My Awesome Boys!!

It’s Friday, a day that I traditionally spend in the kitchen, whipping up delicious food for Shabbat – chicken soup and home baked challahs etc. My boys have hungry tummies and very much appreciate my cooking. (It’s all the extra love I put in). Poor KoD doesn’t get to enjoy my Shabbat cooking very often, but soon enough that will change and I will be chasing him out of the kitchen too to stop him from “taste testing” like the boys do.

We like to have our house clean for Shabbat – so that we can welcome the Sabbath Queen in the right spirit. Usually I have laundry going at the same time as I am cooking – and once I am done cooking the kitchen gets scrubbed.

But we have a lovely sized apartment and no cleaning help. So that means that all the boys have to pitch in whenever asked. It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. Growing up we had a chore list, and it rotated. That way there was a fair division of labour. I am not as organized as my mum was, so it’s always a little different. But the boys know better than to complain. Sometimes they will collaborate on chores to get them done quicker.

Squiggy likes to clean the bathrooms. I don’t know why, but I can see he has pride in a job well done. I hate hate hate cleaning the boys’ bathroom. Those of you with sons will understand why. So, that has become his job by default. A funny – today he felt a little lazy and I could see he needed motivation. I told him he’d better use some elbow grease. He looks under the sink – Ima, where’s the elbow grease??

Lenny gets to do the living room / dining room and does a great job too (when he remembers to actually move the furniture and sweep under it). He also loves to go to the store for me to pick up items that have been too heavy for me to carry, or that I forgot.

They are all dab hands at folding laundry and putting it away. The oldest two even know how to work the wash machine. HockeyFan loves to wash the dishes, and this afternoon he organized the refrigerator – apparently he put the yogurts in alphabetical order. He always asks me what else he can do to help.

ChatterBox is only 7 and as such I am not expecting too much. He gets to match up the socks, and organize his toys, and put away his Lego. Taking the recycling down to the garage is his job, and he gets to set up the candlesticks for Friday night. He loves to set the table for the Shabbat meals and does a fantastic job. The kids all take it in turns to help me serve the meal, and to clean up. They fight about whose turn it is to help. “It’s not fair, Ima, he helped you last week. Please can it be my turn?” Sometimes they will insist that I remain seated for the whole meal, so they can serve me.

It’s now 330pm and I am exhausted. There is one more load of laundry to be folded, and then I think I will take a nap. The house is sparkling, the aroma of delicious food is wafting through the apartment, and soon we will be showered and dressed in our Shabbat finery to welcome Shabbat with the lighting of my candles.

I am so blessed – I have the best boychikles in the world.

Shabbat Shalom.

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7 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Please come teach my kids how to do it!

    In our house, it takes longer to fight with them to do something than for them (or us) to just do it.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      Mark, my kids are older …they understand that it is necessary for them to help. (plus seeing me be overwhelmed a time or two with the amount that’s left to do, and there is only one parent here – that helped too).

      I am wondering if this will continue in NY – hoping that it will.

      • Mark says:

        The same applies to my almost 11 year old!!!

        And most of the time it’s only my wife as I tend to work pretty long hours quite often.

        When I was a kid, my sisters and I had lots of chores to do on a regular basis. We washed and wiped all the dishes, we did the vacuuming (“hoovering”) every erev Shabbat, we made our beds, we cleared away our toys, etc. Today, my kids, and most of the kids I see in my neighborhood do none of that. Most people have cleaning help, or like us, have a messy house.

        But I am fervently hoping it gets better as they get older.

  2. Baila says:

    As a mother of girls, I am so glad you are raising your boys to take equal responsibility in caring for your, and their home. I am raising my girls to do the same. (Although I have to admit they do grumble ALOT).

  3. Lady Lock and Load says:

    I used to help my mother with whatever she asked me, because I felt sorry for her that she has so much to do. My siblings who were lazy and did not help much had a much harder time keeping house when they were adults than I do. It’s great that your boys are helping, they will make good husbands IY”H.

  4. Lion of Zion says:

    ” I hate hate hate cleaning the boys’ bathroom. ”

    what’s the big deal? as i recall, it’s not like they use the shower that frequently. and the toilet? well how dirty can it be if you complained that they miss a lot? (yeah, i guess the wall behind the toilet needs a good scrubbing)

    shavuah tov

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