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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Washing the Clean Dishes

Being a mom is full of challenges, lessons, and rewards.  There is a quote that my friend Callie loves:  "Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away"  Agreed!  However, I have learned recently that my "moments" are measured by how funny they would be on Facebook!  I have a lot of these moments, and I love sharing them.

As a teacher, I see a lot and hear a lot.  Being a mom of three, I learn every day.  I invite you to take this journey with me. 

SO...tonight was the revelation.  I decided earlier in the day that my kids were old enough to really start doing chores.  I mean the big kid chores.  The kind of chores that make my life a little easier, and make them more responsible human beings.  Oh...maybe the responsible human being thing should have come first...oh, well.  You get the point.
Why, today, did I decide to make this happen?  My husband was looking for a high school aged kid to help him on a job at our house which is being built.  He thought of someone, and talked to a friend about him.  His friend said, "No, you don't want to call him.  His mom has him spoiled.  He's lazy, and doesn't want to work."  He gave him the name of another, more dependable kid.  WOW!  I don't want my son (or daughters) to be "that kid".   Lesson learned.

Bring on the chore schedule!!  Well, I've been trying to create a chore schedule for months (because I'm a little too detailed like that at times).  Like most times that I dwell on something to no avail, I made it up in my head with barely any planning.  I called my two oldest kids (Zac and Abby) into the kitchen, and announced, "Tonight, we will start doing chores."  To my shock, they CHEERED!!!  What the heck?  Where's the moaning and groaning?  The kids want to help?!  Wow, another lesson!

Okay, okay...I'm not delusional.  I am fully aware that the excitement and novelty will wear off.  But for now, I'm going with it, and milking it for as long as I can. 

"Zac, you will be responsible for the dishes and the dinner table.  Abby, you will have the living room and the bathroom."  As Zac cheered, Abby looked disappointed.  "Don't worry you can do the dishes next week."  Not fully satisfied. "Okay, Zac, tonight you will have to share doing the dishes."

So, the circus began.  As I prepared an embarrasingly simple Sunday night dinner, the kids (all 3 of them) washed the dishes (standing on stools).  Happily.  JOYfully.  WILLINGly!  They were so excited, they wanted more dishes to wash.  Of course, the argument of who did not get a turn ensued.  So, I did what any good mom would do.  I gave them the clean dishes from the cabinet to re-wash.  They washed them all, washed the dishes after dinner, cleared and wiped the table.  And I had time to....sit.  (For the moms out there, this is when your feet actually come off of the floor because you are able to perch your bottom upon some supportive object.)  It was a wonderful evening.  I was shocked!  Still am.

As I sit here now, in the sea of responsibilty that comes with a family of 5, I can only imagine how wonderful a day it will be when we can tackle...LAUNDRY!

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