My little one, “Barb Marley”, is a huge fan of the whole “Lemonade Stand” gig. She loves to set up shop, well, allow me to rephrase that— she loves it when I help to set up lemonade-shop as she sits out front hollering down the streets “LEMONADEEEEE STANDDD!!!! ONEEEEEE DOLLLARRR!!!!! GET YOUR LEMONADE!!!”
My husband came home a couple nights ago and told me a story he had heard on NRP about two little girls, ages 7 and 8, whose lemonade stand was shut down because they didn’t have a sellers permit.
Hey, I get that we have to follow the law. I am required to drive a certain speed on the freeway, and when I forget to do so (which is often), I am fined with an astronomical ticket. Those are lessons to learn and rules one should follow. No urinating in public, check. No vandalizing, check. I’ve got most of this shit down, and furthermore, the majority of it makes sense.
However, shutting down a lemonade stand because a 7 year old doesn’t have a sellers permit? Are you fucking kidding me? Can a 7 year old even apply for a seller permit?
In today’s society, it is DAMN hard to teach our kids a drop of responsibility. I’ll admit, I do a lot for my daughter. She lives a very fortunate life. However, life is really fast-paced and, honestly speaking, some days it is easier to send her on her way with the iPad so I can get some work done or something accomplished around the house.
However, for me personally, I find it extremely important to stop every once in a while and teach my young one, “Barb,” a thing or two about responsibility. I’ve explained that the home we live in is paid for by the work that I do at my computer all day and the work that her dad, “Barb-the-Dude,” does all day also contributes to the things we are fortunate enough to have. She understands that shoes cost money, food costs money, that electricity costs money, etc. She seems to get the idea that we, her parents, WORK, so we can provide her with the life she has; food in her belly, a roof over her head, etc. Some days I think she hears my words in Russian, but other days I believe that my words/lessons do penetrate.
A while back, we started doing lemonade/fruit stands here and there. It’s a shit ton of work towing all the crap outside, setting up a sign that the wind repeatedly knocks over into the neighbors front yard, and trying to explain to your child that you cannot drink and eat all the snacks that you plan on SELLING.
However, it’s a hell of a lot of fun, and, again, it’s an important and a useful lesson. We set up shop not to long ago in the back of my car to protect ourselves from the sun and discussed ways we could use the money she could raise. At first, her only idea was something for herself. I went on to explain the idea of raising money for OTHER people. She seemed interested. The kid has a heart of gold and we sat and chatted for a bit. I brought up our friend Alan who is a man less fortunate than us and lives outside of the gas station near our home. I could see the wheels spinning in her head as she clutched the dollar bills tightly in her tiny hand. She mentioned buying him a house with the three dollars she had made by that point, “maybe a sleeping bag?” she questioned. I could see a small shift in her lemonade-stand-mentality: “How can this benefit ME?” turned to “What could I buy for Alan with this money?” The conversation continued and I explained that there are a lot more people out there like Alan that could benefit from her “bucks” as she calls them.
My husband’s sharing of the two young kids who were shut down (and apparently others as well) really hit me in the gut. We are at a point where we don’t have the manpower to help with issues that are actually needed, yet we can take the time to shut down two kids selling freaking lemonade? I mean, really? Health and safety violations? It’s fucking Minute Made! I’m about 4000 times more terrified of the meat served at the Red Dragon Chinese Take Out down the road than I am of a cup of lukewarm lemonade.
My young one, “Barb Marley,” overheard my husband telling me the NRP story he had heard while driving around during his work day and came running to us asking three million questions:
“WAIT. Will I go to jail if I do another lemonade stand?” she asked.
“Maybe if you set up shop out front of any police stations or government buildings, yeah.” I responded.
“THEY HAVE KID JAIL!?” she screeched back.
“NOOOO. We are kidding. No one will take you to jail for your lemonade stand. Apparently, just like over-using the water from hose in the front yard, we’d likely be fined.” I explained to my miniature entrepreneur.
Well, Barb had A LOT to say about that. A LOT to say. She asked me if we could make a video and I wasn’t initially planning on posting it as I have about 4000 Barb videos in my phone, but this one was too good not to share. In all honesty, for going completely off the cuff with the details she knew, I’m pretty proud of my girl.
So, I present to you—Barb Marley’s Lemonade Stand Disappointment:
As you can see, it appears that some of the lemonade/fruit stands we’ve done and our little chats about how we can help people with the money we raise did penetrate her sweet 7-year-old brain.
Shutting down a lemonade stand? Come on.
Do you do lemonade stands with your kids?
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