There are days, that all I can do is shake my head in exasperation because, let’s face it, you just can’t breathe with your head stuffed under a pillow.
My kids have chores, not many, but enough to make this Mom feel like she’s helping her offspring build “life skills”. My oldest can run the vacuum and the microwave; the youngest dusts while barking orders like a drill instructor. They pack their own lunches, throw kibble at the dog and, ahem, clean their own rooms. I haven’t taken the plunge and shown them the washing machine and dryer. Yet. Mainly because I like my whites white.
Judging by the whines, moans and other gagging noises of general displeasure, I gather that all this doesn’t fall under the heading of “Favorite Pastimes”. Which brings me to my next life skills moment.
No work=no money. Our home is not a welfare state. If you don’t want to do certain jobs, you gotta pay someone else to do them. For my kids, that someone else is me and I’m anything but cheap. Yesterday, I made $6 and 2 lunches. Not bad for 5 minutes of my time. When my daughter whined about cleaning her room, my son yelled “JUST DO IT, OTHERWISE IT’S GONNA COST YA TEN BUCKS!“
The kids know rule-breaking is also tied to earning the dough. You break the rules, you get punished. Lie, cheat, steal, smack your sib or back-talk and you’re done. None of that “3 strikes and you’re out” crap.
I’ve been told from time to time (by one who shall remain nameless) that I’m too hard on them. Yes, I’m tough but only time will tell if my efforts were for good or ill. I guess I’ll know if I wake up one night with one of them standing over me wielding a bat and an evil grin. Lucky for me, my husband sleeps closest to the door. I think I’ll take my chances.