It is so much easier when the kiddos are little to just do all the things yourself. They get a bit older, you try to teach them something, and the mess just multiplies. Then, one day, you realize that if your child can whip his sister with his earbuds, he can probably handle shaking out the rugs too. Here are some signs that your kids may be chore ready.
1. Cleaning The Toilet
If your child has perfected making skid marks of every shape known to man in the commode and says, “Ooh, that’s a doozy for you,” as you are bent over, scrubbing their fecal art away, it is a good time to pass the torch. And by torch, I mean the toilet brush.
2. Carrying Heavy Objects
If they can heave each other across the room, wrestle down the stairs, or pin their brother down for longer then 10 seconds, I figure they can probably help move some furniture around so I can clean underneath it. Some light wheelbarrow work should be fine too. Stacking wood? You bet your ass.
If they can open the dryer, take everything out while yelling to you that they cannot find their favorite sweatshirt, folding that laundry should come pretty easy. At first, they may just wad things up in little balls, and call it folding. Let it slide. Are your drawers all perfectly folded and categorized? I didn’t think so. Plus, I have never met an adult who says they love to fold the laundry. Never. Let your kids do this one.
4. Feeding Themselves
If they complain that the peanut butter to jelly ratio is all wrong in their sandwich or the pasta is not cooked al dente, they can probably handle doing it themselves. For some reason, when my kids make food, they think they are amazing and should try out for Chopped. This is also true for my husband. I could pull out a sick Mexican-themed dinner, complete with a fucking flan and get nothing, but their grilled cheese? It is epic every time.
5. Making Their Bed
If Architectural Digest-worthy sheet forts start to pop up everywhere in your home, they can start making their bed. This should include all sheets being pulled nice and taut, with the pillows actually on the bed. They may contest at first if you call a do-over, but stay strong. Remember the sheet fort with two stories and the sauna? Making a bed should be cake compared to that.
6. Washing Windows
If they can have squirt gun fights and pee or spit on each other, they are ready to tackle window-washing—after they clean up all the pee and spit, of course. Just put a limit on the squirts. I am still not sure why this is so fun, but that doesn’t stop me from using it to my advantage. Cleaning windows is the bane of my existence.
So, the next time your little one can’t find that special toy, send them off to their room with a garbage bag to fill. Really, they must have way too much crap up there if they can’t find something. This way you can make yourself a cocktail and watch soap operas while they work their fingers to the bone. I’m kidding. Nobody watches soap operas anymore.