Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Chores

It's going to be a long summer with these kids. Good thing I have a plan: summer reading program (not going to happen), volunteer at church food pantry at least a dozen times (okay one time, but we'll talk about it all summer), "proper technique" swimming lessons (never swam properly and I'm still alive)...

...and chores. Organized and kid-specific chores. Like "you haven't earned a blue star on the refrigerator chore chart yet so no Minecraft for you" kind of chores. (But I'll have to rethink that for my 16 year old - so maybe she'll get "no eyeliner for you" chores.)

Not only that, but chores done PROPERLY. Poorly done chores are for sissies. Just look at this attempt at putting dishes away:


And this attempt at nicely folding throw blankets:


But there's always a catch to getting a chore done "properly." Kids first need to learn how. Sure they're whizzes at taking the trash out and feeding the dog. But it's high time they graduate to the big stuff. That means I'll have to crack down and actually teach them the right way - whatever "right" means. (Now who's got the chore?)

So where to begin? What do I say?

--"Looky here, kids! This is how you drag an old wet towel across the kitchen floor after you've sprinkled it with Mr. Clean."

--"This is how you repeatedly jump off a chair - with a broom pointed upward - in hopes of eventually reaching cobwebs on high ceilings."

You see, there's nothing conventional about my methods. I just git-er-done. Uh, maybe that's it. Maybe that's where my frustration lies - assuming my kids were born knowing how to clean the blinds. "Figure it out yourself! Put your hand in a sock or something and start cleaning!"  

Although my oldest has the most potential, my kids lack the drive to figure things out. Patience on my part will def come in handy. And what about a teachable attitude on their part? Even more sock-in-handy.

So I think memorizing Corinthians 13:4-7 will go a long way this summer: "Love is patient, love is kind...it does not dishonor others...it is not easily angered...Love hopes all things..." Because although loving my kids comes easy, always acting out my love does not.

But what if, even after my brilliant instruction, the bathroom still looks like a McDonald's restroom? Well if it's true what I've heard - "wit, wisdom, and understanding of human nature come from all the years of trying and failing at things" - then poorly done chores will be my children's gateway to success. (Or something like that. Long year and I'm tired. Let me believe what I want.)

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