Now mind you the chart did work... for like a week. Maybe a week and a half. And every day she's still checking off her chores and letting me know they're done. But some days I have to remind her repeatedly. And some days I just point to the fridge (where the chart is proudly displayed).
Today I kinda hit a limit. Not a boiling point, head explode, regret what you say limit. I like to think I'm older and wiser and know when to tackle things. And this was one of those moments.
I had just finished visiting with my dad who was on his way home after a trip to Arizona. (If y'all didn't know we're in Texas... so it wasn't a quick trip.) Anyway, he showed up unexpectedly but we were happy to see him. We had a short visit but we were able to finalize plans for this weekend's Girl Scout Camp-out. (Don't worry... another blog-a-day for sure.) As we were talking I noticed the table, that should have been cleaned off an hour earlier was still dirty and she hadn't swept. I teased her, hoping she'd take the hint and finish, but she didn't. When I remind her she needed to finish it before playing she huffed, puffed and eventually did a half-assed job. I wasn't happy, but dropped it till dad left.
And when he did we 'talked'.
"What happened to preferring not to be told?"
"Every day life can be boring or it can be exciting. You get to chose. Make it fun. Time yourself, make art of the cleaner spray, sweep in funky patterns and replicate it on paper. I don't care, but get it done."
"But I'm lazy!"
"Child, ain't nobody in this house lazier than me. It took me years to pack on the pounds. I did it by eating and sitting on my butt. So let's talk about what lazy is."
"It means you don't want to do stuff."
"Yes, but life dictates that you have to. So how does a lazy person keep life from kicking it's butt?"
"I don't know. I guess it has a mom."
<Totally okay for both of us to giggle.>
"Sorry kid, at some point mom stops kicking your butt. Usually the start of every Disney movie."
"You are so weird."
"No worries, you are too. So back to mastering laziness. First thing, sit on your butt, write a list, map out the easiest route and don't deviate from it. Once you do it's called work. And work ain't cool."
"I got ya covered. Your chore chart, you ever notice it's in order? You make your bed, get dressed, brush your teeth, clean up breakfast... etc, etc, etc. If you do the list in order you should be done in the mornings within 15-minutes. After lunch 5 tops. Dinner and bedtime combined another 10. You rock math, that's 30-minutes a day. That's one cartoon show that your brother and sister can watch that you think is sooo lame. Understand?"
"You are smart, you understand."
"To master laziness you do everything the most efficient way possible so that you don't have to do it twice and you don't have to do more than is necessary. Trust me on this. Your grandpa showed up unannounced and the house was clean. Dishes put away, laundry done, and had you not done such a crappy job the floors swept. This wasn't by chance, this is because I'm efficient. And you are totally messin' that up for me. <deep breath> But you'll get there."
"Okay, so if I just do it I can still be lazy?"
"So what if I want to work?"
"Trust me kid, if you do what I do you'll never have to work. Work is for people who haven't mastered efficiency."
I punched her in the arm, put her in a headlock, called it Tae Kwon Do practice and I gave her big sloppy kiss.
Tomorrow; Lessons in being a Horse and Not an Ass