Today I endeavored to teach my children an important lesson: The more junk you want to buy, the more money you need. The more money you need, the more you have to work.
Kids always want the newest, the latest, the most sparkly. They can't help it. I mean, I always want the newest, the latest, and the most sparkly too. It's human nature. The trouble is that kids don't have any concept of what it takes to acquire these things. You have to work to get the money to buy the sparkly stuff. (Unless, of course, you have a husband who does all the work, so you can stay home and blog all day.)
With this noble lesson in mind, we decided to have a lemonade stand. I thought a few hours of sitting in the sun, hustling passersby for pocket change would do them good. I thought they might finish the lemonade themselves then come in with $1.50 to show for their efforts. I thought after a day of hard labor, they would instantly become grateful for all the things we buy for them. I thought wrong.
Here's how things really went down:
First, I went to the store to get the plastic cups, sugar, and the missing ingredients for cookies by myself. The kids stayed home to play with the neighbors.
Then, I picked the lemons and squeezed each one by hand (Enough to make 3 gallons of lemonade. Around a metric ton of lemons.) by myself. The kids played video games.
Next, I made the cookies by myself. The kids ate some.
Then, I moved the tables outside and set up the stand by myself. The kids colored a sign.
Next, I Instagramed, tweeted, Facebooked, and texted to get the word out. The kids sat down, and raked in the money.
When it was all over, I cleaned everything up while the kids counted their earnings. They divided it up evenly, giving me 0% of the take. And, because of the sugar expenditure, I ended up in the red.
All told, the kids had a great time. They made some spending money for the arcade, or the candy store. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon, made even better with celebratory swimming after. But, I am pretty sure the only person who really learned the value of a hard day's work was me.