I have had the hardest time getting Isaac motivated to do
his chores.  Harper Lee was always
driven by the idea of doing a good job and of making an allowance each week,
but Isaac seems to care very little about either.  At least, he did until about a month ago.  After a trip to Wal-Mart, my least
favorite place on Earth, he asked, “Why does Harper Lee always get to buy
things when she wants them?”

“Because Harper Lee works,” I answered.  “If you want things, you have to be
willing to work.  If you don’t, you
don’t get anything.  That’s just
the way the world is.”

After careful consideration, he decided that taking out the
trash, feeding the animals, hauling out the compost and cleaning his room were
small prices to pay for the possibility of owning even more Legos.  After a month of work, he had saved up
$6.00 and decided on Monday that it was time to go shopping for some

He was really excited, and I tried to caution him that $6.00
might not cover the cost of what he really wanted, but he would not be
deterred.  Unfortunately, however,
most Lego sets are very expensive, particularly the ones with massive space
ships and Lego men to man those ships. 
I was afraid our shopping trip was going to be a complete bust.

But that’s when we saw the inexpensive rack at the very back
of the toy section.  “Hey, look,” I
said, “here are some Army men like you said you wanted.  And they’re only $3.00.”  Things began to look up.  When it was all said and done, Isaac
had selected a set of 32 small, green plastic Army men, a “finger bowling” set
with miniature pins and balls, and, the best of all, a Whoopee cushion.

“I can’t believe I got ALL of this for less than $6.00!” he

“Yeah,” I said, “that was some smart shopping.”

And it was.  The
Whoopee cushion alone has provided endless entertainment.  Isaac is 100% boy, and who can resist
the hilarity of disgusting pooting sounds?  His sister has been equally enthusiastic about the gross
toy, and I have to admit, it did make me laugh more than I have in quite a
while, particularly when they lured Rob to his dining room chair and tricked
him into sitting down on it.  Maybe
Wal-Mart does have some redeeming qualities.  And besides, if Isaac is finally learning the value of a
little hard work, then I can tolerate a few fake farts and squeals of delighted