Wed, 17 August 2011
There is a simple principle that can be applied to all homes: if you don't do the chores, the place becomes like a pig pen. But, if you're wise, you can train the little pigs to do the chores. That is something that I have discovered recently. My four little piggies are starting to really help around the house. Now, when I refer to my children as piglets or piggies, it's not meant insultingly at all, though I am aware that in some cultures it may be so. The diminuitive form of the noun shows affection and endearment. However, if you call someone a big pig, or a big fat pig, that is completely different, and quite insulting. So, my little piggies are put to work every now and then. They only do what they are capable of, and actually not very much work. But, because there are four of them, their efforts add up to a substantial amount of help. My son Cass is big and strong, so I have him take out the garbage to the dumpster that is at the end of our driveway. My oldest son, Hudson, mows the lawn. My husband is thrilled about that. And you know, it's not a boring chore either. He gets to use the riding lawn mower, so he has fun driving around. The two little ones help to pick berries and vegetables from the garden, lay the table for dinner and clear it, and occasionally pick up their toys. Phew! It takes a lot of training on the part of the parents. In the past, people would have large families to help run a farm. Well, there are less farms now. We don't live on one, though my house resembles a farmyard sometimes. Anyway, the children are all proud of doing their chores, and my husband and I make sure to praise them for their work. I have a plan to introduce them to the laundry this Autumn. I will open the doors of the laundry room, and let them step in and experience the mystery. It's not my favorite thing to do, at all. So, if, little by little, the children can learn to sort the clothes into color piles, learn about the machine settings, and practice folding the clean clothes, the laundry can become a shared experienced. Now that would be nice! The trick is to develop a routine, so certain chores are done consistently. That's the hard part. Sometimes it seems that it's easier to do the work yourself, instead of supervising other people while they are doing the chores. Ah, but the benefits come later, don't they. I can see myself in the future, with my feet up, eating bonbons, and my medium sized piggies doing their chores, perhaps.
Related vocabulary: dumpster, to supervise, chore, benefits.
1. The garbage truck comes to empty the dumpster every Thursday.
2. Those kids need to be supervised in the lounge, or they might break something.
3. You can go to your friend's party after you've done your chores.
4. The benefit of getting to the cinema early, is that you can choose the best seats.
Mon, 1 August 2011
"We've got a bunch of poles missing," said my husband *in a huff, as he got in his car to go to a meeting. He had been looking in the storage area above our garage for tents, and all that goes with them. We needed the tents because nine boys had come over for a Summer party, and the expectation was, that they would camp out in the back yard. The weather was perfect for camping out, plus the thought of having an extra nine, *rowdy boys in my house at night, didn't appeal to me at all. So, camping it was. But you can't do any camping if you're missing any of the tent poles. Now, knowing that men aren't very good at finding things, (I know, that's a huge generalization, but *I'm sticking with it), I decided to go up to the storage room and look for the poles myself. The worst thing about our storage room, is that it isn't insulated, so this time of year it's boiling. We do have a couple of vents and a little fan, but when the temperature reaches over 100, they don't make much of a difference. When it isn't too hot, the storage room is an interesting place to poke around in. A few antiques, Christmas decorations, boxes of painting equipment, snow suits, jack-o-lanterns, memorabilia from trips, and piles of camping equipment fill the room. The missing poles were right where they should have been, next to the tents, not missing at all, you get my point. Well I was glad that I found them. While I was in the storage room, I decided to get all of the tents that we have accumulated *over the years, and set them up. Firstly, it would give me an opportunity to see which poles and pegs fit which tent, and secondly, the tents would get *aired out. I layed out each tent and its fly sheet on the lawn, counted out the pegs, and put the poles together. I layed the poles side by side to compare their lengths so I could avoid wasting time using poles that were either too long or too short. It took some time, but I was happy to do it by myself while the kids all played their noisy army game. When I finished, I looked at the tents and realised that I had erected them in a huddled group, like a little community. The kids would love that. There was ample room for everyone, plus the two dogs. It was about midnight when we went to bed. The dogs and the boys had piled into the biggest tent, and there were whispers, giggles, and flashes of torches here and there. The party had been a success, and everyone was exhausted. The next day, the friends stayed until about midday. Parents turned up here and there to pick up their boys, and slowly the group of kids got smaller and smaller. Everything was cleared away, and I took down the tents. And, do you know what? I found that we had extra poles....
Related expressions: in a huff, I'm sticking with it, over the years, to air out.
1. She went off in a huff after our argument; she didn't talk to me for weeks.
2. No one will change my mind. That is my opinion, and I'm sticking with it!
3. We planted that oak a long time ago. Over the years it has spread magnificently, and now shades the whole garden.
4. The blankets had been in storage all year, so I aired them out.