We're laying sod. Ok, technically we're not laying sod yet, but we've been prepping for it. Mr. Dog leveled the yard with fill dirt from under the house, then he got a crap load of compost to mix into the fill dirt so the sod would have something to grab ahold of other than the dusty, rocky fill. He rototilled, he raked, he rototilled some more. After the last bout of leveling, he invited the boys to help pick out the big rocks so the sod wouldn't have big lumps right under the surface. They declined. Then he offered them a penny per rock. Guess what, Big Dog still wasn't interested. He decided to negotiate.
"Maybe 2 cents per rock," he countered. We quickly accepted. If we gave him more time to reconsider he'd up the price again, he's like that.
Once we settled on a price, Big Dog got Little Dog excited about making money they could spend on toys or ice cream. They worked quickly and with great focus. It was about 15 minutes into their work that the boys started to quietly discuss renegotiating their deal. Big Dog came across the yard and took my hand. He asked me if they had to share the money or if they each got 2 cents per rock. I said they'd each get 2 cents since it would be difficult to know who collected which rocks. He went back to his brother and I could hear them talking again. If we asked what they were saying, in unison, the boys would all too quickly reply, "Nothing!"
My favorite was when Little Dog says, "If we got him to give us 5 cents per rock, we could buy all of the ice cream!" Ahh, the dreams of an innocent youth.
After filling a bucket and part of a wheelbarrow, the boys decided they were done. Yes, most of the large rocks, sticks and lumps of stuff, all carefully verified as part of the financial deal before being added to their collection heaps, were picked up, but they were tired and thirsty. They wanted to go inside. They also wanted their money. They wanted us to count the fruits of their labor right then and there. We still had stuff do to, so we told them we'd do it that evening. About every hour they'd come back and ask if it was time to count yet.
When it was time, I abandoned Mr. Dog to that task. Turns out our boys had collected up 315 potential lumps under the sod. True to our bargain we promised them $6.30 each, to be paid at a later date because honestly we just don't have cash and these kids don't take ATM cards quite yet.
I'm starting to wonder what other undesirable tasks I could outsource to the kids. Laundry folding? Probably not, they're still far to amused by the underpants of others to be productive. Don't worry, I'll keep thinking about this and let you know what I come up with. And as always, I'm wide open for suggestions.
Pasta ala Fridge
5 years ago