Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: 4 days clean

I have co-opted* enlisted the kids with the housekeeping effort – we have promised ourselves lavish rewards if we can keep the house clean until New Years. The question that continues to haunt me, though, is, "Is the house actually clean?" I don't want to start lying to myself so early in the game, but neither do I want to throw up my hands in despair after less than a week. I believe it serves the greater good to count the house as clean and keep on trying, but still, I wonder -- is it OK to have the sweater I'm starting out on the coffee table? Are the newspapers on the kitchen table permissible? I guess it actually helps to keep the bar pretty low, and not let ourselves off the hook.

Our first chore day falls tomorrow -- I wrote a little schedule that we will rotate through, each person taking a different job from one week to the next. It will be interesting to see how these days go. My expectation is that our enthusiasm will diminish over time, and that we'll gradually abandon these tasks, but who knows? Maybe we'll find a way to keep it going and still get some school work done as well. Ziad is working for some Legos, Maya a Bitty Baby, and I have promised myself a Hanne Falkenberg kit from eBay. I am playing around with a system of bonus points for completing tasks with acceptable quality in a minimum amount of time. Obviously we can't expect this level of reward on an ongoing basis, but maybe after a while it will become second nature. Or perhaps the feeling of a job well done, or the enjoyment of a house where you can actually find things, will become our reward. It's a whole new world out there. I hope we can find our way to it.




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