OMG! I never thought I'd see the day.
The kind of day where the sky is dappled with puffy white clouds (perfect for imagining shapes of dragons pushing shopping carts or a floating Easter bunny head - a little disturbing, but fun none the less), mid-seventies temperature, & a slight breeze.
The kind of day where all is right with the world, there's enough money in the bank to pay the bills, dust ceases to land on every surface as soon as I enter a room.
The kind of day where my children get dressed in the morning and aren't covered in something (toothpaste, milk, all that crazy dust - take your pick) by the time they've started breakfast.
The kind of day where the laundry gets done without me having to lift a finger. . .
I almost saw it! One day, there was a flash of possibility before my eyes. . .
My children are old enough to help with laundry (happy dance). At least I trust them to fold the laundry. I have nightmare images of Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom so I'm not letting them run the wash machine yet.
I got a new "upstairs" chore chart as more of a check list to make sure they brush their teeth, get dressed (including socks - yes, it has to be said), and brush their hair. I put turn out lights & open blinds on there too, and with one space left, I added "Fold & Put Away Laundry.
For each task, the girls get their own magnetic star to place on the chart. We haven't assigned any dollar amounts to these "chores" - they just get to move a star for each completed task.
In the morning, Cupie, as a typical oldest child, wants to please us so she doesn't waste any time getting ready and has time to work on laundry. There's a star at stake darn it, and she's earning one!
Stinkles, on the other hand, likes to daydream. She marches to the beat of her own drummer that's for sure. I'm pretty sure that drummer plays a death dirge because she is slow to do everything. She's the only kid I know who can be happy & smiley & jumpy with a death dirge playing, but anywho. . .
Stinkles likes to get stars too. Just for the sake of getting them. Never mind the fact that she may or may not have earned them. They are pretty and they are stars and they should just be given to her.
Cupie emptied the dryer, folded the clothes inside, put the neat little piles on the beds, and put her own laundry away. Then, she moved a star into it's appropriate place on the chart.
Stinkles, brushing her teeth, took note that laundry had been done that morning and moved her own star into the same slot.
I was downstairs peacefully drinking my coffee & eating a scone while reading the latest gossip rag. Yah, I have time to do that because I get up early enough to shower, primp, get dressed, vacuum the entire house, make lunches, bake fresh scones, grind coffee beans by hand, & publish my own gossip magazine before 7:30AM. NOT!!!!
I was in the bathroom, frantically trying to do something with the frizzy mess atop my head when the squabbling began.
Cupie: You can't just move the star!
Stinkles: But the laundry is done.
Cupie: You didn't do the laundry. I DID!
Stinkles: It's not fair!
Cupie: How is it not fair? I DID THE LAUNDRY!
Stinkles: You did it without asking me first!
Cupie: Why should I ask you?
Cupie: Because why?
Stinkles: Because it's not fair.
Me (in my calmest thru-the-clenched-teeth-but-somewhat-evil-sounding voice while waving a comb around like a mad woman): WHAT IS GOING ON OUT HERE!!!!!!!
You've already read the situation so I won't repeat it, but the bottom line was that Stinkles didn't think it was fair that Cupie, who gets up at the same time as her and has the same number of morning tasks, doesn't daydream so she has time to laundry; therefore earning a star, while she does not.
Tears were streaming down Stinkles face (add that to the list of "something" to be covered in).
Over not "getting" to do the laundry.
Give me a moment to shed my own tears over this.
TEARS OF JOY!
- I did explain to Cupie that even though she enjoys doing laundry now, she really should involve her sister in the future so Stinkles doesn't start to take advantage of her and just expect her to do the laundry. That's my job, duh!
- Stinkles got her own load of laundry to fold and put away. In true Stinkles fashion, it took three days for the task to be complete. But it was completed nonetheless.