Know What I Like About Having Older Kids?

She's thinking to herself, "My parents' chore chart can go to hell."

She’s thinking to herself, “My parents’ chore chart can go to hell.”

–I mean, I like a LOT of things about this stage if family life: I can have actual conversations with them, their personalities come into clearer focus every day, I get to sleep through the night most of the time. I enjoyed having little ones and I am enjoying having middle ones just as much.

But you know what I flat-out love? –Chores. I love that I can assign them jobs and they will do them in a real way which means that I don’t have to do them later. It’s not like asking a 4-year-old to pick up her toys, where you stand there directing every move. It’s not like requiring little ones to put their plates into the sink– an act commensurate with drawing a dog’s attention to its tail and yelling, “Go get it!!!!” It’s not even the fake chores– where you ask someone to vacuum the living room and know full well that they aren’t physically capable of doing a thorough job. The early days of chores, for us, consisted of spreading chore time out over a much monger period of time, in order to give the kids opportunities to learn the chores. That sucks and I can well understand the mindset where a parent says, “Just forget it. It’s easier to do it myself.”

I keep reminding myself, though, of the boys at my college who never (NEVER!!!! EW!!!!!) washed their sheets or vacuumed their floors or cleaned the sinks in their dorm rooms. I was seventeen when I left home to go to college, and thanks to Mom’s chore chart– you checked the chart every morning to find out your two chores of the day– I could take care of my room. (My siblings will agree, I’m sure, that the best chore days were when your two tasks were “feed the dog” and “sweep kitchen floor.” The worst days were getting double-slammed by “clean the girls’ bathroom” AND “clean the boys’ bathroom.”) Some day, those crazies who are upstairs right now, doing something which requires lots of frantic shrieking followed by torrents of laughter followed by frantic shushing (so, I’m sure, they’re doing something wrong), will know how to take care of themselves. I’m determined about that. And in the meantime, it is fantastic to have real help in taking care of the house.

Or they can just marry into royalty. Never forget Wallis Simpson!!!!

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