This morning was like any other crazy morning here in Fitzville. Fitz rounded the older 3 boys up to head to school, Kaleigh made her way off, and I was trying to get Tommy and Emma ready to drop them off and then run Margaret over to the orthodontist. Minutes before we left the phone rang. It was E.J. telling me he had forgotten his big project he had been working on for days... a project that was due today, and could I please come bring it to school for him. Sure, no problem... fit that right into the other 100 things I was trying to get done today.
The beauty of this phone call is that E.J. knew my policy when he called. It's a brilliant idea, given to me by a cyber friend years back, and which I have not only used in my own house, but passed on to many, many friends in town, so that their children could hate me. And now I am taking it to the cyber world, so that children nationwide can hate me. 'Cause I'm an overachiever like that.
The policy is hassle chores. Very simply... if you call to ask me to do you a favor that is above and beyond the call of mom duty, a favor that is truly a hassle for me... then you will in turn owe me a "hassle chore". These are chores that moms get stuck with. Thinks like cleaning out the van, or sorting laundry, or organizing a closet.
The greatest thing about hassle chores is not getting an annoying task out of the way, but that the kid learns quickly not to forget soccercleats/books/lunch money etc. And as an added bonus, they learn to think hard before they make that call... is this call really necessary, is it worth a hassle chore?
And as much as my kids hate this policy, I would bet money that someday my grandkids will also do hassle chores. Maybe not right away, but after mom or dad has to drop everything they are doing to run to school with that shoebox and playdough diorama.