Monday, November 26, 2012

Why I Fired My Kids on Thanksgiving

When I was a kid I had chores. Lots of chores, by no means as many as my mom or my dad did... and when I think about my Grandma at age 5 baby sitting Bessie the cow all day, then selling the milk in the evening! I know as a Kiddo my chore load was not burdensome. I have a nice and tiny house it takes almost no time to clean, because it's so cute and tiny. It also can get messed up right quick because it is so tiny.
Don't get me wrong I'm totally comfortable in a mess, I was a messy as a child and as I aged, I grew up into enjoying a clean space.

Following in my moms footsteps I have given chores to my children. Dishes, bathrooms, clothing... they can be so helpful. My kids can fold those bottom sheets with the elastic on them neatly. I have chores separated into Your Mess (your clothing, your bathroom, your room and your dog), these are unpaid and are just expected to be completed.  The other category is My Mess (household sweeping, my bathroom, Dishes and Kitchen cleaning).  My Mess jobs I'll happily pay to not do them more time to blog! 

Lately though they have been complaining about the onerous duty of dishes, cleaning and work in general. Jobs were dragging out forever 10 minute job was taking 60 minutes. I also have become very dissatisfied with the quality of their work. It got to the point of my good friends actually knowing to check and wash a glass from the cupboard before drinking out of it.  sigh! 

I was feeling poorly on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The day I typically make pies and sauce. Instead I was at the doctors office getting a shot to stave off an eminent ear infection my body was priming for.  Thanks Grandpa for giving me the cold you got from your grandchild!!! :-) Then again you did tell me not to sit next to you.  Thankfully the next day I felt better so plans to have a big meal with friends went forward.

As I tried to cook I came to the unhappy realization I had:

  • Greasy dishes in cupboards, I would take out a bowl and have to wash it. yuckkie!
  • Dishes on stove never seemed to "count" with the kids, My stove was covered in pans from 3 days ago!
  • My best beloved cast iron pan was developing rust! 
  • I had no counter space... until I put everything that had a home, back into it's home, then I had plenty of room. Measuring cups, disks for Cuisinart, my Kitchen Aid paddles were scattered about the kitchen, hiding in various places, not where they belonged.
A paragraph from Arleta James's Book Brothers and Sisters in Adoption came back to haunt me. The line "Kids must earn the right to wash the dishes, as Adoptees can not always be trusted with this chore." Kept running around my brain. 

Seriously I do the dishes far faster and better than they do, why am I paying 6$ a week for this? They have lost the gumption to do them well. In fact I know some sabotage has been happening. When the dish washer was serviced a month ago, Thank You Kevin!  A small towel was found blocking the drain and causing the water to run all over the floor. This is after I had found towels in the dish washer and discussed with the children "Why We Don't Put Towels In the Dishwasher!"  I had cleaned the dishwasher then and pointed out the need to check the bottom for small items (silverware, toys, hair ties????) that can get down in that space.

When I fired them I found no less than 3 tea bags in the bottom of the dish washer. Wow that tells me they are not even bothering to look in the cups before they dump the dishes in the washer, let alone scrape and rinse. The wooden chop sticks in the bottom also Tee'd me off.  I rescued my wooden cutting boards from the dishwasher just 3 weeks ago. That rescue effort also included a discussion on why we don't put knives or wood in the dish washer.

It's obvious they hate this chore so I'll be the nice mommy and take it away. This Saturday I sat down for payday with  the kids, and my Knight in Shining armor paid me 6$ Kids zero zippo nada. I put some in my spend envelope, some in my save envelope and some in my give envelope. All while my kiddos looked on. Little Miss Sunshine has been saving up for a computer... I guess that will have to be put on hold, and those skinny jeans that no longer fit you Sweet Potato... Well you can buy another pair with your own money... oh wait you don't have any money Oh well. I hope they like a season of no cash flow, while I laugh all the way to the bank. Grandma don't send money this Christmas, I need the lesson to stick... how bout toothpaste and underwear instead. 

Last night Sweet Potato tried to wash some dishes but I chased her out. I'm sooo not sharing my 6$.  Ya know she scraped the plate and rinsed it before I managed to stop her. Odd how not being allowed to do it makes it more desirable. 

No comments:

Post a Comment