't want to get close enough to move it either. I'm sort of an arachnophobe myself so I told them to just work on the other side, but they didn't think that was a safe distance.  I watched as my teenage daughters started yelling at the creature.  "Spiders don't have ears." I said laughing at the crazy spectacle unfolding.  I couldn't believe they were trying to intimidate a spider with trash-talking. Surprisingly it scurried off into the grass, the poor thing must have been disgusted by its rude treatment.  The girls cheered their success and then went back to work.  

With occasional breaks for water, sometimes for drinking and sometimes for getting each other wet, we managed to get it all done in 4 hours.  They wanted to dig right in on the garage next.  I told them we needed a break.
The next day they awoke with achy muscles but they were ready to tackle the next project. I didn't feel like working but their persistence rubbed off on me.  I wanted to make sure they got their reward after all their effort. Luckily for all of us, the garage took about half the time.
When we were done, we were exhasuted. I couldn't believe what we had accomplished!  It wouldn't have happened without all their hard work.

Later we all enjoyed every minute of sitting in the cool movie theater together.  We were happy to reward them and they were happy to have earned it.


1 comment:

  1. what a work ethic you are instilling! good for you guys!