Like every other house, things have been pretty busy here during Coronapalooza. We decided everyone here should have some extra chores to do since me, The Wife, The Oppressed, The Boy, and The Gaggle are all pretty much inside the house 24/7. Speaking of blessings, I’m not sure if I mentioned this but an additional child from the neighborhood comes and stays with us during the day while Mom is at work.
The first round of chores went rather well. I was on dish duty. One of The Gaggle did laundry and she was very efficient with it. After a while things got changed up to break up the monotony. The Oppressed got moved to laundry. We ran out of clean clothes. Another of the Gaggle took over at dish duty. Aaaannnd….
She needed a little bit of a learning curve. That’s where I come in. I am an expert when it comes to easing children into work and responsibilities, so you can imagine the train wreck you’re about to read about.
We started easy. I gave her the things to put in the dishwasher. I washed. She dried. We both put things away. She had to put a plastic cup in the cabinet. She said she couldn’t reach. I reminded her it was closer than the candy she can get at the top shelf of the cabinet. I saw the lip stick out. I saw the look of hope disappear from her eyes. Her bottom lip was quivering. Her hands went up in the air.
“Oh my God!” she exclaimed. “No one else has to do this. Just me!”
No one else was doing laundry, I explained to her. At this point, no one was doing laundry. No one else was cooking, but that wasn’t the point. The point was, the children I did love were assembled in front of the TV playing with the Nintendo Switch. My Nintendo Switch, which I haven’t laid my hands on in about two months… But I digress.
There are other things to go into the dishwasher, but they are under things that need to be washed by hand. I wash. She dries and puts them away. She’s about to put away something that still has water on it. It’s running down the side. I tell her to go over it one more time. More crying. More lamentations. Tears of my children. The ones I love are enjoying themselves. She is a slave. No one else is doing this.
She throws herself around the kitchen. She falls to the floor in the direction of the open dishwasher. Her face misses the corner of the door by millimeters. She yells. I pushed her. I punished her for not working. She wipes her face on the towel. I have washed five dishes during this episode. There are more things to dry but she needs a new towel. “You wiped your face on that towel,” I tell her. “You need a new one.” She throws the towel in the air. She has to get a new towel. Where are the towels? I tell her they are in the same place they’ve been for the past six month. She goes to the drawer for another towel, muttering to herself about her lot in life. Her mistreatment. The shame of it all. The humanity.