Monday, July 23, 2007

When life hands you lemons...

The kids have been begging to have a lemonade stand. Convinced that their entrepreneurial skills would net them big bucks, they could not be contained. So I bought the lemons, a citrus juicer, and a poster for their sign. It was hilarious listening to them discuss the price point at which they would sell. Chase was adamant that they would make more money if they charged at least two dollars per glass (this is the same kid that wanted to sell his artwork on the street for 20 bucks a piece. Clearly, he targets the more affluent market). McKay felt sure that no one could afford lemonade at such a stiff price, and convinced Chase to come down to about 25 cents each (and yes, husband was so very proud of their fine economic analysis).

With price point set, signs made, lemons juiced and sugared, their business began. It was agonizing for me to watch from the house as they eagerly searched all sides of the neighborhood for a customer. When I couldn't stand it any longer, I grabbed a bunch of quarters and headed for the curb; buying, of course, one cup for about three dollars. In truth, their lemonade wasn't actually half bad.

I thanked them and went back into the house, resuming my perch of peeking through the window, praying someone would come along - thirsty and with a pocketful of quarters.

After a few more minutes without customers, I headed out again. Oh, I was just so thirsty, I told them. Could I please have another glass of this delicious drink?

Hannah was going with some friends to a farm, and pretty soon they pulled up with a van full of thirsty customers. My friend Maren kindly bought each of her girls a lemonade as we got Hannah buckled and settled in the car. Being the type of person that I am (you know, the annoying kind that doesn't like anybody to pay for them or their kids), I handed Maren some money for Hannah's admission to the farm, lunch, etc. She refused it (being the annoying type of person that I also am, you know, the one that wants to pay for things and won't accept any money from others). We did the traditional back-and-forth game of No, you take it. No, I don't need it. You take it. Just keep it.

Maren solved that problem by donating the money to the lemonade stand when I wasn't looking.

A few minutes later, the boys come tearing into the house, "Mom! Look how much money we're making! We're doing AWESOME!" (It also helped that Chase was going up and down the street asking neighbors and contractors if they were thirsty).

So if you add that extra "donation" to the lemons, citrus juicer, cups, and poster I had to buy...this lemonade stand actually cost me like $40. But hey, like they say, when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.

Next time I'll just make sure not to buy all of it myself.


Amanda said...

Sounds like fun! My son is convinced that he could make a bundle selling slices of watermelon. Not so sure about that. Instead, when we had a yard sale I let them sell soda. They did pretty considering that I put in the money to buy the soda and $5 in quarters for change. It was a good experience for him though, as I am sure it was for your kids!

Bridget said...

That is so cute! What a great mom you are. 40 bucks for some great memories. I am betting you'll have much more to come in that midwest August heat.

Marty: said...

My kids went from house to house selling rocks they had painted with water colors. In other words, wet rocks. Luckily we had a neighbor who needed some. Then there was the time Pete sold used fireworks he'd picked up off the street to his equally business-like friend. I'm very impressed they made a dime!

Kimberly and Devon said...

Whatever keeps them busy and having fun, right? Sounds like a good $40 well spent!

Anonymous said...

Grandma would love a lemonade!!!!!!

rp said...

Hi, STIE. That's funny! My boy has a hard time taking money for anything he wants to sell. We periodically go through his toy box to cull the collection, and sell his castoffs at the school flea market. He consistently undersells himself, then spends the proceeds immediately on someone else's cast offs.

Holly said...

I love how they negotiated the price and how you peeked out from the windows without them seeing--so sweet!
Definitely worth your "investment".