To the Revolution
And Now Some Words From the Fluff Pack

WHAT IS HAPPENING

Ezra: Mom, I really wish I could learn how to vacuum the floor.

Me: ...

Me: BEHOLD, I AM MAGIC WISH-GRANTING FAIRY. KNOCK YOURSELF OUT, CHILD.

For whatever reason, after school on Monday, Ezra suddenly noticed there were still Cheerios all over the kitchen floor. Now, there are ALWAYS Cheerios all over the kitchen floor, this has been a constant point of crunchy underfoot irritation in my life for damn near a decade now, because the pincer grasp milestone is a crock of shit, but this was the first time any of them actually 1) noticed, and 2) felt compelled to do something about it. 

Me, again:

Kermit

I got out the vacuum, went over some basics, and barely got in a demo push before Ezra grabbed it out of my hands and went to TOWN on those Cheerios.

The kitchen vacuuming quickly turned into bedroom vacuuming, then he decided to take care of the hallways and stairs. Then Ike, I shit you not, asked to join in the fun.

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Ezra finished off in the living room, tsk tsking over every stray Lego and broken crayon bit he came across and carefully picked up. Ike ran around collecting socks and mittens and papers off the floor and out of corners. I mostly just sat there trying to believe this was real life. How many times have I begged them to do that? How many times have I threatened to just vacuum up All The Shit if they didn't? How did it not occur to me that maybe, just maybe, I could sell them on the vacuum itself -- the loud, powerful, magic sucking-up machines that my children were now treating with all the glee of an electric chainsaw? 

Our Oreck (oh my God, how I love our Oreck, it puts that way more expensive, constantly crapping-out-on-us Dyson cordless to shame) only weighs eight pounds, so it was super easy for them to use and move around, as Ike took it upon himself to carry it down the stairs to the family room and busied himself while I made dinner. 

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He did a really, really good job. He was so super proud of himself, so Imma brag on his behalf. He earned it. 

Ezra asked if vacuuming could be a regular chore, which HAHAHA YOU SHALL RUE THIS DAY SO BUT YES IT CAN, and yesterday they took turns vacuuming the basement. Tonight they plan to take care of our bedroom. 

So if you're keeping count, this means I have more or less successfully outsourced all of the following to my children:

Unloading the dishwasher (Ez & Ike)

Rinsing dishes and loading the dishwasher (Noah)

Walking the dog (Noah and Ez alternate morning/afternoon, I handle the mid-day)

Setting the table (ALL Y'ALL)

Taking out trash/recycling (EVERYBODY NOW)

Packing lunches (I DUNNO, DO YOU PLAN TO EAT TODAY?)

Raking leaves (SEASONAL MANUAL LABOR FUN)

Their own damn laundry (Noah and Ez are responsisible for the whole washing/drying/folding/putting away shebang; Ike gets his laundry washed and folded but puts everything away himself)

And now, Vacuuming. 

And next up, their nightmare of a bathroom, because I am done done done and also feeling like I might be some kind of wizard. Has anybody here ever wished they could learn how to clean a toilet or get petrified toothpaste crud off a sink? STEP RIGHT UP.

Meanwhile, during all this vacuuming fun, Noah was all:

Sam eagle

But in the immortal words of Mr. Loaf: Two out of three ain't bad. 

Comments

Marcy

Oh my god! You are magic! And I'm totally jealous.

Holly

I love the Kermit and Sam GIFs. Perfect.

Lindsay

Whaaaaaatttt?????? Um, if they run out of rooms to clean at your house, send 'em over!

Brandi

Awesome! I've always said 90% of why people have kids is to help with housework. My mom put me and my sister to work do do the same with your boys. Now if only I could train my cats to clean...

Kelly

*Sprinkles Magic Parent Dust over you while chanting* There, that should help with the regression of activities based solely on the fact that you have said them out loud. Like SLEEPING THROUGH THE DAMN NIGHT.

sylvie

Jealous...mine love the vacuum but their attention span is still limited to microsecond in that area...Maybe you could get Noah to use his skillzs to organized that bookshelf (alphabetical order, anyone??) I also have bookshelves that have a life on their own so I am not judging here at all.

Stacy

I take it Beau isn't a crumb-catcher. After our last dog passed, I had hoped our new rescue (a Lab, no less) might be more on the ball when it came to bits on the floor. No dice. I can only dream of my brother's beagle who would work for hours at getting a crumb out from underneath a cabinet. He kept that kitchen floor clean.

Cara

My 6 year old has loved to mop for awhile now, but about six months ago I looked around after she mopped and realized the floor was actually clean and I didn't need to mop again when she wasn't looking. It's a game changer. Of course, my 1 year old also likes to mop and recently discovered the spray function on our mop. So, I now occasionally have to finish the mopping with an old bath towel.

Melissa

My three-and-a-half year old would LOVE to vacuum but our vacuum is too damn heavy. Must go out and get an Oreck stat!

Melissa

My kids clean all things too. It's the best. Get them to do the bathrooms and you'll be golden!

Louise

Thank you for being the only other person on the planet other than me who didn't like their Dyson. Mine died within three months.

Anna

So, I'm assuming this was your best parenting day thus far?

Katie H.

