12/19/2016

being mum//b. & chores

Before I get started on this riveting piece can I just say how much I detest the word chores? Seriously. It's one of those words that just has an instant negative connotation and I hate it. B., however, does enjoy using the word for all her little jobs around the house so I'm going with it. So here's the story...

B. has a few jobs around the house -- she makes her bed {which I struggle to leave alone after she has}, helps put the dishes away, feeds the dogs and tidies up all her toys. It's not unusual for B. to just randomly start cleaning all on her own without any prompting. Usually she'll see someone cleaning something and decide she wants to help so she'll tidy her entire playroom without complaint. After she's done she's always wonderfully proud of her efforts and takes great care to explain to me why she's put things in certain areas and what purpose they serve. When she sees me cleaning the kitchen she asks for some spray and a cloth to clean her own play kitchen/shop/ice cream cart and happily sets to work. 

This is a kid who doesn't mind some hard work. I love that. Especially since, like me, she doesn't view it as work. She thinks it's fun. Sometimes I wonder if, when she grows up, if she'll find such joy in organising the pantry/fridge/cupboards as much as I do? Or will she actually have a life?

I know some people don't believe in giving kids rewards for helping around the house and that's fine. I see their point. Help shouldn't necessarily be rewarded and I certainly don't want to raise a self-entitled brat who only helps people for what she'll get in return {don't even get me started on her school asking for donations and encouraging people to donate the most by winning something. No, that's not the way it works. That's like claiming your donations back on your tax. What's the point?}

We do give B. "rewards" for helping. We buy her toys probably way too much. She gets an incentive for adding new chores to her routine but before she receives the incentive she needs to show us that this chore has become a "thing" and won't stop just because she got the pony {she actually wants a real pink unicorn but still...}

Anyway, here's where my ramble becomes a thing that I wanted to write about --

The other weekend B. {hold for tears} started putting the dishes away all by herself. She insisted even when I said that it was the weekend and she could take a day off {read: I was too lazy to get out of bed and help}. Now, of course, she's not a fucking idiot. She knows she's not allowed to touch anything sharp and she never would. Again, she's not a fucking idiot. Her reason for wanting to despite my giving her an out was -- but I love it!

My kid loves her jobs around the house so much that refuses to take a day off from them. Now, she might be silly and exclaim that her bed-sheets are being ridiculous and I might finally drag my lazy butt out of bed to go and help her because everyone needs help sometimes don't they? And, listen, those sheets of hers were actually being ridiculous that day so we just shoved them in a ball and ran away giggling. Anyway...

I always struggle with kids doing jobs around the house. I do think we should treat kids like mini-adults. I don't think we should talk down to them and all that other crap. But I also think childhood is so short and one day in the very near future {help me!} she'll have her own house and she'll have to do this stuff for herself. Why not let her be a kid while she can? 

I know there's a fine line. I know kids {teenagers mostly, probably} are brats but they're also kids, they're learning. I just don't ever want to be the parent who treats her kids like a slave because I fondly {not at all} recall the day I got screamed at and hit because I didn't dust the fax machine adequately enough. I hated that life. And, to be honest, I still have a fear of fax machines. 

But that's not the point of this story -- the point is my kid is awesome and I love her and she's my favourite person in this entire world. The end. 


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