Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Task Master

My brother, sister and I have always joked that we didn't have toys as kids.  We had chores.  And lots of them.  I was the only kindergartener who know how to make a hospital corner on my bed and scrub a toilet without a brush.  We raked out horse stalls, carried bales of hay, chopped wood, raked leaves, scrubbed name it, we did it.  I distinctly remember cooking dinner three nights a week as a 10 year old.

You may remember when Henry was a toddler, I had him scrubbing the baseboards.  In my defense, it was something he really enjoyed.  It must have been more than once because a local friend called me recently to find out what the technique was.  Her baseboards were on her list and she wanted to get the kids on the job.  (Cloth diapers and a vinegar/water spray bottle if you are wondering.  A toothbrush for the seams.)

Last night Henry was in the tub and asked if he could bring his brush (from his dustpan and brush set) into the bathtub.  Whenever I can say yes to something, I do.  Could he put some soap on it.  Sure kid, anything that will get me back to my NY Magazine.  Can he rub the soapy brush on the walls?  Yup.  What about the washcloth? 

Now my ears perked up and I put my magazine down.  Here little boy, do you want to use your toothbrush?  It is getting old and will do the job the grout better, I mean it will be more fun.  He is now scrubbing away, happy as a clam.  I passed a princess toothbrush to the other idle worker, I mean child and she got scrubbing too.

One hour later, I had to drag them kicking and screaming from the tub.  I could only hoist Henry out after I promised that he could scrub the tub again today.  When he woke, I heard his chirpy little voice.  "Guess what Daddy!  I have to eat breakfast really quick because mommy said I can scrub the tile again today!"

After ninety minutes of scrubbing this morning I had to drag them out of the tub.  Henry only acquiesced because his friend that was coming to play had rang the doorbell.    They did a great job, the first foot of the tile is sparkling white.  Now only if they were a little bit taller...

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