“All you ever ask me to do is CHORES!”
Poor Cinderella. She wiped her tear streaked face with dirty hands, filthy from having had to sweep up the ashes from the fireplace .. after scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush, and weeding the garden with her bare hands.
This outburst was prompted by the apparent heinous parental crime of asking her to do her dishwasher unloading job.
Such cruel, cruel parents we are – in her imagination.
The facts? Ms Just About 17 was finally asked to empty the dishwasher at about 7pm on Sunday, after I had waited patiently for the “stressed” HSC student to time manage it herself, in between stints in her bedroom (presumably doing school work), and several “relaxation” stints of TV watching.
(Yes, I have probably overreacted to some experiences in our youth where I felt that parents were unreasonable about time frames…)
Didn’t we know how STRESSED she was? And how she needed her downtime. And she’s expected to do all these CHORES. We’re always nagging her to do chores, apparently.
We have this Roster, you see. It’s such a terrible roster.. each child has maybe one or two jobs a day, which translates to twice a week for each on each duty. Sat and Sunday double up (to Ms 17s disgust, so I usually try to do the dishwasher one of those days. To keep it FAIR, you know.
Mostly, despite the fact that they requested a roster system in the first place, they don’t even manage to do what they are supposed to do. (And I’m not very good at keeping on top of it.) I usually realise what’s not done once they are in bed. Almost always I have to nag:
“And while I’m out do your jobs.”
None of it is Cinderella material either. Unpack the dishwasher is the most time consuming and “arduous”. The other meagre jobs are ’empty recycling’, clear table, fill up water bottles after dinner, put kitchen garbage in bin.
Occasionally I’ll ask for a bit extra – “Can you get the clothes off the line please.” And taking turns on a weekly basis to do the bathroom vanity, which Ms 17 manages to skive off because she doesn’t use that one. (She uses ours.)
And they’re supposed to share the table-setting each night.
But apparently I had the hide to ask Ms 17 last week (or was it the week before?) to help her sister get the clothes off the line – AND demand it be done THEN (as it was getting dark and damp outside.) My GOD, she was chilling out, de-stressing, watching TV.)
Occasionally I manage to get them to make a salad. Or chop up some veggies. Ms 17 specialises in avoidance tactics here, so much so that it’s usually less stressful for ME to do it myself, than nag. (And then shout.)
Somewhere along the line I’ve failed miserably at this part of parenting.
No sweeping floors, cleaning loos… (only occasionally, in one of the visitor-induced household freak out clean ups do they get asked to vacuum.)
This girl has it TOO GOOD. As I told her (in a very loud voice, numerous times).
“You don’t know you’re alive!”
“Ohhh, get over yourself.”
“Stop carrying on like a bloody Princess.”
So take note.. those of you with younger kids. Get in early, before they have had a chance to hone their avoidance tactics, and expectations, and get them used to the Cinderella treatment. Else you’ll end up with a Queenager with a Princess complex like mine.