Wait, what? Your kids do chores... specifically THEIR OWN LAUNDRY? *bows down to Amy's superior mom powers My 11 year old clearly still sees me as her maid. You have inspired me - I shall go forth and begin the impossible with you as my muse. :)

Janice Barnett

Congratulations Amy! It wasn't until my children were in their later teens that they would even help with the housework. My daughter (now a mother of three) is finding out that it make life easier when everyone pitches in and helps.

Sara

I bought Brody a vaccume for his third birthday all of his own. Like a real cordless vac for quick pick ups. Not only did I win the best gift award (he was so excited I can't even tell you!) he still nearly a year later uses it nearly daily lol.

Fraulein N

The entire time you were describing this, I was imagining Noah lurking somewhere quietly, thinking, "What is wrong with you people?"

I distinctly remember BEGGING to be allowed to iron and insisting that doing dishes was going to be my jam (once I could finally, you know, see over the counter) and I *still* don't understand the way kids think.

Jen

Totally LOL'd on the nod to Mr. Loaf! Do people still say LOL?

Kari Perry

I will rent dem boys, my address is...

C

How do you have a dog AND cheerios on the floor??? It wasn't until our dog died that I realized how gross we actually are!

Stacy

My daughter cleans her own bathroom (except the tub, because we live in Japan, and the tub is like three feet deep). She has been scrubbing toilets since she was five (she's either now). She loves scrubbing toilets (not wiping them down, but that's still part of her chore. But, we don't have any boys). She wants to vacuum, but we have a Kirby and it's heavy and expensive. I should have thought that through better.

Sue W

Since I have no kids, any chance of you renting me a kid for vacuuming? I have a Rainbow which I LOVE that they can use!

L

I need details. At what ages did they start doing things like laundry and packing lunches? And do they get cash money for these chores or are they just general expectations? I have a super helpful 3-year-old, but he still requires a lot of direction, mostly because he is so easily distracted.

Vickie

Your daughter-in-laws will thank you. One of my primary goals has always been for a future daughter-in-law not to think I had my head up my ... while raising my son.

Lisa

I'm going to need a follow up post on how you accomplished this magic. My kids are 4 and 6 and they need some training apparently.

Me

And what do you do all day when they are in school? 😕

mary

tsk tsking over every stray Lego and broken crayon bit he came across and carefully picked up. Ike ran around collecting socks and mittens and papers off the floor and out of corners.

Your house sounds like a pig sty. What do you do all day?

Laurie

My six-year-old just started cleaning the bathroom for cash. She understands that she must do her other chores with no expectation of payment. I, however, am willing to outsource bathroom cleaning. Now she is interested in doing her own laundry. She is such a light in dark times...

Amalah

(OBVIOUSLY, I lie on my fainting couch and watch soap operas while eating bon bons all day. That's definitely what working from home means.)

Claire

Those asking what you do all day need to get their heads out of their asses. Jesus. My husband is the sahp, but he also works from home. Sometimes shit doesn't get done and that's ok. Hell, sometimes he wants to sit on the sofa and drink coffee. I don't blame him. And socks? Those little bastards get everywhere, especially when you multiply the number of feet involved. I always manage to miss a sock when I'm doing the laundry.

We have the kids putting their own dishes in the sink, tidying up toys and bringing dirty clothes to the washing machine. Which they do know how to operate. They're 3 and 4 and I thought we were doing well.

mary

A lot of people have full time jobs and children and manage to keep their house from looking like a dumpster blew up in it.

JenVegas

YOU ARE A WIZARD!!

Stacy

Isn't a relief to see the judgmental folks never fail to chime in? Christ, I don't have kids and there is still sometimes crap everywhere in my house. I work from home part of the time too, which means I have to do other work than clean. The boys' future roommates and life partners will be happy not to live with someone who thinks that magic cleaning fairy comes along to do it all. Well done, you.

Kim

Hot dang. I swear my husband would never notice crunchy cheerios on the kitchen floor, let alone do anything about it. You are raising some fine boys over there.

julie

Good Job Mama!

liz

I bow down to your mad parenting skilz

Jill

"I mostly just sat there trying to believe this was real life". I literally chuckled out loud over this Awesome!

Leah

This is some Tom Sawyer s***!

Heather

So I remember my lovely boy going through this at about 8 or 9. Wanted to vacuum, do laundry, clean the toilets...I shit you not!! So this lasted about 3 or 4 months and then went away. Now I am lucky if he takes care of the clean clothes I have washed and folded for him. Now don't get me wrong, he will do anything I ask him to and if I ask him to help, vacuuming is his first choice, however, the fun of cleaning the toilets has seemed to escape him. Enjoy the help, I hope it lasts a lifetime!!

Amy A

Yeah...fellow work at home mom here. That's all we do--eat bonbons and watch TV, obvi.
God, how f-ing patronizing. I actually had a 'friend' ask me, years ago when my son was in elementary school and hers in preschool, if I could watch her son for a week while her babysitter was on vacation. So that, you know, she wouldn't have to take off work. When I answered, increduously, that I also worked a full time job, her answer was, 'but you work at home'. Ugh.

Kris

It's a daily struggle around here. No one willing does anything without reminders or nagging depending on the task. I was sick for 2 weeks and my husband was like "damn these kids need to do more. You are doing to much for them!" He is right.

Anne

Yes, please could you write something about the chores?? I have 9, 7, and 5, and they are very hard to motivate.

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