Friday, June 01, 2007

Trading His Soul for a 12 oz. Gatorade

Freelancing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I have to be fairly creative in order to finish projects to earn a few bucks while mothering my children at home, full-time. Today we headed to McDonalds for breakfast. Not because I’m a slacker-mom who doesn’t care that her children eat a kazillion grams of saturated fat in one meal (although I am that too sometimes), but because I have an editing project that needs to be finished by 5pm today. Funny how my children can entertain themselves for hours on end at Micky D’s playland (except, of course, today).

So after Zack pushed a little girl FOR THE SECOND TIME, I rounded my crew up to leave (after spending maybe 20 minutes on my project) only to discover that Kaleb had filled his water cup with Gatorade. “It’s water, Mom. It just looks like Gatorade.” What am I, stupid? Because this Gatorade, or should I say magic water, was electric blue! And all this after a fairly thorough conversation on why we don’t fill our water cups with juice because MOMMY DIDN’T PAY FOR IT! It’s stealing, and just bad karma.

So I force Kaleb to a McDonalds’ cash register where I make him tell the nice lady that he filled his water cup with Gatorade.

Blank look. “That’s okay,” she finally says.

“No,” I say. “It’s not. We need to pay for it.”

Another blank look. And then no answer.

“She’s trying to teach the kid honesty,” the lady next to her says. “Charge her for one small drink.”

$1.06. That’s how much Kaleb is currently indebted to me. Mother. Moral Compass. Guardian of His Soul. Sheesh, this job gets harder the older they get. I know, I sound just a tad sanctimoneious and even more melodramatic, but is anyone else overwhelmed by the gravity of this task? Raising moral children.

So now Kaleb must do extra chores at a quarter a piece. And once he earns a buck 25, he can pay me back for the 12 oz. Gatorade. He’s already taken the food storage downstairs. Next he cleans the bathroom (Mom types as she emits evil laughter. Muu-ah-ah-ah).


Erin said...

The first time Eli "stole" (just a couple of months ago), he and Jason went to Checker to get car parts. Eli just grabbed a candy bar on the way out. When Jason pointed out it was stealing, Eli started BAWLING he felt so bad. He was too sad to even go in and help Dad return it. Now he just scavenges in his piggy bank everytime we leave the house to make sure he has money to buy the odd gumball.

Like a Star said...

Love the post... But I can't help but be disappointed in the McD cashier who didn't grasp the concept of what you were talking about. It is like people don't know how to be honest sometimes... I have a brother-in-law who usese the self-serve kiosks at the movies to buy senior-discounted movie tickets. What is he saivng like 2 bucks?? I always get made when we go to the movies with him and he makes fun of us for buygin full price tickets.. I may sounds pious, too. But, it's refreshing to hear about a mom who gives a darn.. we must be kindreds!

Anonymous said...

Is it stealing if you go and refill your diet coke before you leave the restaurant???

Anonymous said...

It's only stealing if they don't allow refills. :-) I never frequent such cheap and petty establishments. If a restaurant tries to gauge me for diet coke I go buy my saturated fat somewhere else.