Teacher Professor

January 24, 2011


Filed under: Home Things — Teacher Professor @ 6:17 pm

Elizabeth has a new project.  After successfully saving enough money (with some carefully engineered projects by Mama) to go to Harry Potter World for New Years, she wanted a new project.

Her choice- Ugg boots.  Boots that, to my mind, are some of the ugliest things on this earth.  I get the whole comfort thing.  I get that they’re warm.  We live in Southeastern Georgia, where the natives start breaking out the hot chocolate at 50 degrees and no one has an ice scraper.  I showed my neighbor this morning that a credit card edge will work as an emergency frost scraper- she didn’t know. But boots that provide heat insulation are not really an issue around here.

I grew up in snow country.  I grew up in Southern Colorado where to my child’s mind, a good snow fall meant “bungling up” in multiple layers, sledding down the hill that my mom had made a path with snowshoes on, and then inside for hot chocolate and snow ice cream.  Snow days were great!  They were not so great the years we lived in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island when I had to bundle up to dig out the walkway, the drive way, and the sidewalks and then when I had to be the one to break ground for the children to sled.  Where by the time the children were dressed in all of their layers, they were ready to come back in.  Boots?  I yearned for the days of flip flops and sandals.  Boots were necessary evils.

And so, my daughter, who lives in a place where we can wear flip flops 11 months of the year, wants boots.  And not just any boots- hot pink boots that will get dirty in any adverse weather.  But boots that have the UGG label on the “ohhh look at the cute button” button.

And she’s willing to work for them- hard.  She took on the list of household chores- no tv, reading, washing dishes, and making her bed.  She added and re-added her daily figures to determine that it would take her until March 18th to earn the $110 she needed for these boots.

But it’s looking like it might be earlier.  On the list we devised of “Ways to earn money” was “clean the dog yard”- a task we all hate and one that I hoped would have fixed itself in the months since it last got done.  It hasn’t. There was quite a lot of, shall we say, dog droppings on the ground.  We decided that cleaning the yard would earn the princely sum of $6- $7 if she did it without complaining and all at once.

Saturday morning found Elizabeth outside in her pajamas, before her morning shower, cleaning the dog yard- scooping and placing the “droppings” in the plastic bag, and scooping some more.

Ray?  Ray stayed inside and watched her.  “Ugh.  No way I’m doing that,” he informed me.  “Then I guess you’re not getting your new Lego set anytime soon, huh?” I told him.  “Nope,” he replied, completely unaffected by my use of the not-so-subtle sibling rivalry.

When our friend Kristen came over- very pregnant and with her very large dog to play with ours- she was most admiring.  “Wow, I’ll pay you $20 to clean up my yard,” she offered.

“Ray?” I asked, extending the offer to him to boost his fund considerably.

“Ugh, no way,” he repeated from the morning.

“Ok!” Elizabeth accepted.

When I think of my child who gags at bad smells, who HATES being around slimy textures, and who really is not fond of hard physical work, I realize just how motivated she really must be.

I can’t help but roll my eyes- and be really proud of her at the same time.  Elizabeth is prepared to go through an awful lot of “Ugh’s” for these Uggs.


  1. Skinner’s always right about MO, isn’t he?

    Comment by autismmommytherapist — January 25, 2011 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  2. Heh. Speaking of BF, I take his name in vain in an essay on nature vs. nurture, linked in my right column.

    We required our children to earn & save in order to have a Nintendo 68. Excellent learning with that – complimented our many ‘no’ responses to other responses. Like to clothing I wouldn’t let her wear. I can’t be too critical in the clothing area. I’ve made known I am fashion-challenged to my children. We all do the best we can to dress appropriately. 😉

    Our oldest is like yours – long history of being able to save money – but also with a talent for negotiating. Our youngest is like yours, too – money burned a hole in her pocket. But she has gotten better, and we had her take a summer job a full 2 summers earlier than her older brother. Lots of limitations on how she spends (very little of) it as 90% is saved for college. Woohoo! So it gets better, I think.

    We are near-hard-wired for a HP World visit – the whole family being Potter-philes. Does not matter on any other measure of comparison with any other park – the theme is the sole reason. 😉

    Comment by Barbara — January 25, 2011 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

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