This morning on our way to the pool, Andy, my oldest, started to ask me about all the jobs available to him so he could earn some extra money. (He has his eyes on some toys that simply cannot wait for Santa.) So I rambled off the usual list of cash producing chores: pulling weeds, dusting the baseboards, washing and vacuuming out the car…

Of course, all these menial tasks are good for mere chump change and he wanted serious dough. So we got to talking about “real” jobs, the kind that pay on the 1st and 15th of every month. He wanted to know how old you have to be, what were some of my first jobs, etc… That’s when my daughter, Kate, piped up from the back seat,

“Oh, I’m so glad I don’t ever have to get a real job!”

“Excuse me?” I asked. I was shocked.

“When you’re a teenager, how are you going to pay for things like going out to eat or going to the movies?” I wanted to know.

Now, her response I will quote verbatim. From the horse’s mouth folks:

“Duh! It’s called getting a date? You just walk around real cute and POOF! You get a date to take you to the movies! Problem solved.”

She’s six.

Well, I felt I had to douse that fire real quick with a lot of talk and platitudes about being a strong and independent woman. But she just nodded and gave me a patronizing smile like I must not have been cute enough during my prime to fill up a dance card much less a steady pipeline of dinner invitations.

Wow. Wow.

As you can see, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Luckily, this is nothing a toilet brush, some Comet and a few rags can’t fix.

“Oh, Ka-ate!”

Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate and the mother of four small children. You can read more of her daily columns on her blog at