Mum's the word: Next, I Google "getting kids to help around the house"

"Why don't you do some washing?" Eldest Child says, taking a very big risk. He can't find his fleece gloves for his paper round. The "stupid" ones he said he didn't want/need/ would never wear.

"Tsk. Still not washed," he says, picking them out of the washbasket permanently positioned in front of the washing machine and moving further into dangerous territory, sighing and shaking his head.

A head around the back of which my hand hovers, nostalgic for the days when a smack over the napper would have sorted his attitude. It's hard to shake the habit of the generations that preceded me, as Eldest Child has learned to his cost on our annual get together with various relatives.

Hide Ad

Ruling out physical violence I seek a verbal outlet for my indignation. "Do some washing?! I never stop washing. Stuff that's only been worn once! Anyway, who put me in charge of washing? Why is it always my job? And as a matter of fact, I've got four lots of washing on the go at the moment – one in the machine, one in front of the machine, one in the wash basket and one on the radiators. I'm doing the washing. I never stop bloody washing!"

The front door had clicked quietly shut during this monologue, but I never let the absence of a listening ear get in the way of a good moan.

Next, I Google "getting kids to help around the house".

"Rule Number One: do not give in to the urge to shout."

Aw. Surely that's the best bit?

This article was first published in The Scotsman on Saturday 09 January, 2010.