Saturday Chores

or why I didn’t get to play outside

Saturdays growing up kinda sucked at my house. Yes there was no school and in those days rarely was did I have homework to do, but there was work. Us kids got to sleep in, watch cartoons, have something besides hot cereal for breakfast, but then the work kicked in.

I actually don’t remember the full extent of Saturday chores. Like most of my childhood memories, it is in fragments. Perhaps it was all the chemically induced fun I had as a teenager. I think it is a combination of that and the fact that I am 58 years old and my brain is full. Some memories had to get booted out, like my phone when I take 5 Bazillion photos. Eventually, I have to delete them from the phone to make room to actually operate the phone. Same with my memories. Out with the old so the operating system can function.

Back to chores. I do know that it was forever before we were done. We could not go outside to play until all was completed. The thing I hated was I would finish a task and in anticipation of freedom go find my mom. I would announce triumphantly that I had completed the assignment and could I go out to play. Mother would look at me and so those horrible abusive words.

“No. now I want you to go do….”

Terrible. Some days we didn’t get to go out to play at all. Or at least I didn’t. At about the 2nd task I got slower, slower and then, I’m distracted. I do think that if I was a kid today I would be labeled as that ADD kid. It was very hard for me focus on what I was doing, especially if it was something I did not want to do. Like chores. So I would start playing with the things I was supposed to be cleaning up or with, sponges would become animated friends, and it would be lunchtime before I knew.

After lunch, jump down, head out, to be stopped again to go finish my chores. I hated Saturday so much that I never really made my own kids do the chores on Saturday thing. I gave my kids a list of chores to do and they had all week to do it. If they wished to get their allowance they had to them. I also figured there were just things you did because you were part of the family, like the dishes helping with laundry. The extras, the chores were tasks such as clean your room , pull some weeds. That kind of thing. Drove my mom crazy, she was sure I was raising spoiled children.

The interesting thing though was that my kids remained exactly the same as they were as kids. My one child is very messy and doesn’t see the value in a clean home and the other is very tidy and gets a little too detailed in cleanliness. The also got to watch Saturday cartoons and play outside. That is if we didn’t have Little League or Color Guard or some other activity planned.