The other day when The Shortlings got home from school, I told them they each were assigned... *cue brass section* ...A Chore. One had to clean up one room and one had to clean up a different room.  It didn't matter if they didn't make the mess; this room was their responsibility and they were to clean it.  And, in a great parting with tradition, I told them they had to do their Chore even before their Homework, which is sacrosanct in our house, so they knew I meant business.

This is the best attempt so far in getting them to help pick up around the house.  A) because even if it was not them that made the mess in that room, they got the experience of cleaning up after someone else for a change, so they know what it's like, B) because they were not doing it together and there was no arguing of "you pick up that," "no, that's yours," "well you left it there," "but you made me get it out," etc., etc., and, C) the Large One for once, wasn't able to just slack off and tell the Small One what to do without actually doing any of it herself, which is usually the case.

And by best attempt so far, I don't mean it was easy, or well done, or that they didn't complain about it, just that it was the best attempt so far.

At some point when they were both dawdling and FORGETTING WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DOING PART OF IT (I will never understand nor related to that. /sarcasm), I pointed out that if they didn't each finish with their Chore and subsequent homework then they wouldn't be able to go to a church event that evening that for some reason The Dormouse couldn't live without experiencing.

Me: "If you don't finish your Chore, you're not going to be able to go to the activity tonight."

Dormouse: "MoOoOom." (don't you love how they say the word Mom... with three syllables?) "I hate it when you call it that."

"Call what what?"

"When we have to do something, you call it a Chore. That makes it seem even harder."

"But that's what it is."

"Yeah, but it makes me sound like Cinderella when you call it a Chore and then I don't want to do it even more."

"OK..." *pause* ... "If you don't finish your Big Time, Happy Fun, River Made Of Ice Cream, Gala Task Spectacular, you're not going to be able to go to the activity tonight."


(five syllables)