My daughter, DQ, is in summer school this year. I don't think it's as rigorous a day as it used to be. She has learned a new skill, having nothing to do with education. She came home on Monday making one of these.
You remember these don'tcha? Little keychains or bracelets made out of plastic lace?
I thought 'Oh, this is great.' I told her and Miss Thang I would buy them some of their own lace and some floss so they could make more of these. I mean what mom in her right mind wouldn't love a cheap craft that keeps a child occupied for hours? Plus DQ felt a sense of accomplishment when she was done. She did a really good job.
She informed me, later that day, that she needed .25 cents to give to the girl who gave her the supplies. OK, sounds fair to me. She went off to school Tuesday with her .25 cents and her completed keychain.
Tuesday she gets off the bus with another set of laces, working on another key chain.
ME: "So do you need another quarter to give to your friend?"
DQ: "No" as she is busy weaving while she walks.
ME: "Well what happened to the one you made yesterday?"
DQ: "I gave it back to her."
ME: "Why did you do that?"
DQ: "Because she wants them back. We are in a club, and we all make these. Then when we are done, we give them to her and she gives us $10 in fake money."
I'm thinking OK, they have some little reward system set up, how cute.
Yesterday she comes home with yet another set of laces. After dinner we were out on the front porch, and she is busy at her weaving.
I asked "What do you do with your $10 fake money?"
DQ: "I don't know. She just gives it to us."
ME: "Well what does she do with all the keychains?"
DQ: "She is going to sell them. She said she wants to make 10 thousand dollars doing this."
That's when it hit me. This kid has got a group of girls making these for her so she can make a profit. Which wouldn't bother me, accept that the laborers get nothing in return.
I had to explain to DQ what this kid was pulling. I told her she would not be doing anymore, and she could take the unfinished lace back to the girl at school.
Then I promptly walked into my studio and found a weaving loom, cotton crochet thread and some beads. I explained to DQ that if she wanted to make keychains or braceletts she could do it with her own materials and sell them herself. At this point I was pretty mad. I told her she could be the girls competition. And because of all the things I already have to do these, DQ's items would be better than the plastic lace.
I taught her how to do "snake on a pole" thread braceletts, which she practiced last night. Since she doesn't have school today, I am going to show her how to make a bohemian bead bracelett on a loom. I predict that by the time school starts again on Mon. DQ will have a few items to take to school if she chooses.
I am thankful to the girl for peaking DQ's interest in this sort of thing. But I am pissed that she tried to use my kid as slave labor.