Sometimes I feel like a real Mary Poppins.
Not that I pull coat racks out of travel bags or fly with an umbrella or dance with chimney sweeps, although that would be pretty amazing.
Instead, I find myself trying to force-feed my children a spoonful of sugar.
Remember his wise and wise words. “In every job that needs to be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun and, snap! Work becomes play! And every task you take on becomes child’s play. A lark! A trip ! It’s very clear to see!
It’s at this point in the classic film that the kids, who had previously been borderline lazy delinquents, spring into action and snap their fingers and the toys magically end up on the shelves and the clothes in the drawers. Although we don’t have that kind of magic, I still frequently try to get my kids to have fun with chores.
Laughing attack:She gets carried away by the giggles during a moment of vacuuming
Even when the chores aren’t so fun
Just recently, our youngest daughter in her first grade wisdom, called me about this. I screamed from the garage while she worked hard inside, exercising her thumb muscles by doing thousands of repetitions of tapping on her phone. I wanted her to unload cans of pop into our outdoor fridge to prepare for a party.
In the best singing voice I’ve called, “I’ve got a fun job for you in the garage!” You’ll love it! This party will be awesome! I think it sounded like a lot of spoonfuls of sugar, which was my goal as it certainly wasn’t a job I wanted to do, but it could have been a much worse task.
“Mom, you always say it’s fun work and it never really is. I don’t know why you always try to trap us like that – we’re not small anymore. It does not work.
(I’ll skip the part where there was a bit of screaming and eventually we finished the job together.)
It’s a sad day for parents when you can’t take advantage of your kids by making them think chores and work are fun. I still ran well.
There was a time when I was giving out prizes for best back rub and their little hands were fighting over who should go first and inevitably it would always be a tie with me being the real winner.
After the garage task, I tried one more time by folding the laundry. “Who wants to join me in a super fun job? It’s ah-may-zing! All the shirts and socks are inside out and you have to turn them inside out, then fold them and put them away! There might be a prize! Anyone? Anyone??”
(I’ll skip the part where I finished the laundry on my own.)
Contact Karrie McAllister at [email protected]