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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Work It Girl

Mr. Lane and I have been having serious talks lately about adding more chores to our kids' lists. I feel they do enough, Mr. Lane disagrees. We are trying to reach a compromise. While the old man is out of town, I've been talking to the kids about the possibility once their dad comes back.

The boy, less than thrilled rattled off all he already does. The girl said she likes chores and doesn't mind getting more. They are like night and day.

Yard work is something the three of us do. We take turns on the lawn tractor, we have three rakes, the girl and I keep the garden, both kids and one crazy neighbor take care of snow removal. (That guy is going to get his own post one of these days.) Mr. Lane is the bush master. (insert perversion here) He keeps all of the landscape bushes neat and tidy and prepares them for winter. Lane 1 also takes care of the mowing and snow removal at our recently widowed neighbor's house.

Inside, both kids keep their rooms somewhat clean. Okay, they "clear a path" everyday. On weekends they actually clean them. Lane 2 clears the table and sets it for dinner. She also takes care of the birds. Lane 1 is the garbage man and the one who removes snow off of the car in the morning. On the weekend they do a few more odds and ends. During the week, they always have homework so I try not to load them up with additional chores.

Last night my daughter was begging me to give her a "fun new chore" like making dinner. By the time I was her age, I was cooking, so what harm could it cause? I told her as soon as her homework was finished to get started on dinner. She was so excited.

With very little help from me, she made her first casserole. The boy curled his nose up at it and was getting ready to say something mean. I stopped him. She looked so proud of herself, I couldn't let him ruin it for her.

When her back was turned, I whispered to him, "You better not hurt her feelings. I don't care if it tastes like mud pies, you are going to eat it and you are going to tell her what a good job she did."

He rolled his eyes at me.

She had the table set extra nice with a candle, perfectly folded napkins and drinks for all three of us.

"It smells wonderful!" I said while kicking my son under the table.

"Yeah. Smells pretty good," he said.

She couldn't contain her smile.

Then she said, "Lane, would you please say Grace?"

"What? Oh, come on dude! You are taking this way too far!"

I kicked him again.

He folded his hands and quickly said, "Good bread. Good meat. Good gosh, let's eat. Amen."

The kids didn't know that the casserole sitting before them was the very same casserole I used to make all of the time. The one they both hated. In fact, they hated it so much, they called it ugly poop in a pot. Lane 1 was taking tiny bites, being a typical cynic brother, teaser extraordinaire. Until I kicked him again.

Did you ever see the movie, What About Bob? My son turned into the character. His mouth full, he kept repeating, "Yum, er... good... this is sooo, mmm, mmm, mmm," I kicked him again.

This one new chore turned out to be a big boost of self esteem for the girl and a big bruise for the boy.

By the way, thanks for thinking I am a mere puppet on a string. Geppetto, as Bill so affectionately named him, was sent back home with Brittany. Cute or not, I am not having any more cats in this house, thankyouverymuch.

I know it's not Christmas yet but I have a lot of people here that I want to "give" gifts to. If you are new to Home Fires and wondering what this is all about, this is my Non-Meme Christmas Gift Giving Bonanza. You can read more about it here. Feel free to join in the gift giving.

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I want to start with my longtime buddy Vince. For him I offer up, time in a bottle. This will give him the time he desires to work on his music without compromising his family time.

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Secondly, I offer a cure for autism for his son.

Many more Christmas gifts are coming soon to a blog near you!