The friend turned out to be Breanna Tabor -- who is always, always a treat. Like Jenna, Bre has been part of our family for so long we forget she isn't ours.
At one point, I asked Alison to empty and then fill the diswasher.
"That's not in my contract," she informed me. "I only have to empty the diswasher."
I gave her a sideways look and reminded her that I'd just made her pancakes. "Just kidding," she said, getting to the chore.
"You have a contract with your parents,?!" Bre asked, wide-eyed.
Alison does have a list of chores she is to do in exchange for her allowance. Jeff routinely threatens to take away a dollar when she isn't doing what he thinks she should -- or when she is doing things he thinks she shouldn't. But we don't actually have a chore contract.
But now that I think about it... I do have a contract around here somewhere from the Ogden children who decided one day they should be paid for their blog appearances... Funny how I can't remember those terms.
"I wish I got an allowance but I don't like to do dishes," Bre said. "I do laundry sometimes."
Alison, industrious now that she had an audience, said, "Well it's not about liking to do stuff. You do stuff and you get money."
I informed her that I had toilets that I would be happy to let her clean and I even offered to pay her.
"I'll do it for two more dollars a week," Alison countered.
I countered with 50-cents a piece. She did the math and recognized it was two bits short of her bid.
"I could do it for $1.50," she agreed.
"Have you ever actually cleaned a toilet?" I asked. "I'm not sure you know how."
"Sure. You spray in the stuff and let it change color and then you swish around that little squiggly brush and then you flush," she said. "I learned how on TV."
I sent her off to negotiate with her father. He's taken it under consideration but like me, he doubts her zeal for the task. I suspect he'll have a counter offer to her raise.
And just for the record, my toilets remain unscrubbed as of this writing.
In other news, Jeff is nearing the end of his fantasy baseball season and is on the brink of finishing in the money in both of them. One year, it bought us a bigger flat-screen TV. Another year it was diamonds for Christmas. He's in it to win it every second of day.
His fantasy football league draft occurred here last week, and I've made the potential mistake of telling him that I've joined a league myself.
The truth of the matter is that I just want to hang out with the girls in the league and I'm very excited that they asked me to join. I don't really care about football or have the foggiest notion of how to participate in a draft. But I'm super excited about getting together with them.
If only you could learn this crap, I mean stuff, by osmosis. Jeff can wax on for hours about it, and while I do my best to pay attention, I have, on occasion, drifted off while he explained the nuances in excrutiatingly precise, I mean in fabulous detail.
He was hoping to come with me for the draft. Then he offered to teach me some stuff in advance of it.
So far I've dodged this instruction like "Sweetness" in his hey day. (Yes, I asked Jeff for a great example of a running back (I DID know the term) with made skills in the elusiveness category. I did, however, suggest that Walter Peyton was who I needed.)
My football draft coincides with Jeff's return to playing basketball, but I think if I asked him, he'd wear a wire and speak into my ear ala MacKenzie and Will on The Newsroom even as he ran up and down the court.
This morning he said he was dozing in bed, doing the math about the various things he could teach me about how to effectively participate in a draft -- apparently there are multiple and complex strategies depending on how your draft is conducted, digital vs. paper, etc.. -- compartd to my level of patience and interest.
I think he decided that any time he invested in me would be a negative return on his investment.
He's probably right.
Regardless, I'm going to have fun. I might even put my listening ears on when he talks about his own league. Maybe if he paid me......