It had been a long rough morning. So rough in fact that I sent 10 kids back to bed to start over before we even had breakfast. Some days are just like that.
And one son who has been given the job of table setter and kitchen cleaner, was reeling for his second or third time around the mountain with some of his work that let’s just say was…inferior in quality. He came to the table with a dejected orphan look that whimpered of sullen self pity.
For the record, I hate self pity.
Did I mention I can’t stand self-pity?
I did? Oh good.
Anyhow, I went the route of listing a dozen different things to be thankful for…a mother and father that love him, a lovely bed, clean bathroom (despite the fact that I have yet to redo the boys floral wallpaper) and several food choices for breakfast that included fresh fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit juice. Still he gave me the half whiney answers and I was frustrated. So I promised my little gang of merry men that if they finished their schoolwork on time and made a decent lunch, I would let them watch this really funny show that would teach them to be grateful for the work they had in our home to do.
Bible study was a simple word search through the New Testament to discover the verses that had to do with work. After several were found and discussed the attitudes were better but still the boys dragged their hearts when considering their work.
Lunchtime came – a bevy of leftovers served with a side of pretzels (again, the BOYS made the lunch so no complaints there) and as soon as everyone was mostly finished Bliss was begged to begin the “show” mom was offering.
Mike Rowe, thank you. Your special on the dirtiest jobs had my boys thoroughly convinced in less than ten minutes that kitchen duty in our little house is a wonderful job indeed. Less than three minutes in, and the eight-year-old walks up saying he will never again complain about the kitchen. The nine-year-old says he loves bathroom duty and promises to sing as he cleans from now on. And the sullen little kitchen duty helper cleaned that kitchen after lunch with the biggest smile saying, “Hey, it’s not a basement with a poop explosion! I love my job!”
Lesson folks? Some days are tougher than others, and that’s fine. Some days need a start over. But if all your best efforts fail, try to be creative in showing your children how great they really have it. I’ve been known to use YouTube to teach them about the less fortunate and show them their blessings or teach them lessons that mere words sometimes can just not accomplish. Whatever it takes, y’all. Whatever it takes.