Sure, we drag someone back into their bedroom and demand they pack the mess up themselves, but inevitably while almost cleaning up the room the child will find something amazing to play with and nothing will get done. Supervising the cleanup is almost completely out of the question because while we're standing over Miss8 in the bedroom, the other Gremlins will be tearing up the rest of the house.
And in our experience the teenagers are even worse!
We really only argue with Miss17 about housework these days. She's expected to do the dishes once a week, and take care of her own room and clothes. Not a big stretch, you might think.
The huge mountain of washing in her room is my main beef. Trouble is, her week is just so full. Of course, she doesn't have excuses for not getting to her washing, she has reasons.
We were using the washing machines - even though we have two.
There was no room on the line - again two, but she doesn't like to use the Hills Hoist.
She was working, and after a big five hour shift the day is spent.
Conversely, (my personal favourite) it was her day off. I mean no one is expected to clean on their day off - right?!
You might imagine my surprise when a couple of months ago Miss17 announced she was being paid to clean the inside of a house for a bloke she knows.
Not only that, when she'd finished, other blokes started hiring her to do their cleaning as well.
"Are you wearing clothes while you're cleaning for them?" I asked. Given the battle we have getting her to even make her bed it was the only reason I could think of that someone would pay her to clean. 'Miss17 the Unclean' simply wasn't gelling with the 'Miss17 the Cleaner' she was describing. "So if you know how to clean, why don't you do it here?"
"It's like you say, Dad, mechanics never get around to fixing their own cars."
Of all the things I tell her, this she remembers.
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