sibling rivalry stage I mentioned a few posts ago. If my kids had time to argue I figured it was because they had too much free time on their hands. Add to that the fact that during the school year they have a difficult time fitting in a significant number of chores between sports seasons and homework loads. Thus, Life Skills 101 was born.
As a responsible parent, I wouldn't want to deprive them of those all-important skills they'll need to be successful, contributing members of society, would I?
Summer provided the perfect opportunity to develop our children's proficiency in such household maintenance tasks as really cleaning the inside of a toilet, sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting away laundry, mowing and weed-whacking the lawn, you get the idea.
Over the years, it's taken time and patience to get them to do the chores to my satisfaction. And unfortunately, due to natural attrition of knowledge from summer to summer, I spend a lot more time running refresher courses than I would like. But we've been doing this a while now that I'm looking for a big payoff this summer. I mean they're old teens now. They can actually do stuff and complete the work to my standards.
This summer, Life Skills 101 takes on a new intensity for my daughter since she's off to college in the fall. Aside from the usual chores, she really needs to fully grasp the concept of (insert Twilight Zone theme music here)…cooking.
Although I've tried multiple times to get my girl to appreciate the joys of cooking, she's resisted with all her might. She even gets stressed when attempting mere mac & cheese. My biggest fear is that she'll end up like me. Standing in my apartment kitchen, staring at a raw chicken with the phone cradled to my ear while my mother talked me through how to bake a chicken breast.
"Ohhhh, the oven dial actually has the word 'bake' right on it. How convenient."
I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
But like I said, they're old teens now. I have high hopes and I'm looking for a two-fold benefit for all the time and dedication I've put into this training.
First benefit: the kids have learned some very necessary skills. And second (even better), while the cleaning service—er, kids make certain all the chores are completed, I'll be free to work longer hours on my novel! I'll be busy typing away, and when I finally emerge in the afternoon I'll be greeted with glistening bathrooms, gleaming dust-free wood, spot-free mirrors and a hot and steaming dinner on the table, promptly at 6:00 p.m.
I'm ready. I've got my new laptop. I've got a nice comfy deck chair, and I've got my white glove test all set for dusting evaluations. Yep, yep, yep, I'm looking forward to my summer off from the ol' chores.
Image by: Democlez