Saturday, May 31, 2008

parenting mistake #76

Dear readers,

Yes, you! With the cute little tyke wrapped around your ankle. It's confession time.

I've been successfully and singlehandedly doing some minor renovations in our bathroom, between tea with friends (read: therapy), school obligations and a return to jazzercise.

My house looks like I have abandoned it to raccoons.

So, as per my usual, I made up some chore lists for my kids this morning. Simple things they can do while Greg and I tackle improvements designed to sell this house.

Zack is more tidy in nature; lists make his heart sing. He is plowing through his. Happy is he and his organized brain, which I may never fully comphrehend.

Lexi is creating alternative lists to my list; still helpful, but not what I need right now. She thinks this is a democracy. She thinks the lists should be equal in difficulty, that I should ignore the three year age difference. She thinks baking me shortbread for strawberries is in order. (She may be on to something.)

I've created a chore monster.

I was inconsistent in including her in these activities way back when; she would have been more excited to learn how to mop at three or four. Maybe.

(Ok, I don't buy that completely either. I have hated housework my whole life.)

So, as I listen to her grouse and stomp, I offer this up, if it lightens your load someday: Be consistent in choreland. Make them share the load early and often.

That is all.

Over and out, and learning from my mistakes,

Mama Milton


flutter said...

isn't it crazy how the same DNA produces such utterly different kids?

Minnesota Matron said...

For some reason, even though I am on vacation, my house has also been abandoned -- the daily pick up stuff, that is. Maybe it's a virus. . . . and I have two list-makers and one complete slob against my uptight DNA.

Cheri said...

Shortbread would have me off my list in a heartbeat.

brandy101 said...

good luck on the home improvement projects!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Well hell. My kids look at me like I've lost my mind when I direct them to make a bed or pick up a towel.

Housework clears my mind [when I get around to it]; clearly they've picked up on that and will use it to their advantage. Their spouses will hate me.

Cara said...

Thanks for the tip. Now I know to encourage Francesco to help me with the dishwasher, it is definatley going on his chore list in the future.

Jennifer H said...

I'm trying (and I wish housework cleared my head...our house would be neater).

You could farm out your boy to neighbors who need chores done. :-) But I'd keep the girl home to make shortbread, if I were you.

JCK said...

As you can see from the evidence in photos on my recent blog post, I have not heeded your advice. But, I am working on it. Start the chores, clean-up young. You are right....

Christi said...

This is exactly why I love reading your blog.

tz said...

my oldest burst into tears when he had to put his very own clothes away...when asked why he whined...it's just soooo boring.

I burst out laughing...which, is also not a great parenting tip...

Kimberly said...

Alright, off to haul my two and three year old off into the kitchen. Thanks for the tip!

katydidnot said...

"he's 6, he's half your age, it's not the same, sorry"

"he's almost 12, he's twice your age, he didn't get to do it when he was 6 either"

just all the time.

Melanie said...

Good advice, advice I shall heed. Every day, I've been bribing Ellie with leftover Easter jelly beans to get the chores done.

Pick up all plastic animals, put in basket = 1 jelly bean

Pick up all crayons = 1 jelly bean

Occupy your brother in bedroom for five minutes while I go to the mother-loving bathroom, for Pete's sake = 2 jelly beans

I'm absolutely sure this system will backfire at some point and/or give her food issues.