So it’s summer vacation time, and the kids are lazing around, pulling hours-long viewing sessions of Sponge Bob and iCarly, inhaling all the snacks in one sitting, and following me around the house like I’m Chris Rock, just waiting for me to entertain them. In years past, I’ve used this opportunity to enlist help on some summertime “mommy” projects. You know the kind pantry cleaning, closet clearing, junk draw disassembly, wall scrubbing.

Enlisting the help of the little ones for such mundane tasks was always met with great enthusiasm, especially if I offered up a kiddie cup of Carvel ice cream or a coupla quarters or even something as simple as a smoochie hug for said services.

But noooo. These little fast butts around here are too good for cleaning now. Witness:

Me: Oh boy look at this junk drawer! *points out random collection of toys, box tops, assorted papers, dried up markers, stale make-up, and completely inoperable craft supplies* It sure could use some straightening out.

Them: *complete, dead silence*

Me: So, how ’bout we clean out the junk drawer tomorrow! *words are delivered with great enthusiasm and an excited hand clap for good measure*

Them: *complete, dead silence*

Me: And then we can do the pantry!

Lila: Um, that doesn’t sound like fun, Mommy.

Mari: Yeah, um, not fun at all.

Damn kids.


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  1. Ahahaha! They've caught on then! When my son is old enough, I will remember this post, and I will milk his cleaning skills until that well runs dry! 😉

  2. Because that's trickery…trickery is never good…y'all moms are all alike, ha,ha!

  3. It just means it's time for more advanced trickery. Clean out the junk drawer and scream "I just found a ten dollar bill!!!" just loud enough for them to hear over Sponge Bob. I'll bet your pantry's clean by supper time.

  4. MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner

    @Jennifer: You got about six good years, and then it's all over. Good luck girl!

    @Jackie: What would motherhood be without trickery?!

    @Gretchen: I LOVE the way you think… I'm on it!

  5. Ha! I vote that you take their beds out of their rooms while they're gone, then when they come home, just say you were trying to make room to fit all the other junk. If you're brave enough to take my suggestion, PLEASE videotape the whole thing and send it to me…LOL! You're in my prayers 🙂

  6. MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner

    @Execumama; OOOOhhhhhh!!! That's GANGSTA! LOVE it!

  7. I feel you on this one, girl! LOL! I have four young adult kids. Two have graduated high school. One of those lives has returned home with a baby (ugh!). The other is living with dad, but lingers home frequently.

    Those two youngest ones, well, you know the story. I sit them down and give them the lecture…summer is here, two days per week with friends/outings ONLY if chores (which are listed) are complete on a VOLUNTARY basis…LOL! Works great!!

    However, if they don't "volunteer", I must tell them and this automatically eliminates outings for the week…LOL! Takes a lot of work off of me. I love it

    Just providing them with a little incentive 😉

  8. Roshni Mitra Chintalapati

    *sweating*, ok, so my son is 5 now…how long can I use the child slave labor??!!! 😉

  9. teachingmom08

    Chores are a never ending struggle in my household. I hate when I have to resort to trickery, bribery, and a good old fashioned smack down. but a sistah gotta do what a sistah gotta do to get the job done!

  10. LOL! Looks like you're gonna be on your own mama.

  11. LOL. I vote with Execumama!!!
    Chidi's residual Montessori training has been long gone! I recall the days when he would come home from Pre-K, take off his shoes after scrapping non-existent dirt on the door mat, and place them neatly in the corner by the door.

    Ah, the days when he would see me at the kitchen sink and proceed to the pantry to pull out the broom 3x his size and then thoroughly sweep the kitchen area for me. AND THEN insist on handling the dustpan part by himself.

    New strategies are required now. And having been raised by virtuous parents, I find it hard to offer money for work the kid needs to do in the first place. But, man, sometimes, I'm too tired to think beyond that.

    LOL…good luck and please share with us your new strategies…

  12. Just wait until they are teenagers they will just turn around and walk away while saying "See ya later mom."

  13. Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    I've learned to enjoy my daughter's innocence in wanting to help with everything, including vacuuming, washing the dishes, and yes — even cleaning the bathroom. I realize that she's only 3 and isn't really of much help, but I also realize that these days won't last forever. Soon enough, I'll have to threaten her with death or dismemberment to get her to wash the dishes, so for now, I'll appreciate that she offers without having to be asked 🙂

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