My children were born into bondage. They swear that noone else at school has to do the things they do. It sucks to be them, you know?
Todays large family topic is chores. I am so not organized, so I don’t have a chore chart or anything, but from a very early age, the kids are assigned tasks that they must compete each day. They are simple chores in the beginning…things like pouring bleach in the toilets, and spraying the shower down with X-14….not. Actually, they are very basic and designed to teach them that everyone in the family helps for the good of the whole. The baby must pick up her toys and place them in a basket I leave in the kitchen. That is about it for her. Her other job is to be totally adorable, and she excels at that.
The 5yo is in charge of taking dirty diapers to the laundry room and placing them in the big sink. If I am using disposables, as I do much of the time these days because she can not get them off as easliy, then Quinn takes the dirty diapies, bags them and tosses them in the outside trash cans. He also is in charge of picking up his toys, and helping Mia pick up the puzzles etc. We already know how he feels about this. Here he is in full protective gear, after a rough day of taking the diapers to the trash…
The 2 oldest empty and fill the dish washer, complaining all the way that we use too much silverware. (Memo to self to serve finger foods more often). They also sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom floors as needed. They actually enjoy this as they get to use the Swiffer. The toilets are wiped down every morning.
Everyone over age 3 must make their beds. This involves placing their pillows at the head of the bed, and straightening out the blankets that I made for them for Christmas. I figured out long ago that sheets are over rated. I use a fitted one on their beds and that is it. Top sheets always ended up ripped off the bed and stuffed down the murky, dusty place between bed and wall…so, Voila!.. instant solution….no more sheets. I wash the fitted sheet each week along with their pillow case. Easy day.
Cory washes his own gym clothes every evening. He feeds and waters the dog.
Cody folds all the bath towels and kitchen cloths. He feeds the cat. There is a theory in our house that he should feed the frogs and newts, but that job seems to be mine as noone else wants to touch the crickets. Blek.
All 3 boys put their dirty clothes in the central hamper, and put away all clean clothes after I fold them.
At 5:45 pm every evening, we do what is called “Here comes Daddy” clean-up. I have learned after years of banging my head against wood, that it does no good to pick up the clutter on the floor of the entire house until the end of the day. If I try and do it a little all day long, I spend my entire day stooping and picking up toys and placing them in their proper place. “Here comes Daddy” workes well for us. Bill should arrive home at around 6pm, so the kids are to put everything away in the 15 minutes prior to his arrival. I empty the sink of all dirty dishes at this time, and clean off the counter tops. He arrives home to the illusion of cleanliness and me wiping my brow and saying “Whew, what a day” and the kids panting and collapsed on the floor. Smoke and mirrors, babe. ;*)
Doing a little each day, throughout the day, seems to work for us and the house stays pretty clean. Cleaning as a team teaches the kids about responsiblility and, I think, another aspect of the family unit working together as one.
Regardless, they still complain about the shackles and chains.
“Our parents make us clean up after ourselves, and sometimes even after them! Please help us. We think we are exploited, whatever that means.”