Once in a Leap Year

How could I not write today? Today doesn’t even exist for the next three years. It will be impossible to write on February 29th until 2020. Happy Leap Year!

Does it warrant a party? I think so. Know what else deserves a party? Surviving Monday. We’re going to celebrate by getting the house back in order. There’s lots to clean and the kids are not going to be happy about it.

Which reminds me, I haven’t done a chore chart update in a very long time. Want to know how they’re doing? Has the chart helped? Nope. They still moan about having to clean. They still try to get out of it. Crash said he wants to save up for a FitBit. I was all over that like stink on poo. I even made him a chart… 100 squares to represent each dollar he’d have to earn to get said FitBit. Then he could watch his money grow. He had $10 to start with (money he hadn’t spent). So we colored in 10 squares. Then he spent $8 on a book. Then he argued with me about doing chores so I told him, “Then you can do them for free”. His response? “I guess you don’t want me to get a FitBit then.”

Huh? Apparently it’s my fault he’s spending his money and can’t save it. He’s the opposite of me when I was that age. I hoarded money. I kept a birthday check an aunt wrote me for 6 months (I claim ignorance on that one) until my mom found it and told me I need to cash it, then I could save the money.

So there’s your chore chart update. He does chores roughly twice a week. It’s like pulling teeth. I take that back. I think he’d rather have teeth pulled.


I just looked outside. I know for sure that no cleaning will get done today. The sun is shining. It’s 8 (46) degrees. They’re going to be outside playing and I will let them because being outside playing trumps inside cleaning every time.

Every time.

Cleaning will just have to wait.

It’s like that cartoon I saw once: pick two

We don’t get to have our cake and eat it too. Unless you have an actual cake.


Chore Chart Update

I haven’t given an update on how Crash and Bang are doing with their chores in a couple weeks. I bet you’re just dying to know how it’s going.

I wish I could say they’ve really stepped up their game and are taking the chart seriously. I wish I could say they have been earning extra money and have saved up a fair chunk of change. I wish I could say they no longer argue about having to do chores. I wish I could say they come looking for chores to do so they can earn more money. I wish I could I say they’re putting us in the poor house.

But all of that would be a big, fat, lie. Bigger than Nixon saying “I am not a crook.”

It’s still a headache to get Crash to clean. With the drama that ensues, you would think I was asking him to kiss Jabba the Hutt. Today, all I wanted him to do was put away his laundry that I had spent most of Saturday washing. Bang put his away, no questions asked. Crash acted as if he had to pick up dung beetles. Hey lay on his floor face down. He moaned. He argued that he didn’t want to. 20 minutes later he finally got started. He damn near needed supervision. He didn’t want to hang up his clothes in his closet. He tried to just throw them in.

I don’t think so chach.

Then I asked him to make his bed. Then I asked him to pick up all his books off the floor. I thought he was going to cry. By the end of it all, his room was tidied and DW and I were pissed that we had worked harder to get him to clean than it was for him to actually do the cleaning.

All I have to say is, thank God for bedtime.

So, in total, Crash earned a whopping $1. He did four chores all week. HA! Too bad he peed on the toilet seat twice and I had to clean up one of his meals. At .25 per infraction, he had to return .75 of his $1. Yes. He earned a quarter last week. Bang got to keep his dollar. He did four chores as well. He’s taken to sitting down to pee “like mom”. Therefore, he no long pees on the seat.

I feel partly to blame (just a small, tiny, minuscule, microscopic even). I didn’t keep on them last week. I didn’t make them do chores regularly and therefore they started believing they didn’t have to do them. They were cleaning up their messes after meals. So I have to give them credit for doing at least that.

This week will be better. They’ll get back to doing chores regularly. Right after school. I’ll let you know how it goes.


courteous of memgenterator.net 

Chore Chart Update #2

We now have two weeks of chores under our belts. The chart is working magnificently. It’s easy to use. It’s easy to read. Easily printable from week to week. While Crash and Bang don’t exactly go looking at it for what chores they have to do, they do understand that if a chore gets put on the chart it has to be done. No arguments. No questions. No ifs, ands, or buts.

We stuck to the Sunday is pay day method instead of paying them at the end of the day to let them watch their quarters add up. This way they’re not so tempted to go spend it. But also, because it’s easier.

This week went much smoother than last week. While last week there was much arguing about having to do chores, there was only once this week. Last week Crash complained that it wasn’t fair that he had chores but none of his friends did. Complained that he hated cleaning. Or that he just flat out didn’t want to. This week there was only one hiccup. That came when his chore was to put his laundry away. I’ll give him credit for putting away what was in the laundry basket without fuss. But when it came time to hang up his pants and shirts he had pulled off the hangers in his closet the attitude came out. I stood there and watched him put away the first 3-4 items (there were about 10 in total) before I knew he was back on autopilot and would put away the rest without supervision. Other than that, when it was time to do chores, they got done!

