Chores suck. Nobody likes them. I feel confident that the following words have never been spoken by a human being – “Good morning World! The only thing missing from this perfect day is a toilet bowl cleaner and some dirty toilets!”
Noble thinks chores suck, too. Unfortunately, that has no bearing on that fact that he still has to do them. But he sure does try all the tricks. Can you sense a numbered list segment here? Here are 5 common ways that Noble tries to get out of chores, and how I answer them.
1. No! - This is the most commonly used answer to the request to do chores. My answers vary from the juvenile “Yes!” to the stern “Oh yes you will,” to my personal favorite “Go ahead. We’ll see what happens if you don’t.” Noble knows me enough to know that the mystery consequence isn’t pleasant. So I almost always get some forward momentum going with that. Sometimes I need to follow up with a countdown to consequence, but more often than not he’ll kick start his chores effort.
2. I don’t wanna! – That’s nice and honest. I appreciate that. I also don’t give a shit. I don’t wanna either. And you can bet your ass I’m not gonna clean up those half finished and forgotten piles of random ‘playing’ that have been going on in this house. I got my own messes, dude. Usually when he says, “I don’t wanna,” I just respond, “I don’t wanna either, but it’s our job, and just because you don’t wanna, doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean it up.” And then in my head I say, “So move your ass!” If he gives me any trouble, I threaten to take away a favorite toy. It is crucial, as a parent, to pay attention to your kids and what toys they can’t live without. There are many toys they will gladly sacrifice to the cause of shitty behavior. If you threaten to take away a lame toy, well, you will see what little impact that has; and you will be forced to keep taking toys away until you hit that desired, “NO, I’ll clean! I’ll clean!”
3. It’s gonna take foooorrrreeeeeevvvveeerrrrrr! – This is one of the most annoying things that can come out of a 4 year old. You give them a job to do, they don’t do anything about it for awhile, and then complain that it’s gonna take forever! Well, no duh! Just the other night, Noble complained that cleaning his room was going to take forever. That’s the reason he couldn’t do it. Because it’s going to take forever. “Yes, it will take forever. It will take a long, long, very long, time. Until you START CLEANING! Then it will be done before you know it!” And then in my head I say, “So move your ass!”, but I accidentally say it out loud. Whoopsy-dingles!
4. I’m too sick. - Wow. Check out who busted out the big lie! Funny how illnesses can come on when doing chores is mentioned. I do enjoy watching a poorly acted cough, though. I think it’s cute. But the lying about being sick is a big no no. The problem with being sick is that it means the kid can’t have playdates, drink chocolate milk, or run around outside. They have to lay in bed and slurp cruddy tasting soup. Usually calling him out on that magically changes his condition. I really do love this age where they actually think they are getting away with things like this. It reminds me of when I was a kid and marveling at how my parents knew certain things about me, like when I had to go pee, when I specifically told them I didn’t have to go. I thought they were psychics.
5. Sure daddy, let me buckle down and get right on that! And when we are done, let’s put together a healthy snack, nothing chocolate, of course. While we are eating our snack, we should lounge out on the couch and read. You know, have some mellow time – This isn’t a real response. I just wanted to dream a little.