as i have mentioned here previously, my 3rd child has had an official status change from hella to ella. once we eliminated milk and a few other things from her diet, her fussiness has changed substantially. we have made some other good strides in the health department with her and feel like things are getting under control. (no morning vomit sessions since march, this is a record for us) anyway. it has been like watching a summer blockbuster as her impulse control has gotten so much better. we have seen this person emerge and i'm telling you what, i have no need to invest in anything but her for retirement.
she has discovered the joy of earning a dollar. her favorite thing to do is jobs. i was not paying up to her standards and soon she flew the coop on any extra job i could offer her and took to the streets. well, the sidewalks really. and if i was being truly honest, it started with doors. she took to the neighbors doors. selling. selling anything she could pack in to the old red wagon i rescued from my grandparents house. at first it was rocks gently bathed in fresh picked grass. she had to learn her selling points quick and also, her negotiating skills. for the month of june, she trudged up and down the cul-de-sac with her wagon of rocks and grass, pointing out all of the strong points a rock has to offer. when asked how much it cost she would reply for free or for a quarter.
after many a jar full of quarters, she took to pictures. drawing all day long, getting her inventory volumes up high enough to cover the refrigerators of the whole neighborhood. after this venture, i had to squash the door to door solicitation. you can sell from the sidewalk only was the newly implemented strategy. i personally was hoping the city wasn't driving by too often because for sure they would make us get a home business license. apparently she is hard to resist.
my kids jumped on the duct tape bandwagon. quick, fast. and the flower duct tape pen soon consumed summer days and the selling took over summer nights. orders were placed and soon there was a wait list for the duct tape inventory. ella took her sisters lead and became the head salesman. while grayce bustled away making the "flowers" ella took to yelling in the streets, peddling the inventory.
her voice is something not to be missed. as in it's impossible to miss the demand in her voice. one evening some good women came to visit and wish me happy birthday thoughts. the visit was soon interrupted by a voice outside. "for your motha, for your fatha, for your sista. buy a ring now!" over and over at the top of her large lungs were things shouted with enthusiasm. the yelling grew so loud, the visit came to a halt and we all had tears running down our faces we were laughing so hard. she was all alone out there, an umbrella over her head and a nifty red table just her size with all of her prized inventory before her, and a small chair to rest her bones on. after the shouting continued for the better part of an hour, soon we had a line of cars waiting for a duct tape flower. she had quarters coming out her ears.
in between each venture, we had to set rules and boundaries. five dollars for a rock probably won't heed much income dear, you need to have reasonable prices. so she decided to have a line set when asked about pricing - for free or for a dollar. that has become her price. for anything. for the rings she made out of toilet paper last week, the duct tape "puppet" she made to sell, and the strange looking weapons she made from duct tape that she claimed were jewelry ( i swear they were "brass knuckles" duct tape style).
a few days in to our vacation, she took to the beach looking for valuable shells. she was on that beach from morning to evening. quickly making friends with the neighbors and everyone parked around our beach station. she was scouring for big shells, lizards, anything to make a buck. one day i was helping her in the bathroom when she took note of some lovely seashells on the back of the toilet. think pottery barn, urban outfitters, z gallerie for this beach house, unreal. something you would see on tv but never dream of being able to stay in. she caressed and obsessed over these shells, wondering if they had gathered those from the beach. on our drive home, a horrified older sister made an accusation that made these experienced parents laugh silly. "ella, you did NOT find that shell on the beach!!!" the shell had been neatly tucked away in her pocket, her pining heart now satisfied. she had a shell the size of her hand, and oh what money that would bring!!! now of course we laughed when she wasn't looking so she knew the serious nature of thievery. when she was told she needed to go up with dad to his office and take the shell back and apologize, a bit of an anxiety attack came on. she turned red and couldn't breath, she was screaming and pleading protest. gratefully, this was not our first child with an unattainable expectation level hanging over her head and we were able to compromise. she would let dad take the shell to work with him, and she would write her very best i'm sorry card and promise to never commit acts of theft ever again.
she is so determined. her life is a blur, she wakes up with plans, goes to bed with plans. the world is right in her little palm. she was at primary children's the other day (for her stomach) and the dr. was asking her about herself and her family. the conversation was beyond hilarious. she had no idea the ages of her siblings or when their birthdays were, no idea what they liked to do and frankly, it took prodding for her to tell dr. patel their names. and it hit me - here is my retirement plan. this is what a successful CEO must have. crazy drive with the whatever it takes to fire and hire people, the focus to get things done, and the energy that three healthy people have, but not a care in the world about people's details that don't concern her!