So The Lovely Rhonda and I give the children an allowance every couple of weeks, allegedly for chores that they do. There are assigned chores (cleaning the catbox, taking out the recycling, etc) and there are “other duties as assigned,” such as filling the cat food dish or picking stuff up in the living room so I can vacuum.
Also a large part of allowance is cleaning your room, which we are dismal at enforcing and the spawn are equally, if not more, dismal at actually doing.
This morning TLR announced that rooms would need to be cleaned in order to receive the blessed allowances, and thus began our Morning of Travail.
As luck would have it, the eldest spawn cleaned her room yesterday at my behest, so she’s happily playing CADsoftwarewithastorylinecraftTM while the other girls toil away.
A sampling of the day’s activities thus far:
Madeline, the youngest at age 6, approaches clutching a calendar. (We often refer to her in shorthand as M2 and Molly, age 8, as M1, denoting birth order)
M2: Mama, can we pwease put this up?
TLR: Yes, just put it on your desk for now.
M2: But my homewowk is on my desk and I can’t put this on top of my homewowk because my homewowk has to be on the top —
TLR: Okay, so put this underneath your homework, on your desk.
M2: ‘K. (races off)
Shortly thereafter Molly, the middle child, comes showing something else that must be looked upon immediately. I can’t remember what because frankly it was so mind-bogglingly trivial that it barely registered in the first place. TLR, a paragon of patience for reasons that I still cannot fathom, acknowledges the item and gently bids the child return to her room.
Approximately 90 seconds passes, after which Madeline returns announcing that she has cleaned her entire room.
TLR: That seemed kind of quick. Did you clean the whole thing?
TLR: So, everything is up off the floor? Like, under your desk, and back by your toybox, and in front of your closet?
M2: Well, no. Not in fwont of my cwoset. Because I never go there.
TLR: You need to clean in front of the closet.
TLR (calmly): Because I said so. Now go clean in front of the closet like I said.
M2 sighs heavily and trudges down the hall.
A moment later Molly appears.
M1: Mama? I think Madeline is whining about something in her room.
M1: Yeah. It sounds like she’s saying, like, “But I didn’t even do it,” or something.
TLR: Well, why don’t you just not worry about it.
M1: But, it’s really hard to clean my room with her groans distracting me —
Me (at this point I cannot help myself): SO CLOSE YOUR DOOR.
At this point all of the rooms are reasonably clean and the youngest has bathed. She emerges wearing a pair of jeans and complains to TLR that they are too big. See? And the jeans are touching my socks and I don’t like it when my jeans are touching my socks —
There is a beer-and-wine-thing tonight in downtown Bedroom Community, and TLR’s favorite vintner will be represented at a local independent theater we like to go to. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be going.