Thursday, October 30, 2014

House Work

So, the best way to motivate the boys to do yard work: have them young enough to enjoy making a huge leaf pile and jumping in it, but old enough to wield a rake with purpose.



A couple of times over the past few weeks, they've set to work in the back yard. The first time, they brought up the one decent rake we have and the metal rake - which is good for breaking up ground but terrible for actually raking leaves, not to mention dangerous. So, we made a trek to K-Mart (which is next to the Eat 'N' Park that we frequent) and picked up another normal-sized rake and a little-sized rake, which was The Baby's.



In our back yard, we have a HUGE oak tree - like, way bigger than our house huge. So, when it sheds, it fills our little, tiny back yard with leaves in a pool about three inches deep. I love letting the kids crash around in the leaves for a couple of reasons: 1) it's really cute, and 2) it smooshes them so they take fewer bags. If they want to rake their own leaf pile? Even better.


The tree is about 75% empty now, which means only one more full yard of leaves before the end of the season. Sigh.

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Last night, I had quartet rehearsal, and The Wife had a PTA meeting at school. The neat thing they do: they have play-time with the kids, and they hire / use older kids (middle and high school kids) to supervise the general playing. The boys had a great time, because they don't see a lot of their school friends outside of class. I think that's going to be a long-term thing. The nice thing about The Wife's current employment: it allows her the luxury of being in the school regularly and being an active member of any parents' groups she chooses.

I have a handful of friends who have no children or whose children are grown , and I enjoy living vicariously through them. I vaguely remember what it felt like to sleep late, and to go to an actual gym with actual machines than the (quite nice, really) home gym, and to play video games and watch sports on the television. When we moved into our house in Scotch Plains, it was before children; and it wasn't an issue to spend 8 hours at work and 8 hours working around the house. So, even though I'm not the most talented handyman, we always had a clean, straightened, organized house, even as I had my video games and tv shows.



Now? Pshaw. I still watch tv - I watch one show per day, in the morning when I exercise - and the house is occasionally, and briefly, organized before the kids get home. I occasionally get to watch a few minutes of a game, here or there, and once a month or so I can play video games on the Playstation. But, you know what?

I'm not raising a Playstation. I'm not raising a yard. I'm not raising a dust-free, dirt-free home. I'm raising three beautiful, brilliant, mischievous little boys. Most of the time, re-painting the kitchen can wait - I have to read bedtime stories. Most of the time, pruning the bushes and cleaning up the hills in front or in back of the house can wait - I have to take little boys on a bike ride to the playground. Playing my Final Fantasy 13 #2 (to which I have a total of 25 minutes logged)? That'll wait, because I can play Lego Batman WITH The Boy instead of making him watch.

The yardwork and housework will get done, eventually, albeit not as often as I'd prefer. But, it'll get done. I'm banking that the boys would rather have memories of their father reading them books and running in the park with them. I know that I should show them the value of working around the house, and how to paint and to fix the things that I know how to fix, but that just doesn't seem as important.


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