Today after school, we went to the park! Because the kiddo had to change her clothes and have a snack before we left, I told her to leave her back pack and lunch box on the stairs and unpack them after we got back. Well, after over an hour of running and climbing and playing, she was "too tired" to take care of her stuff when we got home. "You do it!" was her suggestion. You can imagine how well that went over. I was still worn out from the "hair" incident from yesterday, and I just didn't want to have another argument. However, there was no way that I was going to do her chores for her. (Disclaimer: in the event of illness or injury, I will gladly take care of the kiddo's belongings for her. "Tired" doesn't meet the criteria.)
Instead, I used the "family obligation" argument: I reminded her that every member of the family has to help out so that the household can run smoothly. Then I asked, "Don't you like being a member of our family?" Then she said "Fine!" and did as she was asked. I was happy and relieved and a bit worried. Here's why:
First, she said "Fine". She may as well have rolled her eyes and stomped her foot. 5 going on 15. Yikes. My second concern isn't that one day she might tell me that she really doesn't like being a member of our family--she might say it, and it might sting, but I know that she won't really mean it. No, I'm worried that one day, probably soon, she will question what my job is in helping the household run smoothly, and come to the conclusion that my job is to yell. Or, she might ask what the cat's job is. I don't have a definite answer for that...entertainment, maybe...comic relief...?