Monday, May 6, 2013

In Which Mommy and Daddy are Mean and Evil

There are things taped to the walls all over one end of my kitchen.

They stretch down the hall towards the den and up the stairs towards the main level of the house.

Most of them are words on 3"x5" cards.  Some of them are the twins' "heart words," the ones they should be able to read, spell, and write by the end of kindergarten.  A few are the twins' shapes/words that they need to recognize.  The majority of the rest are Large Fry's spelling word lists.  There's a piece of paper with our address and phone number on it.

And there's a small piece of paper, ripped from a to-do list tablet, with the words "Today's Chores" written on it in Hubby's hand.

The chores rotate, based on what needs to be done, and they're all age-appropriate: Empty the dishwasher.  Pick up trash from the floor.  Gather trash from the small trash cans around the house.  Clean your room.  Pick up the toy room.  Feed the kitties.  Bring down your dirty laundry.

Nothing too earth-shattering, and usually just one or two a day, with Sundays off.

Today, there are three: pick up trash, gather trash from trash cans, and clean up the toy room.  Tomorrow is trash day, so the first two are self-explanatory.  The toy room is a disaster and one of the cats expressed its displeasure with the state and peed on some play clothes.  Those got pitched in a hurry last night, and I cleaned up the mess that was left from that and put out some more moth balls (the cats hate them and won't pee near them; you're welcome for that new fact).  Plus, the kids had completely annexed one of my laundry baskets and loaded it with toys.  There are five people in this house.  I need all my laundry baskets!  (Medium had no clue what I was talking about when I told them to empty out my laundry basket.  "I don't see one!" she said.  That big green thing, honey.  It's for clothes.  "Ohhhhh.")

Last Wednesday, when my folks were here, one of the Fries took it upon herself to show the chores list to Gramma and explain it's stuff that they have to do...and how evil and mean their parents are for making them do chores.

Wrooooooooong person to complain to!

Gramma launched into conversation.  How she made Mommy and Daddy S and Auntie JS all do chores.  How, when we were older, if our rooms were left messy when we went away for summer camp, she would clean them to her standards, bag up everything that wasn't put away, and we'd have to ransom the bags back for a price...and how we could only ransom one bag at a time (and not one of our choosing), and couldn't get another until we'd put away the stuff in the first bag.  And how Auntie JS managed to lose her church shoes to those bags...and each shoe was in a different bag, and she'd had to wear sneakers with her dress one Sunday (I think it cost her $6-7 to get her shoes back, at $1 a bag).

"Do you know why Mommy and Daddy are having you do chores?" Gramma asked.

Large Fry came up with an explanation—we have had this conversation—and it was close to what I said.  I had explained that they needed to know how to do these things; when they're adults, they'll have to, 'cause Mommy isn't coming over to clean their houses when they're grownups.  And they won't know how unless we teach them, and the best way to learn in this case is by doing.

Gramma went on to regale the Fries with the types of jobs we had to do as we got older.

I think they got the picture that we're not asking them to do too much.

When I told Hubby how they had cried to Gramma about their chores, he just laughed, and said the same thing I did here: wrong person to complain to!

Incidentally, two of the three chores are done.  The Fries are grumpily in the toy room, pretending to clean.

Twice I've been tattled to.

About par for the course here.

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