Monday, November 03, 2008

Princess Exploits The Proletariat Like A Good Little Capitalist

Princess, fat with some income that she earned by lending her savings money to my business at interest, has decided to outsource her chores.

I've been constantly on Princess' case to get her to change the papers in her rabbit cage regularly. Nag, nag, nag; didn't work. Paying her to do it didn't work. So today I remind her that it's bunny cage day... and she says "OK, I'll call K------."

K------ is Princess' friend from the neighborhood who doesn't get much in the way of allowance and wants to earn some holiday money. K------ has evidently agreed to do the chore and split the money with Princess.

My daughter has subcontracted out her chores.

Honestly, I don't know what to do. The whole point of getting Princess a cage full of bunnies was to teach her responsibility for a living creature, and outsourcing the responsibility kind of negates that. On the other hand, we have been trying to teach Princess about the economy, and this is the sort of thing that will make for a great autobiographical vignette when she's 28 and head of her own capitalist empire: "When I was a kid I didn't do my chores, I just hired the neighborhood kids to do them for me for less." And K------ could certainly use the money.

I guess what feels most disconcerting about this is that I have the feeling, for the first time with one of my kids, that I've created something bigger than myself. I know that's weird because I obviously did not create my daughter except in the most literal sense of having birthed her body.