Child labor laws? Pshaw!
There is one and only one reason to have children, and it has nothing to do with ensure that the human race continues, leaving a legacy or any of that other warm fuzzy stuff.
It's instead cold and practical: Children make wonderful little slaves.
That's a joke. Please do not call Child Protective Services. No actual human beings were harmed during production of this post, and if I actually wanted inexpensive household help, hiring a maid and paying her taxes would be much cheaper than raising the guys.
However, if labor is offered, who am I to reject it?
The guys have been on a cleaning kick of late, and I don't kid myself that it started for any other reason than the joy of playing in water.
Sometimes odd motivation can work, though. I mastered spreadsheets only in an attempt to defeat the evil genius in my fantasy baseball league. Turned out the evil genius was untouchable, but I succeeded in beating Excel into submission.
The guys have been especially fascinated since I conceded that, while great for quick wipe-ups, Swiffer was just never going to do in the battle against their grime. So I bought a real mop. I don't think they'd ever seen one.
"How does this work?" Big Guy asked.
"Well, you run water into a bucket ... "I started.
I had him at "run water." It's all I can do now to get the floor mopped for real before they take over.
The odd thing, though, is how the fascination has spread to other chores.
Big Guy has started packing his lunch, which has decreased the griping exponentially. "Don't blame me if you don't like it. You picked it." Boots can find the laundry hamper without the aid of GPS. And I feel a little like Scarlett O'Hara at the picnic every night after dinner as the guys clamor for the right to clean up. "I think I'll let Boots get my cake."
This is not just about free household help, though. It's also a value lesson: If you don't study hard in school, or if you major in journalism, this is what you'll do the rest of your life.
I'm hoping for a few blissful toil-free years of lying on the couch eating bonbons while they labor. Then teen-age rebellion will kick in and it'll be back to the mop bucket for me.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.