Reality has set in. We are serious about having the children do their chores.
Theresa posed the first challenge, asking a little incredulously, "I have to vacuum the living room?" I remembered that Charity begins in the living room (Splendor in the Ordinary) and I answered, "Yes. You did a beautiful job cleaning it. You can use the yellow vacuum if you want." She happily finished her "Before Dinner" chore.
On Thursday afternoon, Bernadette guffawed and said, "I am too scared to vacuum both sets of stairs." I responded, "You don't have to be scared. I will be downstairs cleaning up." She vacuumed the stairs very nicely.
Brendan is a little bit more difficult, but we are trying to meet his challenges. His first challenge came with the dinner dishes (no pots and pans, just plates, glasses, and utensils). He whined, "I'm not doing all of these dishes." His father answered, "You can do all of the dishes without complaining or you can do the dishes plus another chore." Knowing that love and charity can be cultivated in the kitchen (Splendor in the Ordinary), my husband remained in the kitchen keeping our son company. Needless to say, another chore was not needed.
Next, Brendan stated, "What do you mean I have to do the laundry? That's a girl's job." I gently told him that it was not a girl's job. I went on to say, "Laundry is something that you will need to know how to do when you are older. Before Mommy and Daddy were married, Daddy had to do his own laundry." This morning, I heard Brendan ask Theresa, "Can I start the laundry and you clear and wipe down the table?" Theresa responded, "No, I need to learn how to do it."
Brendan's final challenge was, "I don't know how to wipe down the table." It looked like he did not know how to clear it either. He has done both previously. I met his challenge, saying, "I will show you how." This guaranteed that he not only cleared the table, but that he also wiped down most of it.
I love my children and I know that part of loving them is teaching them the skills necessary to not only contribute to our family, but to one day live on their own.