Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slave Labor

Now I know why my parents used to always answer any complaints over house chores with, “Why do you think we had kids?” I have recently become a firm believer in child labor.

It all started over Christmas break. On the way home from my folks, I had a major whine fest about how I wear so many hats, have so many jobs, and can’t keep up with any of them. My thesis statement was basically that my life sucks. Ryan, in typical man style, took it upon himself to solve my problems when I really just wanted him to feel sorry for me. That’s ok, because it ended up being a very productive convo. I added my own “pretty please” requests and we came back home with a plan.

Let me just say, I married, and subsequently gave birth to, flippin’ rock stars! The new rule is that after supper no one stops working until the kitchen is clean. When we run out of kitchen jobs for the boys, we “dismiss” them to clean the living room. After the first night I figured that’d be pretty early. I don’t particularly enjoy being molested by the broom and Calvin’s wiping skills mirror the other kind of wiping he does on a daily basis – the kind that, until recently, required a “final wipe” by Mommy or Daddy. But, a few weeks in, our little laborers are actually getting pretty good. And the best part is that the kitchen (and most of the living room) is clean every night by 6:30. Heck to the yes! Sure beats the previous nightly schedule. Now I feel like I can truly enjoy my evening. Slave labor? Yes, ma’am!

When we first told the boys they’d be helping out a lot more, we were met with a bit of resistance. To provide visual evidence of why their current chores aren’t enough, I used my hands to show what a list of each person’s contributions would look like (Mommy’s hands were spaced much wider than Daddy’s until I realized I better not push my luck!) which inspired Reed to write a “chore list” for the whole fam, complete with little check boxes beside each item. I gotta hand it to him, Reed does more than I realized. On his list:

- Picksup
- Clensthedishwshr
- Gisulowis (didn’t know getting paid counts as a job – sign me up for THAT full time, please)
- Gostoosgool
- Snaks
- Hlpsdecirsomiuste (got no clue, but nice job doing it, Buddy!)
- Plas

Max’s list was cuter, but I kinda sorta put it in the compost trash bin (where 98% of our drawings and lists wind up eventually), and now I can’t read it on account of the coffee grounds and eggshells that I hid it under (been busted too many times!) I do remember that he “poops” (THAT, Reed can spell right!) and “vakums” (Hey, somebody’s gotta do it. Momma sure doesn’t!)

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