Anna June is a diligent little worker, when she wants to be. Sometimes, I sweeten the deal by resorting to cash rewards. She's awfully young, but it seems to work.
She'd been helping me a lot last week. She cheered me on and helped clean the den - as a surprise for her dad, who was out shopping. She helped me pick up when I asked her. She assisted in cooking. In other words, she was extremely good.
One night, there were a couple of items that I could NOT find in our junk-filled house. One of them was her dad's weekly pill box, which I had so carefully filled with his vitamins and prescriptions. I knew it was somewhere, but I could not figure it out. I had dinner to cook, so I offered AJ a reward for the pill box of $1. I also offered a $1 bounty on our giant screwdriver, which also was in the house somewhere - I just knew.
Wouldn't you know it - she found both items. She was quite proud of herself.
The problem is that we're a very cashless household, and I didn't actually have $2 in cash to give her, and neither did Ben, who, incidentally, had made no such promises. I had a $10, but I'd have to break it.
Four-year-olds do not like to wait.
I told her that after dinner I would go somewhere and get change. Perhaps I could interest her in a dessert? Actually, yes, I could - she remembered being told no to Blue Bell ice cream bars because we already had mini ice cream sandwiches, but when I said "dessert", she knew EXACTLY what she wanted. She was pretty mad I left her at home to be bathed because she wanted to see to it that I knew exactly which ice cream bars she meant, but I assured her I did.
I was in line at Publix to get the bars, and my friend Sara from work was right in front of me. I love Sara. We had lunch last month. We're on a committee together. We have the exact same car, except mine has a Packers sticker on the back. So while I was chatting with my car twin, the cashier handed me the change. I wasn't paying any attention - she gave me a $5 and a $1.
I got home and I told Anna June that she had been so helpful the past week that in addition to giving her the $2 I had promised her, I'd give her a bonus of $3, and I handed her the $5 bill. I didn't tell her that I literally was blabbing on and on about the new baby and Christmas and school and such that I completely forgot the point of my errand, to get 2 one dollar bills.
She learned the word bonus. It's a good word to know.
AJ was very excited. When we went shopping on Saturday, she carried around her money in her wallet, in her purse. She didn't spend it, opting to spend her gift card money instead.
On Sunday, when I was out of town, Ben and AJ shopped at Big Lots, and AJ insisted that she buy this bracelet for me.
It cost almost her entire bonus (less about 64 cents). AJ called me when I was on the way home to tell me that she had a present for me. When I got home, it was wrapped, with a bow.
What a wonderful, jingly, heartfelt gift! I joked that maybe I should go out of town more often. It's varying shades of purple, my favorite color.
Thing I love: silver bracelet
Why I love it: AJ bought it with her very own money
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