Ruth also came across a horse right before Christmas that is just the right size for her dolls to ride. She needed it, or so she said. She had some money in her piggy bank from her birthday and thought it was enough to get the horse. But, I wanted her to wait a while, to see if she really still needed it. She never wavered, but continued to ask about the horse and to wonder aloud when she could get it. Finally, I gave in. When I took her to the store, she found that she had remembered the price wrong or had looked at the wrong price to begin with. She didn't miss a beat, but immediately piped up and asked if she could wash my van to earn the difference. I was impressed with her desire to earn the money for it, rather than for just asking me to give it to her. As it was the last horse in the store, I let her buy it on "credit." I paid the difference, but she would not be able to have the horse until she had earned it. She thought this was fair. She started on the van as soon as we returned from the store, but her efforts soon turned into a fiasco and had to be put on hold. Then the weather kind of turned on us and getting the van washed began to look less and less promising--but of no fault of Ruth's. Today, I decided that I better figure out a different way for her to earn the money, so I had her do some things that I never seem to find the time for, as well as some things I just didn't want to do. She cleaned all the glass doors on the inside and outside and thoroughly scrubbed all the cabinet doors/drawers in the kitchen. She also cleaned off all the counters and the table, and unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher twice. She was so pleased when she finished up and I presented her with her horse. And I believe she will take good care of this horse and will think often of all she had to do to earn it.
It is important to Jeff and I to teach our kids the value of hard work and the concept that you don't get something for nothing. We are very proud of Ruth for all her hard work and for her entrepreneurial spirit. And she is really proud of herself, too!