One day, walking into the store with Ellen, I had a flash of inspiration.
Me: "You can choose any vegetable you want, and I will buy it for you."
Ellen: "Any one I want?! Yay, yay, yay! I want broccoli! Broccoli! Broccoli! Broccoli! Yay, I love broccoli!"
(I know this wouldn't work with every kid. It's some fluke of crazy luck that it worked so well with mine.)
Today I remembered my little trick again. Adam chose baby carrots:
And Ellen chose baby bell peppers:
They shouted exuberantly as they were digging them out of the bags and ripping into them as soon as we got into the car.
When we got home, I said, "Adam, please help me bring in the groceries."
Adam: "You bring in the groceries all by yourself, and I'll let you have some carrots."
Then Ellen came to me holding a little red plastic bin. She said, "I'm going to have a pepper seed sale!"
Me: "You're going to sell pepper seeds?"
Ellen: "Yes, so people can buy them, and plant them in their garden! Do you want to buy some, mom?"
Me: "Well, I think it's a little late to start peppers from seed this year, and I'm not sure those would grow. And we already have some pepper plants in our garden."
Ellen: "I mean, to save them for next year! It's a great time of year to buy pepper seeds to save to plant next spring."
Me: "How much are you planning to sell them for?"
Ellen: "Four quarters or one dollar."
Me: "For how many seeds?"
Ellen: (Holds up six fingers.)
Harvesting more product:
Waiting for customers:
The empty bin is to hold money. ("Mom, I am going to make so much money!") I can hear her out there calling, "Pepper seeds for sale! Four quarters or one dollar!"
I almost forgot to add: while we were in the store, I overheard Adam say, "Ellen, you're what's called a 'sidekick.'" And, "If I die, you take over driving the ship."