Delegating Chores (also referred to as "The Reason I had Kids")

Last night was one of those nights.  Or maybe it was one of *those* nights.  You know what I mean.  It had been a long day (or really, a long 2010 so far, but who's keeping track?).  After basketball practice for Ben and a stop at Publix, I found myself in the kitchen pondering what to make for dinner.  (Yeah, that meal planning thing hasn't happened yet.) 

When it gets to be 7pm and the kids haven't eaten yet, I start to get into a bit of a panic.  When I panic, my mind races even worse than normal.  Then things start to fall apart.  It's not pretty.  Luckily, it didn't get to that point last night though.  And I was so proud of myself for thinking to delegate some things to my kids while I prepped their grilled cheese & apple/pear slices.  (We went the easy route.)

Partly because it was time anyway, and partly due to all of the sickness in our house, I washed our bathroom rugs.  They'd been in the dryer waiting to be put back in their places for over a day.  I remembered them while I was cooking the grilled cheeses, so I called on Ben.  I gave him the job of pulling the rugs out and taking them to the bathroom.  (Before you think "so what?", understand that this is a big deal.  I don't delegate well.)  Several minutes later, I could hear him still fussing around in the laundry room.  I should mention that Ben doesn't move particularly quickly.  He's got that southern easy-going pace going on.  It drives me crazy, but I think it's another one of God's clever ways of teaching me patience.

Abby happened to walk by around this time (blankie tag in her mouth, of course), so I enlisted her help in the rug job.  I could hear Ben instructing Abby, "Just get on, I'll pull you."  (pause)  "No, nevermind.  Get off.  You're too heavy."  (long pause)  "Okay, Abby.  Get behind those and pull them, just like me.  Watch how I do it."

It was taking quite some time to accomplish what, I had thought, was a pretty easy task.  (I mean, the grilled cheeses were long since finished, and *I* was about to eat them.)  I had to investigate.  I turned the corner to see Ben slowly and carefully pulling a neatly stacked, unfolded pile of rugs across the bedroom floor towards the bathroom.  Following close behind him was his little sister with a similar, but slightly smaller pile of rugs.  (We have a lot of rugs in the bathroom, in case you were wondering.)  It was, perhaps, the sweetest thing I'd ever seen. 

It didn't end there, like I had imagined it would when I said "Take the rugs to the bathroom". As if they'd been doing it all their lives, they teamed up without a spoken word to put the rugs in their appropriate places, each one grabbing a side, and carrying it flat to its home on the floor.  When they were finished, Ben called me back in and asked, "Did we get them all in the right places?"  After one small switch, everything was where it should be.  But, really...it was perfect the way they had it.

I scooped them up, hugged them, and thanked them for being such great helpers.  Then I herded them into the kitchen where they ate the insides of their grilled cheese sandwiches.

Now I know, when stressed, put the kids to work.  (Don't get me wrong.  They have chores already, but I think I need to utilize them even more.)  It's rewarding in just about every possible way.  Not only does it teach them responsibility and teamwork, it warms my heart.  It fills me with joy.  So *that's* why people have kids, huh?  (Plus, it gets you out of having to put the rugs back yourself!)


Post a Comment

Before you go, I'd love to hear from you! Let me know what's on your mind! (Please and thank you.)

Back to Top