Not An Exercise In Futility

, , , , , , , | Related | February 16, 2018

(One spring, my ten-year-old brother starts campaigning for a puppy. My parents tell him, “We’ll see,” until summer vacation, at which point they show him a large chart.)

Brother: “What’s this?”

Mom: “This is your puppy earning chart. If you want that dog, you’re going to earn him.”

Brother: “Like, with my allowance?”

Dad: “No, with work. Dogs are a lot of work, and we’re not getting one until you prove to us that you will take care of him. We’ll help, of course, but you want the dog, so you have to do the work.”

Mom: “This chart has two parts. One for exercise, and one for chores. Every day this summer that you go out and walk around the neighborhood, at least a mile, you get an exercise check. And every day that you do your chores without us having to nag you, you get a chore check.”

Brother: “Because… dogs need walking! And feeding, and playtime, and stuff!”

Dad: “Exactly. So, if you get both checks on fifty or more days this summer, you’ve proved yourself, and you get what you want. Deal?”

Brother: “Deal!”

(“Treasure” the golden retriever came home with my brother the following fall.)

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