Dear Dave

Wednesday 7 April 2010


Dear Dave,

Yeah, it probably is about time you gave Sam a chore. We got the boys helping out when they turned six. They each have their own job to do and if they don't do it, they don't get their pocket money.

The plan was to make them realise that the house doesn't magically clean itself and thus perhaps give them some insight into the amount of work which goes into all the other things they take for granted. You know, inconsequential stuff like feeding, clothing and entertaining them, not to mention paying bills, herding them wherever they need to go and combatting the unpleasant odour of tweenage child that threatens to overwhelm the livingroom on a regular basis.

This hasn't entirely worked - Fraser still grumbles like his daily three minutes of housework is akin to slavery - but at least they're making some contribution to the household.

Choosing chores for them turned out to be relatively easy. Fraser hasn't yet worked out that one of the purposes of a plate is to catch crumbs, so he gets to hoover the kitchen floor after tea. Lewis' obsession with soft, fluffy items, meanwhile, means he gets to do the dusting. I'm sure you'll find something for Sam to do.

Bear in mind, however, that he'll require training and supervision. As with bringing new workers into any situation, there will be an initial overhead of time and resources. More people will be doing the work but less will get done.

There will also be a much higher chance of everything breaking.

Hopefully, it'll all work out in the long-run. I'm confident that one day we'll both have our own little team of minions that we can happily order off to thoroughly clean the toilets while we sit and surf the internet for funny photos of cats.

I suspect that that day may not be very soon, though...

After much goading and nagging I've finally managed to get all three of my kids to carry their empty plates to the worktop once they've finished breakfast. This usually involves some minor arguing and a couple of kids tripping over each other as they concentrate incredibly hard on trying to walk and hold crockery at the same time. Nonetheless, it should theoretically be worth all the effort in order to ensure the dishes are close at hand when I'm doing the washing up. Unfortunately, my children haven't quite grasped the concept of stacking yet:

The rest of the washing-up is somewhere over there --->

I think the plate at the end may actually be further from the sink than when it was on the table.

Yours in a woman's world,


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