Monday, October 8, 2012

Kids Learning Chores

As this blog takes shape, I want to make sure that we give actual updates on our progress to the land.  I will always have a tendency to tangent about Chinese goods and ugly ties, because I hate both, especially in the same package.  However, I also fear I might tend to paint a too rosy picture.  Its like you see me eating my delicious sandwich on the beach but can't hear the crunch of the sand in the bread.

But, this will end rosy.  Sorry.  Its just a rosy thing.  I'm an optimist.

When we first got here, we had chores to do.  Boxes stacked in every room could not stop the digestive tracks of the animals placed in our care.  So, we began.  Right off I wanted the kids involved. I was eager to provide my kids with the privilege of work. 

At first, it was horrible.  They were slow, whiny, clumsy and unhelpful.  The slow and unhelpful things were expected, but it was the whiny stuff that was the real drag.  I'm half way across the yard with two tubs of water in each hand with a 3 year old fallen on the ground crying she can't get up.  Then they wanted to go back inside, which was impossible because we were all out there.  Tension.

This went on for a while, but now things really are better.  The rythmn of it all is clearly good for them.  Prayer follows breakfast, then dressing, brushing, scratching.  Then out the door.  They go around and get the water cans while I bring feed out.  Sometimes they carry feed too.  The chief thing that I've learned is this: have real chores for them, but let them blur the lines of play and work and drag it out a bit.  If its taking a while then work on something else.  Don't give them things that require you to wait on, etc. 

They're actually helpful now.  Really and truly they are.  Usually after animals we work in the garden, which is me giving them a place of dirt to dig in, but they can pull weeds ("leeds") and plant plants.  It really is amazing how quick the lifestyle changes and how it is clearly good for them.  If they were 9 and 10 it might be different, but at this age I think its going very well.  They love it.  My favorite chore is closing up the coops with the older boy.  This usually means chasing a few chicks down who haven't learned lunar signals yet.  My boy can catch him some chicks, lemme tell you.  He's good.  They don't know what hit him when the toddler hand thrusts and grabs whatever is available.  Foot?  Got 'em.  Wing?  Got 'em.  But mostly he grabs them like a pro around the mid section.  He then tells me how eager he is to eat one of them.  That's my boy.

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