Life Skills 101

Well, summer vacation is almost here. And it will be time once again to institute my annual Life Skills 101 training. I started the training program several years ago. It was really born from that whole 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


Melissa Romo said...

Good luck Holly! Is it too early to turn by 3-yr-old loose on the shower's mildew stains? I can't wait!

Brandy said...

great plan of action. I hope it works out for you

NanaRuth said...

My sides are aching from the laughter. I still remeber the chicken breast phone call, and it's still hilarious to Papa and me.Good luck with the cooking class program! ;>)

Kim said...

lemme know how that works for you. I was laughing tonight as we had a "frozen dinner night" and two of the dishes had different reheat times.

To navigate a 14 year old through the intricacy of putting the meat in first of 13 minutes (no I know it said 25, but... the eggrolls said 12)...

Yeah, I wondered how she managed in honors math.

Okay then.

I repeat. Lemme know how that works for you, I may give it a shot.

Annette Piper said...

Okay, time to remove those rose tinted glasses - just for a second... ooops, no. Put them back on quick!!! I've been training my kids too - every Saturday morning is cleaning morning and they're all expected to pitch in and help. We have varying degrees of success - their personalities dictate the results (miss meticulous does wonderful cleaning, miss arty is pretty slap dash....) Of course, mine definitely don't do it without prompting. I hope yours do! Good luck !!!

Petula said...

:-) I super extra love this. Hate to tell you that as much as you teach her about cooking she'll still call, cradle the phone and you'll have to walk her through whatever something she forgot how to cook or some new thing she wants to try. LOL... I was TRAINED by my grandmother and cooked, baked, etc. from scratch most of my life and still would call my mom. Same with my oldest daughter who just finished her first year of college. She's an excellent cook, but I sometimes still get calls. It's like a right of passage or something.

I can't wait to hear more about the life skills lessons this summer, the novel and how many times dinner was ready by 6. :-D Good luck... Oh, if it works can you send them over here for a little while? ;-)