So how much did they earn this week? More than last. Crash earned himself $3.25 and
Bang earned $4.25.Bang earn an extra dollar because he did extra chores. He only did extra chores because he volunteered to do them. No on asked, he just did. He vacuumed the mess that was on the mat by the door. He put all the shoes not on the shoe rack back on the rack. He helped a stranger with her groceries and helped our neighbor in her garden.

While these last two were exactly considered chores, we included them because we wanted to reward him for doing good. Naturally, not every good deed gets rewarded in such a manner, this time it was. I must also point out that Bang did his extra chores without being prompted and without knowing he’d get an extra quarter for doing them. He did them to help. He took it upon himself to do the extra bit of work.

Now, today, they’re home  from school at 10:00 because of an unexpected early dismissal. Since they’ve come home early they think it’s also a day off from chores. I think I’m about to encounter a bit of resistance. Here’s goes! (I’ll let you know later how much of a battle today was).

I uploaded an .xls (Excel spreadsheet) and PDF file in this post if you would like the chore chart for yourself. They are also down in the footer. You’ll just have to change the names. Or not. Doesn’t matter what you call them so long as they’re doing their chores.

Chore Chart Update

So last week I wrote about (there is an .xls and pdf link to the file there as well if you’d like to have it for yourself) how we were going to create a chore charts for Crash and Bang. Well we did. Now we have a week under our belt. How has it gone so far?clean

We decided on a flat rate for each job done instead a flat rate per day. Twenty-five cents per chore. Piece work. So how much did they earn last week? Crash made a grand total of $2.25. Bang earned himself $1.75. They were excited to be paid. I don’t know if it will be enough incentive though. It was like teaching math to a mule.

I explained to Crash that he would be doing chores no matter how big of a fight he put up. He could either do the chores willingly and get paid for them or he could fight and argue with us, still have to do the chores but without pay. It was his choice.

At one point this week, when I instructed him to clean his room, he tried not to. So I sat his bed and told him what to pick up and where to put it. Then he vacuumed his room.

“None of my friends have to do chores” he tried to tell me. My response was simple.
“It’s because I’m not their dad.”

“But I don’t want to clean.”
“Me, either, bud. But we have to and mom and I really need your help.”

“But I hate cleaning.”
“There are far worse things that could be happening instead of cleaning.  Would you rather clean the whole house? No? Then clean the few things I ask you to.”

piggyBang is just the opposite when his big brother isn’t around. He’ll vacuum out the couch or the door mats. He’ll help empty the dishwasher. He’ll help load it. He’ll help me with laundry. He’ll take out the garbage and recycling. When Crash isn’t around. Otherwise he adopts the same attitude.

But there is payment and they now know they’ll be paid because they got their money yesterday. Perhaps we’ll get a roll of quarters from the bank and they can be paid each day. Then perhaps they’ll be more willing and they’ll be able to see their earnings immediately. Then later we can switch back to weekly payments. Perhaps we’ll switch to a glass jar for a piggy bank so they can watch their earnings add up.

To be continued…
I’ll give you another update next Monday to let you know if this week goes any differently.

clean quote

Chores (or how to use child labor to your advantage)

We have been himming and hawing about giving Crash and Bang an allowance for doing chores. A little incentive to help around the house. Well, I finally created a chore chart. Then it was critiqued by DW and a few changes were made. I based it on a few others I found online. Though the others just didn’t fit what I was looking for. I wanted simple. I wanted it left open for change each day. There chores will change from day to day depending on what needs cleaning and how much time they have.

For example, Crash vacuumed the stairs yesterday. That’s not something that gets done every day. Once a week will suffice around here. Bang put the clean silverware away after the dishwasher was run. That’s something that only needs to be done when the dishwasher is run. In our house that’s about 3 times a week.

I wanted a chart that could be filled in day to day as needed. Most of the charts I found online had the chores filled in already. Or the days of the week weren’t laid out properly. Or it was too colorful and distracting. My chart is perfect. It shows the whole week so we can plan ahead if we want. It’s left open so we can fill in whatever our hearts desire for them to do. It has plenty of space to give them plenty of chores without being too demanding.

It also has a spot for us to deduct earnings from them. BWAHAHAHA! Right now their deductions are only 10 cents. However, there are several ways they can be deducted. Peeing on the toilet seat because they left it down. Leaving a cup or bowl laying around. Not putting their dirty breakfast or supper dishes in the dishwasher. I’m sure more will be created as we climb the learning curve.

They are now four days into doing chores. They are still growling about it. Fingers are crossed that sooner or later (praying for sooner) that it becomes routine. But if I know Crash well enough, he’ll growl about until he moves out. Bang, on the other hand, without his big brother around is eager to help.

Right now they are earning up to $3 a week. One dollar is for them to spend. One dollar is for them to save. One dollar is for them to spend on someone else – birthday, Christmas, etc.. This comes to 75 cents per day for six days. This leaves them with one day without chores. Their first pay day will be this weekend. We’ll see if it motivates them to clean more or not!

chore chart xls

This  Chore Chart is an xls spreadsheet that will open in Excel

This Chore Chart is a PDF that will open in adobe