In an attempt to motivate Birdie to help us clean the house this weekend, we offered to pay her per room. The more rooms she cleaned, the more money she made. Plus, each room was worth a different amount depending on how much effort she put in. If she picked up the room kind of half ass-like, it wouldn't be worth much. If she; however, put everything away, put clothes in the hamper and vacuumed, it would be worth much, much more.
So the negotiations commenced.
Howie: "I'll pay you...um...five dollars for everything."
Birdie: *laughing in his face* "I want twenty."
Howie: "Yeah right. I'll give you eight."
Birdie: "Eight. TEEN!"
Howie: "Look. I'm not a rich man."
Birdie: "But I bet you have twenty dollars."
Now, this is the first time we've ever even offered to give her any type of allowance. She's always been expected to contribute to the house simply because she lives here. And we feed her. So, I have NO idea how she learned to barter so well but let me tell you. If I ever go car shopping again, I'm taking her with me.
Howie: "Fine. I'll give you ten."
Birdie: "Done! But you'll pay me eighteen if I scrub the floors on my hands and knees."
I'll tell you what, the girl did an amazing job. She picked up the playroom and mopped the floor. She cleaned her sister's room, made her bed and put all her toys away. She cleaned her own room, even carefully sorting through things and throwing them away without provocation. That, my friends is the equivalent of her cutting through her chest, ripping out her heart, spitting on it and tossing it in the garbage.
She picked up clothes and organized her brother's room. She dug things out from under her bed and tidied up the family room. It only took her about an hour but we were astonished at how much she accomplished during that time!
Birdie: "Okay, so where's my eleven dollars."
Howie: "I have six dollars cash but I can give you the rest when we go to the store."
Birdie: "I know you had more money than that this morning."
Howie: "Yes, but I used some of it to buy a tool box at a tag sale a few minutes ago."
Birdie: "How could you go out and BUY something when you owe me money!?!"
Howie: "Don't worry you'll get your eleven dollars."
Birdie: "But now you owe me THIRTEEN dollars."
Howie and I both thought that her bargaining was a cute thing in the beginning but at this point she started to scare us. We looked at each other with wide eyes. He gulped and I bit my bottom lip. The way she was looking at him, with her hands on her hips and her eye brows raised, suggested that at any moment she was going to whip out a butcher knife, cut off one of Howie's pinky fingers and threaten to take a finger an hour until he paid up!
Howie: "I'll stop at an atm before we go to the store today."
Birdie: "Well, okay. But you better not forget."
As she walked past us in the hallway I said, "man, you better get your shit together and get her the cash soon or else tomorrow morning we might wake up with a dead horse's head in our bed. Or maybe she will abduct Bear and hold her ransom until we deliver the cash."
Howie just left. To take Birdie to the ATM. No doubt with a gun in his back.