When was the last time you asked your kids for help?
So last night I picked up the kids from Mor Mor and Pops, took Casey to get his haircut and then ran to the grocery store. Pedar was at the Unity Ball for the Sacramento Urban League and wasn't going to be home till after bedtime. So the night was all mine to be with my stinkers. We finally got home, ate some food and then got started on some chores. We needed to water the garden, take out the garbage cans, do the dishes and make lunches. I asked Casey to take out the garbage cans. He managed one can. He must have forgotten about the other two. We'll work on that. I asked him to help water the garden. I watched him take the hose and drip water on the plant for a one Mississippi, two Mississippi and ALL DONE. Our poor veggies are going to be really thirsty. He wasn't watching where he dragged the hose and was practically ripping out the plants as he dragged it to reach. I tried to be patient and explain to him to water the roots until there is a puddle and get enough hose so you don't trample the plants. He looked at me like, whatever lady, which it isn't a good look to give me so close to Aunt Flo's arrival, you may not survive.
We made it back inside without too many new white hairs or mosquito bites and started the rest of the stuff. As I stood in the kitchen, cleaning and making lunches, I realized I don't ask the boys for enough help. It seems easier to just do it myself, but there is too much to do. I need them to help. But they don't know really know what chores they are required to do and they don't ask if they can help me. I need their help so our house and lives can maintain a level of peace and order we need. Yes, I say we need, knowing that it is mainly me. I am just going to have to be more clear about chore expectations. These boys will understand that putting their plate on the counter is not enough. They can wipe it off and load it in the dishwasher. They can refill the darn toilet paper under the sinks. They can put their clothes away neatly (not in the holy sloppiness way they currently do) and they can clean their closet of clothes that don't fit them anymore. They can make their lunches and clean up the mess they make while making lunches. It is hard to follow through on some of this stuff because they do a sloppy job of it, and fight me the entire time, but they need to learn and I need the help, so we're doing this. I am barely keeping my head above water with cleaning the house and yard work. We have never had a maid or a gardener, for financial reasons, but I don't want to get to a place where I am so desperate that I feel like I have to pay for help for my sanity. Together we can do this.
After we've worked on chores, we are working on cooking and grocery shopping. They need to understand how to make a list and how much food to buy for four people, how to cook it, serve it and clean it all up. If I want them to be able to do this for themselves, what I am waiting for?? Let's do this (with as little yelling and big sighs as possible!) Wish me luck.