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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Chore List

It seems that every generation, after attaining a certain age, believes that kids "just don't know how to work these days." Doug and I must have reached that age, since we've noticed a certain reticence among our own children to take on any work that involves physical labor. But we're determined not to let Alex and Cole become lazy, so almost every day they're assigned chores. Honestly, Alex is learning to do laundry very respectably. (I didn't learn this until college.) And Cole, well, he tries. And he even seems to take a great amount of pride in cleaning the toilets.

The first time Cole was assigned the task of toilet-cleaning(there are four toilets, he gladly took off with his bucket of supplies which includes two different sizes of scrubbers, a scraper (don't ask) and of course toilet bowl cleaner. Alex helped with one toilet and sent him to the basement. I was in the kitchen when Cole came back upstairs with the bucket of supplies in one hand, and a half-eaten cookie in the other.

"Oh, Cole! You can't eat cookies while you're scrubbing toilets."

"But I put it down on the floor while I scrubbed."

Ok. Go ahead and savor the rest of that cookie then.

The other night Cole was put on toilet-duty again. There was no cleaner in the supply bucket because I had just purchased a new bottle. So I opened the new bottle and away he went. I wasn't allowed to come near the bathrooms until he was done. He wanted to surprise me with his excellent porcelain-scrubbing abilities.

He came out of his third bathroom a little distraught. "Mom, I can't finish! I'm out of cleaner."

"Out of cleaner? I just gave you a new bottle."

He smiles. "I know! I wanted to get them REALLY clean."

As I began the inspection, the fresh smell of the first bathroom hit me about two feet outside of the room. So what if his scrubbing was less than par? At least the bathrooms smelled clean. He had certainly missed a few spots, but I didn't care. I was just happy that he was taking pride in his work - a seemingly great foundation for developing a strong work ethic. Even if you eat cookies on the job.

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