Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Being A Good Child

The husband and I took a few hours out of our weekend and went to his parents’ house. I told myself it was to get some clothes washed for free. And I did wash clothes for free. But in exchange, we worked so hard raking leaves. We raked the front yard, the side yard, the back yard. It took hours, but we got it done.

Is it really that simple? Of course not. The husband has been intending to get over there to do it since the leaves start falling. And by “intending, ” I really mean, he’s been avoiding it like the plague and trying not to scream out, “I don’t even live here any more, how is this my responsibility?!?!”

There’s not much the husband hates more than raking leaves. Well, there is, but when we’re talking about raking leaves, that becomes the biggest hate. So being the loving wife I am, I suggested we head over there together. My bargain was the two six year olds who live there would help. And I could wash clothes for free.

The husband and I patted ourselves on the back for being the good kids of both sets of parents. This is because the cold made our brains shrink I think. Here are the facts:

  • His sister who still lives at home with her twins does a good amount of cooking and cleaning for the whole house. Granted, she lives there and so helping take care of the house is more her job than the rest of the children who don’t live there. But she still contributes more to housework than the husband ever did (he doesn’t cook).
  • His brother who is from Honduras actually did the first round of leaf raking while he was here visiting. Honduras doesn’t have things like fall leaves and snow and the like, so he really got stuck with manual labor for which he was completely unprepared.
  • His parents need the help. We have the young bodies that can better handle fighting with a rake and tall-ish grass for a few hours.

So perhaps we’re not the last-born saviors our parents were waiting for, and perhaps we aren’t the end all and be all of parental assistance. But those leaves were hard work, made even harder by a frustrated husband who really didn’t want to be out there. Add in two six year olds who are incredibly stubborn and just learning to rake and you have laughter, but also lots of frustration.

I’m just glad no one got sent to time out or spanked, and I’m glad all my clothes got washed. Next time though, we need to factor in time for some hot chocolate. And I don’t mean Swiss Miss. I mean the good stuff from Mindy’s.

The husband thought this post would be about how he is such a baby and procrastinated for weeks until I agreed to join him to rake the leaves. And then how he delayed again until I made cinnamon walnut pancakes. And then again until I’d put a load of clothes in the machine. And then how he took a break while I put in the second load of clothes. But no, only the end of this post is about how 5 bags of leaves turned the husband into a five year old. Mostly, this post is just about how we are awesome kids for our parents… at least in our own heads.

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