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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Child Labor

Yes. Yes I do. I force encourage my kids (and the neighbor kids) to clean their room and their/the guest bathroom as well. Sometimes the living and dining areas. I pay them in Treasure Chest Picks and today, lunch (pizza, oven fries, vegetables, and milk). If they do an adult-level job (like digging the stuff out from under the dresser and wiping the bathroom mirrors) they'll get two Treasure Chest Picks.

And then there's the stuff they do for me voluntarily. This morning Abby and Lizzy let me sleep until 8:30 (no school and nowhere to be until gymnastics tonight) and when I got up I had breakfast - Abby-style - waiting for me. Cold buttered toast, an orange, and a glass of ice-water. Not my favorite breakfast, but how nice. She had fed herself and her little sister the same plus cereal with milk.

So I'm typing while lunch is cooking and in a few minutes we'll eat, then we'll all get cracking. Don't get me wrong; I do my share (today it's kitchen and laundry and anything they can't lift / reach / fold themselves). Plus of course my daily job hunt, schoolwork, keeping Lizzy helping rather than hindering, refereeing the "she's not helping!" complaints, planning the rest of the day, the basics. I have plenty to do, and that's before I take Abby to her free trial at the gymnastics place this afternoon.

Life is busy. Even for those who employ child labor.

Update: Although there is much making of a mess in order to clean the mess (like clearing off of Abby's bed to change her sheets), and an inordinate amount of giggling, stuff is getting done. Poor Ash (8) picked up something from underneath the table (with a tissue) that turned out to be a cat hairball. He's squicking all over the place. One of the slats holding up Abby's mattress broke, and Tris (10) freaked out a little when I yelled at Abby (he's sensitive to yelling the same way Leanna is, apparently, even when not directed at him). I got him sorted and fixed the bed (now we know why there were extra parts with it!) and now we're taking a break while we all calm down.