Beating summertime boredom
Summer is here, school is out and chaos reigns. It's the same thing every year. The kids are bored two minutes after the final school bell rings. It's as though they contend with each other to see who can be the most bored. It makes me wonder if they're truly bored or competing for a dramatic role on The Young and the Restless. Either way, I'm not likely to find solitude until the school doors open again in September.
Last year I thought it might be a good idea to curb the summer boredom by hosting a garage sale. This would be a way to keep the kids busy, teach them some organization and salesmanship skills, and get my house cleaned out at the same time. That's the lie I told myself anyway.
Let the sale begin!
We started by cleaning out closets and drawers and found stuff we didn't even know we owned. It was kind of like Christmas, for a moment, until we ran across a dead hamster, then it became "Christmas meets Halloween". I'm afraid the image of Charlie the hamster crammed behind the steering wheel in the Barbie Camper is now permanently burned into their little psyches.
The kids rummaged through their toy boxes, but no one was really in the spirit of getting rid of anything. That is, until I pointed out that selling their toys for money would mean a shopping spree at someone else's garage sale. After all, we have to replace our junk with someone else's junk, right? They took to the idea like the tiny capitalists that Saturday morning television had created them to be.
At this point, filling the garage sale box was going faster than I anticipated. Upon further investigation I found the toddler had contributed items to the box that we had no intention of selling. One of which was my birth control pills. There's NO WAY I'm parting with those!
The value of the dollar
By opening day I was ready to sell the kids along with the rest of the house. The same child that sold his new $20 got-to-have toy for 50 cents demanded $5 for the Happy Meal toy he had gotten the night before at McDonalds. On top of that, it took an hour to calm the screaming two-year-old, whose older sibling was trying to pocket a quick $10 by selling the dog.
All in all the kids pulled in a pretty penny, although most of that was hush-money from me, to insure they wouldn't reveal the truth about the stains on the couch we were trying to sell.
Instead of teaching them organization and salesmanship, they learned bribery, extortion and neighbor-swindling. It wasn't a total loss though. One way or another, they at least learned the value of a dollar.
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