I love when I hear about a new system or a handy tip for doing things. Mostly when it involves training my kids (FOR THE BILLIONTH TIME) to pick up after themselves.
To date, nothing has worked.
But recently, thanks to good ol’ Pinterest, I saw something that I think might actually work. It goes something like this.
If you see stuff laying around different places in the house that doesn’t belong there (Lego parts, baby dolls, tooth fairy money) you collect it, put it in a large bin or trash bag and hide it in a safe place. Except for tooth fairy money. That goes in your wallet. But I assume that was a given.
Anyway, Mr. Grouch goes looking all around for his favorite toy that he left carelessly on the floor in the kitchen and when he comes to you and asks if you know where it is you’re all, “as a matter of fact I do. And if you’ll look on the fridge at the handy dandy posted sign, you’ll understand what happened to it.”
And then he’s all, “But I can’t read.”
And then you’re like, “Heaven help me, must I READ FOR YOU TOO?”
Except you don’t say that last part out loud. That would make you a bad parent. Instead, you take Mr. Grouch by the hand and show him how his beloved toy is being held for ransom. And that to get it back he has to do a chore.
It’s a brilliant plan.
And so I will put this brilliant plan into action tomorrow. I wrote the cute little poem on an envelope, drew stars around it and taped it on the refrigerator door. And as I stand back admiring my handiwork, I noticed something. My frowny-face man looks a lot like Adolph Hitler. And while I’m trying to send a message of order and discipline, it is not my intention to promote antisemitism. I hope my kids know this about me.
The best part of this new system for keeping order around the house is getting to make up chores for the kids to do.
I thought about the obvious ones like sweeping the kitchen, picking up the toys in the living room, wiping all the handprints off the windows . . .but it's kind of difficult to come up with things that they won't want to do. Stinker and Grouch actually enjoy doing some of the cleaning up with me. No, those may not work. I had to really think of stuff that they would not only hate doing, but that would totally benefit me.
Here are some that made it to the yes pile.
*Brush Mom’s hair for 30 minutes. And sing her a Demi Lovato song.
*Run a bath for Mom. Use the good bubble bath. You know, the one she hides in her bottom drawer so you won’t use it.
*Mix Mom a cocktail. Don’t forget the mini umbrella. Or fresh limes.
*Knock on the neighbor’s door and ask him to stop parking in front of our house. Mom’s too chicken. He's a retired fireman. Go on, do it. You want your toy back, right?
*Gather all the documents needed so Mom can file her tax return. You don’t know what a tax return is? You’re probably going to prison for tax evasion. Good luck with that.
You know what? After reading over these chores again I think I might be losing sight of the idea behind the lesson. I should probably take a parenting class.... And file my taxes.