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Cooperation

Just when you begin to despair that your children will ever be able to work together, they surprise you! I told David and Charles (our two teenage boys) Monday that the gutters needed cleaning this week and that the weather would be better for it (cooler, less humid) the first part of the week. Amazingly, yesterday afternoon they just got at it and did it without me reminding them a gazillion times. Not only that, but they worked together without much disagreement and got the job done rather quickly. Of course, I did discover last night that there’s some clean up that they seemed to have missed, so they’ll have to do a bit of cleaning of the deck today. But all in all it was nice to see them working together, getting the job done without me having to do a lot of supervising.

That said, I have given up on having them wash the dishes. For the last several years it has been their job to do the daily dishes and clean up the table, stovetop, counters and sinks. They have done it well at times, so I know they are capable. But I’ve decided that the stress incurred while having them do this job is not worth it. I get too annoyed knowing that they are saving all the dishes up till 2 in the morning. And then I come out in the morning and see glasses stacked on top of all the other dishes in the drainer. Gravity put to the test each night! It’s just too much. I can’t take it anymore. I know they can do the job, so it’s time to teach them something else, I think! And I’ll do the dishes my way, washing a few several times a day, washing the glasses first and the pans last!

So what will they do instead? David will be doing his own laundry this summer so that I am sure he knows how to do it when he goes to college. He has washed things before, on occasion, so I think all he’ll need is just a refresher on how to separate the loads and what temperature water to use, etc. Even so, it won’t hurt him to do his own all summer and get used to figuring out how often he needs to wash. At Evansville last weekend, the Dean of Student Living told us a story about a freshman (male) who never washed his clothes. It got so bad that, after several weeks, his roommate complained to the RA in the dorm. So the RA talked to the student about the laundry situation and the student agreed to take care of it. So what did he do? Shipped all his dirty laundry to his mom in Colorado via UPS! Can you imagine the look on her face when she opened those packages?! The Dean said that the mom just repacked them up, dirty, and shipped them back to her son at college. I guess he finally got the message that he needed to wash them himself.

Doing your laundry at Evansville would be almost fun. You can go on a website to see how many washers and dryers are being used in your dorm’s laundry room and how many minutes before they will be done. Not only that, but when you put a load of wash in the washing machine or the drier, you can set it so that the machine either sends you an e-mail or a text message to your phone to let you know when the load is done! Can you imagine?! For a computer science student, it seems like that would make laundry almost like a game!

So David will be doing his laundry this summer. And he’s already gotten pretty good at vacuuming the floors daily, which we have to do in the summer because Penny (our dog) sheds so much. When he goes off to Evansville, Charles will have to take over that job.

Perhaps the boys should learn to clean their bathroom! That sounds like a good trade off, cleaning the bathroom once a week for washing dishes daily. And, of course, there’s always the outside reclamation project with the push mower and weed eater! We didn’t have a lawn mower for all of last year and so the woods has tried to work its way back towards our mobile home. It’s beginning to look better since we got that push mower last month, but there’s still a lot to do. I think a half an hour for each of them several days a week should do the trick.

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