Do It For The Love

Do it for the love….


It’s great to be back! The boys and my husband have basically been snot/sore throat/teething monsters since just before Christmas, with the boys having a round each of chicken pox for good measure. At least we’ve got the pox out of the way before they start school. Calpol, Virosoothe and wine (for me not the boys!) got us through. My youngest (2) obviously had far too much time on his hands while he was quarantined as he discovered how to climb out of his cot. Nice he’s learning to be independent. Not so nice at 3am in the morning. Ironically when I put him to bed in the toddler bed he patted the pillow for me to put my head down and declared it “sleepy time mummy sleepy time” and then proceeded to prod, poke, whack and giggle away. After a few sleepless nights and then tantrums (toddler or me…take your pick!) and a particularly bad day I joked with my husband that if I’d been a nanny I would have quit my job! Of course, once toddler got through to the other side of the phase and gave the biggest smile and cuddles and I’d had some sleep, it all seemed brighter. I’m holding on to that thought for the next toddler phase G. goes through.

A lovely stage the kids are going through at the moment is to want to help Mummy. It’s very sweet. They don’t always get it right, things get spilt, the dry washing gets taken out of the machine and the wet washing gets put back in etc etc…but talking as a child who wasn’t allowed to use a washing machine in case I damaged the clothes (embarrassingly my first time using one was when I went to uni at 18 and housemates had to show me how), was nervous about making a sandwich in the kitchen in case I didn’t clean up properly (the one time I did there a single crumb on the floor but I was told that apparently they breed!), and still struggle to make beds as I never “did it properly” so gave up, (ps. I say struggle …I did until I saw this amazing video…IT WILL CHANGE YOUR BED MAKING LIFE!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1IzS2oBBN0).

I have to sit on my hands so much not to take over from them when it’s not going to plan. If needed I offer but try not to force help and attempt to show the right way rather than shout at them for not getting it right. It’s not always perfect (especially if we need to hurry to be somewhere etc) but I love that they give it a go (2 & 4 years old).
Well the other day, I asked my 4yo to help me put a load of washing in the washing machine and he did a great job. I was about to offer him a sticker for his good work when before I could open my mouth, he came out with “Mummy can I have a sticker now?”. I asked him “Did you do this to help Mummy or did you do it to get a sticker?” he said “To get a sticker…” my heart sank a little bit and then I remembered an assembly we had at school (NB: teachers…just goes to show it’s not all in one ear and out the other. Thanks for the work you do!) and a what I thought was a poem about a child who gave an “invoice” to his mum for all the jobs he’d done. She read it and gave one back for all the jobs she’d done.

The assembly was a looooooooooooooong time ago but thanks to the power of Google I put in the subject and it turned out it wasn’t a poem but a country song!
Anyway, I asked my son “When Mummy washes your clothes does she get at sticker?”
Son: “No” I said “that’s right, I do it because I love you and want to help you”
Me: “When I help you tidy your toys do I do it to get a sticker?”
Son: “No”
Me: “that’s right – I do it because I love you and want to show you how to tidy toys so that you know how
when you’re older”
Me: “When I make your dinner, do I get a sticker?”
Son: “Yes mummy!!! You do get a sticker!!!” (ok not best example…I’d forgotten the day before I’d made his favourite sandwich and out of the blue he gave me a sticker for giving him such a delicious sandwich)
Me: “er well that was so sweet of you to give me the sticker and thank you but I did it because I love you not to get a sticker…”

I think he sort of understood. I’m so glad we had that assembly all those years ago. This might sound like a big dollop of cheese but I’m hoping to teach my kids that sometimes love is all the reward we need.
Video: Johnny Cash No Charge
NO CHARGE – JOHNNY CASH
http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Johnny_Cash:No_Charge
Our little boy came up to his mama in the kitchen this evening
While she was fixing supper
And he handed her a piece of paper he’d been writin’ on
And after wipin’ her hands on her apron she read it and this is what it said

For mowin’ the yard 5 dollars
For makin’ my own bed this week 1 dollar
For going to the store 50 cents
For playin’ with my little brother while you went shoppin’ 25 cents
For taking out the trash 1 dollar
For gettin’ a good report card 5 dollars
And for rakin’ the yard 2 dollars
Total amount owed 14 dollars and 75 cents

Well as mama looked at him standin’ there expectantly
And I could see the memories flashin’ through her mind
And so she picked up the pen and turnin’ the paper over
This is what she wrote and I read it to him

For the nine months she carried you growing inside her no charge
For the nights we sat up with you doctoring you praying for you no charge
For the time and the tears that you’ve caused through the years there’s no charge
When you added all up the full cost of our love is no charge

For the nights filled with dread and the worries ahead no charge
For advice and for knowledge and the cost of your college no charge
For the toys food and clothes and for wiping your nose there’s no charge
When you added all up the full cost of our love is no charge

Well when I finished readin’ he had big tears in his eyes
And he looked up at his mother and he said mama I sure do love you
Then he took the pen and in great big letter he wrote Paid In Full

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