I am all for kids being kids on Summer vacation. Swinging up to the clouds, reading under a shade tree, spitting watermelon seeds, covering the driveway with chalk art...
But when it means I get stuck doing all the chores I get a little cranky. Call me crazy. There needs to be a balance between free time and slave time, er, I mean chore time.
Let me tell you about my mommy fit or as I like to call it, tough love tactic.
It usually goes like this....
"Can you kids pick up after yourselves? I spent hours picking up your stuff and putting it away and never had time to even think about starting any of the 100 things I had/wanted to do!"
Then it turns into...
"Pick this stuff up or I am throwing it out the front door."
I'll bet you think I am all threat and no action, right?
Once when N. was watching DVD after DVD, video after video but never put any of them away where they belong and they sat for a few days in random places (like just about every flat surface and the floor too) all over the room, he found out that I back up my promise.
Out the front door they all went in a pile. And it was going to rain!
He went out on the front porch and gathered them all up and put them where they belonged.
Wouldn't it have been much simpler to cut out the stage of bringing them back into the house and just put them away in the first place when they were already in the house BEFORE mom has griped about it??????? Hhhmmm????
I think my voice is completely tuned out to their ears.
I had been asking and then telling and then ordering the kids to take their turns at washing dishes. I do the dishes about 70% of the time but with 10 hands in the family capable of washing it seems fair to have all 10 hands help. Are you with me on this one?
So this is how it went...
If you do not wash these dishes before you go to bed I will take them and throw them out and empty the cupboards too. Guess what? They didn't wash. So out on the back porch went all the dirty dishes in a laundry basket and I emptied the clean ones out of the cupboards--cups, plates and bowls and silverware drawer too. EMPTY. I loaded them in laundry baskets and hid them.
Next morning the dishes that were dirty got washed. Not by me!
Now I am doing phase 2 of the dishes plan=each person will have 1 cup, 1 plate, 1 bowl, fork, knife and spoon. Each person responsible for their own, clean or dirty!
Maybe after a probation period the dishes can all come out of hiding and return to the cupboards.
My hope is a total boot camp type rewiring of their habits and I will have some willing dish washers. What do you think my chances are? Stop laughing. Please!
Don't get the wrong impression. I have good kids who usually help...
Maybe it is the lure of the blue sky and fluffy clouds or the breeze under the big tree or that water melon tastes best for only a few short weeks or the calling to be another artist like Bert from Mary Poppins.
I'm just saying...
The Dixie Cup dispenser is looking even more attractive.