Saturday, September 13, 2008


"Jake, you have chores to do. Go. DO. THEM. NOW."

Jake is a master at redirection, distraction, and getting out of chores. If I'm not paying attention he'll wangle his way out the door to a friend's house and it will be Sunday night before I figure out that he hasn't fulfilled his obligations. He doesn't have a lot to do, really. At least I don't think so; when I was 12 I was doing a lot more then he is.

Jake's Saturday Obligations to attain $15 every two weeks....

-clean his bathroom
-clean his room (make bed, put away the laundry, change the sheets)
-change his hamster's cage
-occasionally mow the lawn (which he gets paid extra for, even!)
-take out the garbage

This morning I woke up to Jake watching TV, which he's not supposed to be doing until the chores are done. Between the phone call that jolted me out of a sound slumber, the drone of a lawn mower next door, and then the Jehovah Witnesses that appeared at the door, I was a bit distracted and too half asleep to notice for awhile.

See? If you're not watching, whammo! He takes advantage, then plays all innocent-like about it when he's caught. I finally clued in after I'd had a coffee, and told him to turn off the TV and get down to work. He valiantly tried to distract me with conversation about Twitter, and then how he and Hubs were blowing up the gun cotton that they created last night in the garage, but I wasn't about to be swayed this time.

"Jake, if you want to play outside today, you have obligations. When you have it all done is up to you, but you won't be going anywhere until they ARE FINISHED."


"Mom, you know I think it would be so cool if those lawn guys just showed up and mowed the lawn so that I didn't have to do it today."

"Jake, I'd love it if a magical fairy showed up and scrubbed my toilet, but that's not going to happen."

Jake heaved a sigh. It's probably the last sunny weekend of the summer and I know he'd rather be out and about with his friends, and part of me would love to just let him go. On the other hand he needs to learn about the value of work and obligations, so unfortunately I'm his jailer for the afternoon.

Suddenly he shuffles to the window and parting the blinds, peeks out at the neighbor's house, where the sounds of a lawn mower are still rumbling incessantly.

"Well it's happening next door."

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