This past Saturday Rob took the big kids on an outing and discovered (while taking them out of the car afterward) that someone had taken scissors and cut about one third of the way through both Caleb and Camille's seat belts. Apparently the car first aid kit had a pair of scissors in them (I say had because we cannot find said scissors. I have practically torn the car apart in my search...my guess is that the perpetrator got rid of the evidence!) and that was a little too tempting for a six year old sitting by himself in the back of the van. The good news is that our car fits seven people so with a little shuffling everyone has a working seat belt to use until we get those two replaced.
The bad news is that replacement parts (just the parts, mind you) are more than $250.
So we have decided that Caleb needs to work off part of the cost of the new seat belts. I have made a list of jobs that he is capable of doing and assigned a monetary value to each job. He is earning money in nickel increments, with extra bonus quarters for being particularly nice to his sister, behaving at school and other jobs well done. So far he has earned $1.20. (We are only having him earn $20 this way.)
It's worked out great so far, once I ignore the grumbling and remind the kid it's either this or replace the seat belts using the money we'd normally spend on his Christmas presents. I figure by the time he's done he'll get so good at loading the dishwasher and vacuuming the floor, I may never have to do those jobs again! Maybe I should teach him to clean the bathroom too...