Outwitted By My Seven Year Old


Anyone who thinks there’s nothing to be learned from kid’s video games is wrong, and I can prove it.

We try to maintain strict rules about when the kids can play electronics. I admit, even then we’re more lenient than some, but we at least try to get the kids playing outside during the cooler parts of the morning and afternoon.

Especially since we’ve had turf put down.

We recently spent the equivalent of two year’s beer budget on grass for our yard so the kids can have somewhere nice to kick a ball and get the hell out of our hair.

So, as you can imagine, I was horrified just weeks later to discover nut grass growing up through the lovely fields of Wintergarden Couch and Jabiru Soft Leaf Buffalo.

Of course, my dislike of gardening is well documented so it wasn’t long before I came up with a brilliant plan to cope with this development.

“I tell you what,” I told my tribe of eager young sprogs one afternoon as I walked around pulling out the unwanted weeds, “I’ll pay you 10c for every weed you pull up.”

Scanning the yard I figured there were maybe two hundred weeds all up and, as I was in no doubt I was going to be doing most the work anyway, I budgeted a quick $10 max for the job.

I didn’t even have to look for a gold coin. If the kids heard me they didn’t acknowledge the fact and kept kicking the ball around me.

So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find Miss7 outside, in the yard, on her knees, pulling weeds.

Actually if I’m honest she wasn’t pulling weeds when I caught up with her, she was counting them.

“I’m up to 227!” she yelled up to me where I stood on the balcony. “How much is that, Dad?”

I nearly spat out my coffee.

It wasn’t just the 227 weeds which she’d neatly stacked on her left, it was the even bigger pile on her right which dropped my jaw to my chest.

“What are you doing?” I stammered. “Counting every leaf?”

“You said-”

“I know what I said,” I told her, “but I didn’t expect you to wait a week until they were big enough to count as a dollar each.”

“I tell you what,” said Miss7, fists on hips, thoughtful look on her face, the fate of my next carton of beer in her hands. “You can keep your money if you let me play on the iPod straight away instead of waiting for lunch time.”


So there you have it – with electronics children can learn to hone their negotiation skills. Who knew?

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It really does make a difference :) Thanks.

“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

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