Friday, April 21, 2006

Putting in overtime at the pretend bookstore

Children need to see their parents at work; they need, at first, to play at the work they see their parents doing, and then they need to work with their parents. It does not matter so much that this working together should be what is called 'quality time' but it matters a great deal that the work done should have the dignity of economic value - Wendell Berry (from What Are People For?)

Last night I was home alone with the youngest children. I suppose I could have found a few moments to sit at the computer and work. But why do that when I can watch them work? Two boxes of unlisted books were sitting there, as tantalizing as boxes of Playmobil dolls. So I let them have at it.

Not once did I have to leave the chair and browse the books on my own. Over the course of two hours each book was hand delivered to me, one by one, with a sales pitch. "Your husband might like this one." Or, "this one has special prayers just for you." There was a pile of "listed books," which were off limits, of course (they have learned well). And a pile of "bad books." They saved the four purple books for the very end. With some reluctance they agreed to sell all of them to me as a group lot for $45.

The terms of sale at the pretend bookstore: debit cards are allowed if purchasing a minimum of three bags of books. Otherwise "paper money" is required and they'll be happy to search your purse for you to find the cash (I declined this gracious offer). They'll also carry the books to your vehicle for you.

As you can see, there isn't a dress code at the pretend bookstore. Pajamas are allowed. As are oversized big sister flip flops. The pretend bookstore doesn't have set hours but it becomes obvious when it's time to quit for the day. Last night it was when the youngest took a pen and wanted to write in one of the books and would not accept drawing paper as a substitute. But they'll be open again soon, I was told.

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Blogger Mimi said...

they'll be happy to search your purse for you to find the cash (I declined this gracious offer).
Tee hee.

This is so cool, and treasured moments indeed. Good luck on their venture! Grin.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Kittyn said...

Oh, cute!!!!!

10:26 PM  

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