Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Supermarket Sabotage

As of late, I have been trying to better involve the boys in our household chores.  There are, of course, certain things that are beyond their abilities, but many tasks like laundry, etc. are completely reasonable.  The only problem is that their brand of help seems less like help, and more like sabotage.

When I ask Graham to help me load or unload the laundry, it in inevitable that certain articles of clothing will end up in the dog's water bowl.  Similarly, when Cael is charged to put away those clean clothes, he has little regard for where they actually belong, and I spend additional hours pulling tiny Fruit of the Looms from the ceiling fan.

I have always been one of those if-you-want-it-done-right-do-it-yourself kinds of people, and having kids has only worsened my resolve in that area.  So I was particularly proud of myself when I came up with the perfect task for Cael.  As I was mentally compiling a grocery list, I thought that I'd recite the items for him to put on paper.  Not only would it be helpful to me, but Cael would get some valuable writing practice. 

I've really got this parenting thing down.

"Cael, can you help me with something?"


"I need to make a grocery list.  Can you help me write the items on the paper?"

"I don't know how to spell all the words, Mom."

"I can help with the spelling.  Get a paper, okay?"


Since I'd noticed our dwindling breakfast options, I started by listing milk, french toast sticks, bananas and the whole grain English muffins I love to have for breakfast.  Then I asked Cael to list bread, soda, and my favorite pineapple-orange-banana juice.  He was writing furiously at the table and didn't seem inclined to stop, so I included the toiletry and cosmetic items I wanted, I asked him to hand over the paper so I could see how well he did.

Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.

"Cael, what is this?"

"Your grocery list."

"All you wrote was 'french toast sticks'."

"I wrote 'milk' too."

"Why didn't you list the other things?"

"I only wanted the french toast sticks."

"And what are all the brown lines?"

"French toast sticks!"

And another great idea bites the dust.  Clearly I would have to go back to the drawing board to come up with another chore idea that my kids could handle.  But until then, I didn't even know what to say.

Cael did, of course.

"Um, Mom...  you're welcome."

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.