Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Child Labor

I used to say that we were going to have children so that they could be remote-fetchers.

I mean, to me there is no more powerful argument to have children, except when you add mowing the lawn and yard work in general. Once again, a capital idea—have children so you don’t have to pay a gardener. Sure, in the long run children are more expensive than a gardener, but your gardener will also not do any remote-fetching.

Some have suggested a dog as remote-fetcher, but a dog will never make you stop cleaning up the products of their bowels (and most reasonable children will eventually look after themselves.) The best part of chores and tasks is that they all fall under the character-building umbrella. You're teaching them the value of work, which is more important than almost anything (besides a trust fund.)

Our kids have been successful remote-fetchers for a while and we live in a maintenance-free condo, so now what to do with them?

Last night I asked El Guille to please pick up the living room. “Hey, how about I make dinner and you pick up the living room?” He counter offered.

Let me think about this one…OK!

"What are you going to make?"
"I can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Do you want one?"
"I'm OK, but you can make one for Proximo," I said.
"No peeking," he demanded and walked into the kitchen as I started grabbing toys off the floor. Pretty soon the room was looking tidy.
"You better be picking up in there!" He yelled from the kitchen.
I hurriedly took the stuffed animals and put them back on the kids' beds.

Another ten minutes went by and I picked up a book.
"Do you know why I'm taking so long?" He asked.
"Because you always take so long when you're making dinner," he said triumphantly.
"I'm not exactly making PB&J every night," I thought to myself as I snuggled into the club chair.
He walked into the living room, put his hands on his hips and said in a short voice, "Hmm. Looks pretty good in here. Good job."
"Is dinner ready?"
"Not yet."
"Carry on," I suggested, and he walked back into the kitchen.

Not wanting to test fate, I decided to procure my own glass of water from the sink. Sure enough, there they were, at the table engaged in meal making. One tiny swipe of PB from the jar onto a tiny section of bread, repeat until the whole slice is covered. Meanwhile the little one was removing a piece of bread from the bag, taking one bite, and stacking it with the rest of the pieces of bread with one bite missing. Aww, an organizer!

"Need any help?" I asked.
"Nope," He said, "And no peeking."
"Got it," I said, and returned to my club chair.

Now that, that is why you have kids and not a dog.


Rich said...

Awesome! I have such cute... NEPHEWS!

Fig said...

You know, some dogs clean up their own bowel products. I'm just saying.

Your boys are killer cute.

Azúcar said...

Your dog will never make you dinner.

(On purpose.)

(Even if he's really cute, like Harv.)

Mrs. Organic said...

Aww, an organizer - love it!

Chief Momma said...

I love what the baby is eating off of....a cake stand. Or at least it appears that way. I cannot believe your son is old enough to make sandwhiches...time flies!

I'm with you on the dog front. No thanks.

rookie cookie said...


Precocious little sandwich maker. Too bad they don't make PB&J at Subway. You could have him bringing in some income.

La Yen said...

Remember when you wanted to sell him for parts? It was good you held off--he is almost able to earn his keep!

Rachie said...

Your kids are so darn cute!

My brother and I were talking once about how we suspected our parents only had us for the free labor. My brother said, "I have evidence they only had us for the free labor: dad bought a self-propelled lawn mower and snow blower right after you moved out." (I'm the youngest.)


jennie w. said...

I was just thinking this same thing this afternoon when my son put the garbage cans away minutes after the garbage man drove away. No more leaving it the cans out in the street for days at a time, which is my husband's style.

You can't imagine hoe great it gets when they're older.

wendysue said...

Seriously, they hardly even need us.

dalene said...

So awesome. I might have to hire him to cook at my house!

Shawn said...

Lucky you! To get some work out of them. It is like pulling teeth out of an elephant sometimes to get my guy to do anything.

Maybe I need to try PB &J---hmmmm.

Jenny said...

Maybe you could rent him out for parties and dinners and get a little income going off him. I love that you are a choosy mom and eat the right kind of PB.

Azúcar said...

Hey, I buy whatever Costco has that's not expensive or too natural.

Shawn--we're not above taking away all their toys and other items to make them work.

Rachie--my dad bought a snow blower TOO.

LaYen--I'm SO glad I didn't sell him. Can you imagine the DCFS paperwork?

Azúcar said...

RC- We're trying to come up with some way for him to earn an income. Maybe child modeling? Nah, the future cocaine bill alone wouldn't be worth the driving hassle.

Chief Momma-- Yes. That's a cake stand. What? You don't love your child enough to serve his dinner on a cake stand? Huh. Sad.

Geo said...

So many skills under one roof.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

What a cheeky little boy! He can come make me dinner sometime. It sounds like he makes what we usually have anyway.

Anne-Marie said...

That is hilarious. The sarcasm & intensity of his Mama.

(perfect argument for kids not dogs. though, when I'm in the throws of pottytraining, i think dogs would be better.)

Different Dog said...

You are so funny! My kids will work, but only for food or presents. I told my three year old I was going to throw out a puzzle she left all over the table if she didn't clean it up. She looked at me and said, "Go ahead."
I figured out that I have to have her clean it up SO I can throw it out.
Ha ha!
I've also got a giveaway on my blog and I read you...check it out!

kiki said...


Rynell said...

I'm all for child labor. It works out pretty well for me too.

fijiangirl said...

Child Labor is awesome... this morning all their bed rooms were clean and not once did I have to get up from the computer to answer the phone! We don't really have remote fetchers we have phone fetchers and sometimes they act as personal secretaries by going the extra mile and answering the phone.

Glad you kept him!

ScrapBox Organization & Storage said...

I remember telling my mom that I was sure the only reason she had children was to get some slaves. (I said as I was very hotly setting the table--while the slave-driver herself was making the dinner.) Glad you got a few minutes to yourself. And what did YOU eat for dinner?

Tamsin said...

Plus a dog would slobber on your remote. No please.

Azúcar said...

I ate the heel of a baguette with fresh cream butter, a leafy green salad with hard-boiled egg and a homemade dill vinaigrette. After they were in bed, of course.

Swistle said...

They are SO CUTE. And also, kids can support you in your old age, whereas dogs tend not to.

Likely said...

Umm dunce cap on the counter?

My mom would TELL US that the only reason she had children was so that they could do the chores. She also told me that she got me from the side of the road in a canyon in Utah. An Indian lady was selling babies and she thought I was cute.

I can't believe how big EG is. The last time I saw him he was Prox's age.

Azúcar said...

Likely--it took me a second! That's my hand held vacuum.