“We need to clean the house in the morning,” I told the kids last weekend. We had company coming over for a party and the last thing we wanted was for people to see us in our natural state. “So after breakfast you’ve all signed up for drudgery duty.”
A great cry went up. As I knew it would.
But I had a despicable ace up my sleeve.
“I’m going to bribe you,” I announced over their protestations, producing a bag of sweet treats.
Suddenly there was the sort of silence which usually accompanies a conductor tapping the podium before the first note of a symphony.
Eyes went seriously wide. It’s been weeks since the sugar high of Easter, so I was playing on their withdrawal symptoms to turn them into my unwilling minions.
Brilliant, if I say so myself.
“Really?” screamed Miss5, jumping up and down.
“Can’t we clean now?” suggested Miss8.
“Do we get them all if we’re really good?” asked Miss11.
“Eeeeee,” squealed Miss3.
“What if we just eat them tonight?” asked Master.
He’s always looking for shortcuts.
“You can’t,” I told him. “I’m going to sleep with them.”
“Can I see you all in the kitchen?” said Master10, motioning to his siblings.
They all followed him out of the room. Intrigued, I did too.
“Huddle up, guys,” said Master10, gathering his sisters into the middle of the kitchen. I went to join them and a hand shot up. “Not. You,” he informed me.
So I tried hanging about the kitchen bench looking sort of busy, which earned me a withering sort of look.
“Let’s meet up in the bedroom,” he whispered, and the girls followed him out. He shot me a look at he passed. “Not. You,” he repeated.
They rushed off and I gave serious consideration to following them, but obviously Master10 had something to discuss to which I was not to be privy.
I didn’t mind. I had a plan too.
“Psst,” I said a little while later, attracting the attention of Miss5. “Psst. Do you want to try a lolly before everyone else?”
Her face said ‘do I ever’ while her mouth screamed, “YES!!”
I clamped my hand around her mouth and dragged her into another room, hissing, “Shhh!”
“Lolly!” squealed Miss5, her hand out.
“All you need to do,” I said, showing her my bag of goodies, “is tell me what your brother is organizing.”
“But, Dad,” she hissed, her eyes leaving the lolly bag and meeting mine for the first time, “it’s a secret.”
“Oh, it’ll still be a secret,” I assured her. “I won’t tell anyone.”
It took five lollies but I got it out of her.
The plan – Master10’s plan – was for the girls to wake each other up at midnight, sneak into our room, steal the lollies and slip them under Master10’s pillow.
Then they’re to go quietly back to bed.
You might notice his plan was to get them to do all the work. I’m proud to says he’s a chip off the old block and he’ll make a fine Gru when he grows up.
He’s such a shit. I’m so proud.
I foresee movies.
But he’s going to have to work his way up the ranks, because if the cheeky upstart thinks he’s getting out of housework he’s got another thing coming!
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs”