Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From The Mouth Of Babes

Cheap Child Labor

Last weekend, we took the ‘munchkin’ for another day. The munchkin is our grandson, Connor. For a look back at the first weekend that we had the little tyke, check out “The Teachable Moment” from last month.

This time around we were set to teach Connor the value of physical labor and hard work. He was going to learn how to mow my lawn. At long last, I was promoted to supervisor of the yard and I had a minon to do the dirty work for me, or so I thought.

Prior to his arrival, we had to go and pick him up from his parents house, who live about 30 miles away. We had my mother-in-law (MIL) in tow as well because we were running some errands with her. She lives in a retirement community.

After picking up Connor, we had an early dinner at a local oriental restaurant, then took the MIL home and headed back to our place to start yard maintenance 101. As we pulled into the retirement home where the MIL lives, the following conversation took place between the MIL (who is 85) and Connor (who is 8).

Connor: “Grandma GeGe, why don’t YOU own a car?”

Grandma GeGe: “I can’t really afford one Connor, they are pretty expensive.”

Connor: “oh”

Connor: “Thats because you are poor!”

At this point the wife and I just looked at each other and cringed. The MIL just looked at Connor and smiled.

My MIL never planned on living as long as she has and she made no attempts to plan for her retirement. She has no savings and lives off of social security only. My wife and I have to help with her rent and expenses. No one else will.

About a year ago, my MIL fell pray to scam artists that robbed her of over $1,000 with the promise that she was a multi-million dollar lottery winner. You can read more about that episode in the web log “The Wolves Among Us”. It was because of this episode that we had to take control over what was left of her bank accounts and take away her car and Internet access.

As we dropped my MIL off at her apartment and left the retirement community parking lot, my wife and I turned to Connor in the back seat.

“We need to have a little chat Connor.”

On the way home, was another teachable moment about honesty, respect and not always telling the truth.

We have a long way to go with this kid.