Saturday, December 01, 2007

Working For A Living

Some of you may have noticed (and wondered at) my 7-year-old doing the laundry. Makes it look as though I'm teaching them the value of teamwork and responsibility, right? But appearances are deceptive. First of all, it ain't quality work. If you ever eat here, make sure to rinse your silverware first. Second, the children aren't exactly running around singing, "Whistle While You Work." Instead, my kids all sound as though they work in a union shop -

"It's Tuesday, it's not my day to empty the dishwasher - I set the table."
"Rachel empties the silverware - I do the dishes."
"I watched Susie yesterday for 20 minutes. It's Theo's turn."

Sheesh - do those seem like the sounds of teamwork and responsibility to you? I doubt it.

Occasionally Larry or I will do all the dishes, and each time we're amazed at how easy the job is. What with all the whining and groaning that goes on around here, you'd think we were asking the kids to move 2 tons of rubble from the sink to the dishwasher each evening. But we persist in assigning them the chores, because otherwise they'd be sitting around fighting with each other while Larry and I did all the work.

Theo went out and got himself a seasonal job at Barnes and Noble. I wanted to call the person who hired Theo and say, "He is handsome, isn't he? And so responsible! You won't be sorry you hired him, I promise you." But I restrained myself.

I have no idea why I am so excited - must be a first-born thing.

I told Anna she had to finish her schoolwork from the past week before she could go out this weekend, and she didn't even break anything. We consider that progress. She did mope around in her bathrobe until past noon, however. Now she's out babysitting and acting like a normal human being. None of my friends believe a word I say about her. Maybe she should consider a career on the stage.

David is still trying to construct a functioning space station out of duct tape and craft sticks. I can't tell if he is really, really smart or really, really stupid. And he just informed me that the amount of paint on a jumbo jet adds almost 600 pounds to its weight. Like me and Christmas cookies...

Larry spent today painting the kitchen, in an attempt to atone for the fact that he ripped out my kitchen floor over 2 weeks ago even though the tile guy isn't coming until December 14. The job went fairly quickly, as he didn't have to worry about getting paint on the floor. Because it isn't there. Or have I mentioned that already?

Time to stop goofing off and start cleaning up around here. Though it is hard to tidy things when all the kitchen furniture is in the living room and there are boxes of kitchen floor tile distributed throughout the main floor of the house. Not exactly the relaxed, uncluttered look I strive for...


  1. You are incredibly funny! Once my middle son, after being told to empty the dishwasher, said that how come he always has to do it and why can't I do it? HUH??!! So, I said, fine then, we'll switch jobs. I emptied the dishwasher, and HE folded laundry, set the table,swept the kitchen floor, etc. He didn't speak to me for the rest of the evening, while my other son, on the other hand, couldn't stop laughing. (WHY is it that kids think it's so funny when someone else gets in trouble?!)

  2. My little ones (2, 3 and 4 yr old) do the laundry, and they do it willingly. the enjoy doing the laundry, and fight over whose turn it is. These are the same kids that when I say its bedtime, will turn to me and say you haven't given us any chores to do yet, we cant go to bed.

    Sadly, I know that wont last. My 10 and 12 yr old sound like yours. Its Jordan's job to do the kitchen, it's Andre's job to vacuum the hallway. And my response is... Um no, I asked you to do it, which makes it YOUR job. And if you keep complaining I will give you ALL of the chores in the house so we don'thave to worry about who is doing what chore. That usually works to at least shut them up. For a minute or so.

    It is Jordan's "job" to do the laundry - take it out of the dryer, fold it put it away and hang up the shirts. I mean we have a fmaily closet in the laundry room, so no big deal right? WRONG. It will take her 3 hours to fold one load of clothes, that is when she folds those clothes, then gets upset when she can't get computer time etc. etc Yet somehow I can fold and put away 7 loads of clothes (on those days when she doesn't do it) in about 30 minutes, and that is with the baby hanging on an arm.

    All I do is look at them and think, I can't wait until you have kids of your own, and then think to myself - man you really ARE becoming your mother, LOL.

  3. Whenever it is time for my 7 year old to do whateevr chore she is assigned to that day her respose is "OOOOHHHHHHH!!! But tha tis going to take me like 15 hours!" My response is "Well, you better get a move on, then." My 5 year old loves to fold the laundry. Unfortunately I have to go thru and refold it all again. Oh well.

  4. That's why I love a large family. There's always something exciting going on!

  5. I absolutely love your blog! Nothing is funnier than real life and you put it out there so well!

    I must have also missed the part that you homeschool. I'm on my last one, a junior in high school, and the other three are all in college or grad school. The end is in sight! LOL From my perspective, the teen years after 14 are the best. That 11-13 year old thing is hard to take.

  6. bia - Yes, I told Anna last year that I was going to show her how to wipe down the powder room and she yelled, "Oh! And I suppose you're going to sit around and do nothing!"

    deb - no way to contact you. E-mail me so that I can pester you with questions.

  7. ahh, I can't wait until my kids are old enough to be a bigger part of keeping this place clean. They're EXPERTS at messing it up (aka: toys EVERYWHERE, dirty laundry EVERYWHERE, food/drink spills EVERYWHERE, etc), but they're not entirely helpful at getting it clean (unless you don't mind toys stuffed into random bins and stacked precariously high on shelves, laundry stuffed into baskets inside out and unsorted, and food/drink smeared around more than actually CLEANED UP). LOL

    Enjoy the painted kitchen and all that fun stuff!

  8. I always laugh when people tell me how polite my kids are. It takes all my self control not to say, "My kids? You must be mistaken."

    Jennifer - I love the idea of a family closet in the laundry room! I am totally doing that!

  9. Yep, sounds about right. My kids are always arguing over who has to pick up the table, and who folds the tablecloth, and who sweeps the floor (those are their chores for now). It sounds like there's never a dull day at your house, how do you keep from going insane and find time to blog? :)

  10. We all squabbled like that and I still swear that I had to do more than my siblings!