Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Some days I feel just like Cinderella. The poor girl locked away to forever cook, clean and wait on her family. Sounds familiar-- I cook 3 meals a day, clean (sometimes) and follow my children around picking up after them. Yep, Cinderella. But at least Cinderella had her fairy godmother, Prince Charming and a really nice pair of shoes. I get more laundry, and maybe a pair of flip flops from Target.

As our economy worsens and everything costs more and more I've been trying to eat out and order out less and cook more and more. I love to cook, but hate to wash the dishes. And call me old fashioned, but I really like us to eat as a family when we can. Throw in the fact that Ross doesn't get home from football practice until almost 7:00 and that means by the time we eat and I finish cleaning up its time for bathes and bed. There's no time to snuggle with the kids.

So tonight I was cooking dinner and trying to get Emma's nebulizer treatment in (Back to the doctor for her today and back on her nebulizer. I can kiss her health insurance good bye now, all the more reason to save money.) I was driving myself crazy and thinking ahead to having to clean it all up. I had already spent my day taking care of a cranky baby and both little ones took their naps at completely different times today so I had at least one child with me from 7:00 this morning and never a moment to myself so finally I thought "this is enough!"

As we all sat around at dinner, all 7 of us, I announced to them all that starting tonight they were all going to be taking turns at jobs cleaning up. There would be 4 jobs: cleaning off the table; putting dishes in the dishwasher and washing anything that doesn't fit; wiping off the counters, table and high chair; and sweeping the floor. Nothing to onerous for them-- I had doing all 4 jobs myself. Even when the boys were in charge of cleaning up the kitchen "back in the day" it was 2 jobs. And the jobs would be rotated.

Trace piped up that he wanted to be the Team Captain. He and Ross were in particularly good moods tonight and were being goofy. He said that the Team Captain got to assign the jobs. I told Trace he could be Team Captain tonight but 1) he still had to do one of the 4 jobs and 2) he couldn't be Team Captain tomorrow, that the position had to rotate by chronological order. It was agreed to by the boys but not the girls.

Oh my, the wailing! The gnashing of teeth! I literally had Jenna's body draped across my lap in her woe. Not jobs Mommy! Don't make me put dishes in the dishwasher! I don't know how to wipe off the table. While I give the girls other jobs, it occurred to me that they are quite spoiled in the kitchen.

Their whining didn't sit very well with the boys who then dusted off the "when we were little stories" and went to town with them. "Oh dear," I thought "this just went from bad to worse." Not only did I have weeping, whining girls now I had the boys talking about when they were chained to kitchen appliances and locked in a wood shed when they didn't clean the kitchen right. The stories then made the girls weep and wail louder. The babies looked at the lot of them like they were crazy. I was ready to go to Margaritaville. I mean really, at least Cinderella didn't have to listen to the mice squabble over who did what.

Finally, the girls got a grip on themselves, the torture stories stopped and dinner was consumed. I suggested that the chores commence. Trace cleared the table, Julia loaded the dishwasher, Jenna wiped the surfaces and Ross swept the floor. As they worked like little worker bees, I checked my email mentally patting myself on the back for my fabulous idea. I even carted the babies up to the bath since it was almost 8:00. Whining, wailing and story telling take up some time.

The big girls came up soon and I had to go downstairs to make some bottles for Emma. I was greeted with a surprise.

The dishwasher was open, dishes on the counter and the skillet in the dish drainer was dirty.

Cups, a plate and other items on the counter.

Emma's high chair wasn't cleaned. Where was the Team Captain?

I cleaned up the the kitchen, grumbling to myself about how no one could do anything right, grumble, grumble, grumble.

Where's a good fairy godmother when you need one? Apparently, they don't make 'em like they used to. Otherwise I'd have hopped in my pumpkin and drove away to Starbucks.


Donna said...

Oh My! I think you'll have to supervise the chores until they really know how to do it. Slave driver! LOL! I can't wait til mine are a bit older and can help more.

mom to Lena & Macey

Kay Bratt said...

Too funny.

Kids will say anything. Last night, I worked a little late (at Job #1 before coming home to Job #2) and I came in to my usual greeting at the door--Lexi wagging her tail so happy to see Mama. As I bent over to give her a Big Bear Hug (or should I say "Dog Hug"), my dear 13-yr-old came up behind me.

"Jeesh, Mama, your butt is getting huge."

I straightened up while laughing at her funny joke.

"No. Really. I am serious, Mama. What are you doing for your butt to get so big?"

Okay--she wasn't kidding.

(I still didn't take it too seriously considering I weigh less than the dog...but HOW RUDE....tonight SHE will be doing the Team Captain job as well as all others since she is the only kid in the house!!)

Denise said...


First of all, I've seen your pictures and your butt has to be no bigger than a Barbie dolls. Please....

Second, kids will just spit out whatever they are thinking! I've heard it all. Looking at an old picture of me "Wow, Mom, you used to be pretty!" I could come up with some others but I think there might be a character limit on the comment section. Might make a good blog post though....

Anonymous said...

Stick to your guns. Chores are good for the kids. Even my 5 yr old is expected to help clear the table, and both the 4 and 5 yr old can pick up the play room and put the toys back in their bins with supervision that is.

Supermom is not all it's cracked up to be. As a single, I can't do it all and I need the help from them.

Susan and Kate
Riverview FL

Kristin said...

This post totally cracked me up! Sounds like my life. The older two are supposed to clear the table, load the dishwaher, wash the extra dishes, put away food, etc. Hmm. Chances are someone is not there at least once or twice per week and I hear "I can't do it all!". Or, they do the job but I clean up behind them. It annoys me. So glad to know I am not alone.

They are quite aware now that the house is clean and they will NOT mess it up! Both had darned well better keep up with their part of the job. :-)