A good rest is half the work.
Children become very interesting creatures when it comes time to do chores. When you normally can’t get them to leave you alone, often on chore day you can’t find them anywhere and the house so quiet and so alone that tumbleweeds blows by.
Once you finally find them and drag them back from under their beds or hiding in the shed. You can count on a few chore day battles.
#1 The wait out
You realize the waiting power of children on chore day. When the same child who on Christmas morning can’t wait 4 minutes to open a present now becomes a master manipulator in waiting you out in their bedroom. It can take this same child anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to get their bedroom clean.
The child who has been complaining about “so much work” and “it will take forever”, who has been in their room for 5 hours and picked up the barbie doll car can be instantly cured when the magic friend phone calls comes in. This can cure any chore day wait out. The job that has been taking 5 hours up to this point will miraculously get done in 15 minutes.
#2 The interesting ideas of organization
Children have their own ideas about what organization is to them. Where you assume it is normal to put all the barbies in one container and all the toy cars in another your child does not share this vision. A child in chore day battle mode assumes that a barbie and a piece of chewed gum should be placed in the same container, and that the toy cars and wrappers from Halloween candy belong in the other. I have yet to figure out why unmatched socks and fisher price little people go together.
#3 “I did put it way”
Ah yes the famous line of “but I did put it away”, can seem so innocent, so pure, until you find the shoes that you have been searching for, for half an hour and are now late for your appointment, outside in a puddle. We as mothers supply great tools such as shelves for shoes, hooks for coats, and baskets for mittens and scarves. Yet we seem to have missed the memo informing us that coats now belong on the floor in the hallway, shoes in the bathroom in front of the toilet, and mittens and scarves in the sock drawer. All of which will mostly fall under the line “I did put it away”.
#4 Are they deaf?
There will be days we believe our children are deaf. We will be right in front of them asking them to pick up their beads. “Honey please pick up your bead mess” we will say it calmly, and sweetly with no reaction, then louder, then louder yet, and sometimes louder yet. Until we get that vacant look of “were you talking to me”. But yet these are also the children who can hear every chip bag, chocolate bar wrapper, or awful gossipy thing we say on the phone, within a ten mile radius.
#5 “It’s not my job”
This line can sometimes make a mother homicidal and we understand why lions eat their young. As the child sits in the pile of garbage, or beads, or dirty laundry, we question them as to why they are doing this, why they didn’t clean it up first. The response “it’s not my job”.
The one that gets me the worst is when there is something in their way and it gets kicked, shoved, or pushed off but never ever put away because “it’s not my job”.
They will step over, trip over, walk out of their way to avoid, just because “it’s not my job”