Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Live-in Help

Dear Ian,

I don't know if I'll get congratulated or castigated for this post, but I am thrilled to announce that you do chores.  Heck yes!

Tonight, sweet boy, you graduated to being able to do yet another household chore to help pay for your room and board here at the Mom and Dad Inn.  It's Wednesday, so today was trash-gathering day, and while I cooked your dinner, I told you to go get the trash cans from the front bathroom and from the bathroom in my and Daddy's room.  And you did!  Awesome!!  Add that to the dusting and vacuuming that you already do, and you are becoming a contributing member of this house!  (Please forgive all of the exclamation points, but this really makes me happy.)

My favorite child development expert, John Rosemond, says that children should start helping with household chores as soon as they can, and I totally agree.  He states that children build a sense of community and family commitment when they are part of the day to day running of a house.  Again, I think he's spot on, and then there's the added bonus of getting a little extra help around here, too.  I think, like the good doctor does, that giving you jobs to do helps you feel like you're a part of what goes on around here, helps you build responsibility, and it enhances the very valuable lesson that you have to take care of your things and keep them nice.  And a house is a very big and expensive thing to take care of and keep nice.

I am also of the opinion that you will not get paid for your chores.  At least not until you're older and actually need to make and save money for things you want or need.  As of now, you will do your chores simply because you live here and they need to be done.  You're a part of the house,  you help make it messy (and LORD you do a good job at that), so therefore, you should help clean it up.  Later on, you, Daddy and I will sit down and negotiate a fair market value for the work you do and from there we'll figure out a way to compensate you.  But until then, free room and board sounds like a good reward.

Now before you get all bent out of shape about how Mom is making you do ALL the work around here, I'd like to take this time to let you know that you actually ENJOY doing chores.  Yes son, at this age, you're actually asking to help out around the house.  I make the vacuum cleaner hose shorter, and you happily clean the front hallway.  You don't do any other rooms in the house, largely because the carpet attachment requires a little more work, and then there's the fact that you vacuum like a bull in a china shop.  You also love to dust; we have these Swiffer dusters on a little magic wand, and you love to do the TV stand.  Right now we have to follow along behind you when you aren't looking and get the spots you miss, but like they say: practice makes perfect.  You will also occasionally help unload your dishes out of the dishwasher, and now we can add taking the trash out to your repertoire.

I'm super excited that you enjoy being a helper and that you do actually HELP when given a job, but in the grand scheme of things, this is just another sign of how you are growing up.  It was only a few months ago that I did all of these things by myself (or Daddy did them.  He helps out, too) while you were a little smiley bundle laying in one spot on the floor.  It amazes me how far you've come in such a short period of time.  But I have to admit, this was a milestone I was really looking forward to, Baby Bear!

Thanks for all of your help.
Hugs and Kisses,
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