This blog was one of the more obvious casualties, but it is right up there with the out-of-sight victims, including "the pile of laundry in my basement" and "the weeds in my garden" and "the ickiness on my shower floor" and… well, you get the picture.
I am employing my time-honored system to overcome the more glaring and pressing issues: feudal labor.
In addition to the confessions about my laundry and garden and shower floor, I also feel compelled to confess that I do not pay my children an allowance.
I never have. And I don’t intend to start anytime soon, unless they threaten to out my petty, penny-pinching ways in front of all their friends.
You see, I have conditioned my children to ask for paying jobs around the house should they have some material itch that needs to be scratched. Don’t get me wrong; they do not get paid to do everyday chores. (That is why, for the most part, they avoid doing them.) But if I, or they, am in a bind, then the feudal labor system comes into play: I pay them a ridiculously low amount to do a job that, by all accounts, I should be doing myself.
Take that big project I was working on at the beginning of the summer. I paid the older two to watch their baby brother, and I paid the littlest one to be good and mind them. The catch was that they did not get paid if they were watching TV. (I knew from experience that I could do that myself, with far less financial consequence.) This led them to spend vast amounts of time outside, playing various games with each other in the fresh air, and I patted myself on the back for buying myself some peace and quiet while
Rock Band by the time I finished the project. (I deluded myself that I was also encouraging their math skills.) This was very fortuitous timing, as the steady tick-tick-tick of the pseudo-drum set would have driven me straight round the bend while I was working on that particular project.
(I tried to upload a very cute video of them playing Rock Band which -- at the same time of the cuteness -- demonstrated how annoying that tick-tick-tick is. But I cannot get YouTube to upload the video, and I am too tired to figure it out tonight. I will post it tomorrow if I get it worked out. Meanwhile, a picture of them playing will have to speak a thousand words instead. Terzo is playing the part of back-up dancer.)
sisyphean task: picking the plum tomatoes.
As with the “no pay for sticking your little brother in front of the TV” rule, I have wised up a little in the chores-for-cash department. If I had offered to pay them a flat rate for picking the tomatoes, I would have ended up with twenty tomatoes and them swearing on my grave that the garden did not contain one more ripe tomato.