In Dallas, Columbus Day was Fair Day for lots of area kids. The Texas State Fair is one of the best in the country. And let me just say, I’ve seen LOTS. Far from glamorous, I got to visit just about every state and county fair when I was working for Vice President and Mrs. Quayle – good thing I’m a corny dog gal. Okay, so corny dogs and donuts. I’m hoping I’ll grow out of them some day soon…. at least the corny dogs are only once a year!
When I told the kids we wouldn’t be braving the crowds at the fair yesterday, I got lots of “that’s not fair” moans. Instead, I took a load to a local kid spot called Jump Street. It’s a huge old Albertson’s, or something along that lines, converted into a trampoline playground. Wall to wall springs and mats. Add in oodles of kids, not enough staff and mayhem ensued. It was crazy.
Thanks to the crazy, I got to enlist the kids for lots of help. I love when we have genuine opportunities for them to pitch in. At least genuine in their minds. They always think I’m piling on the chores either to bother them, or so I don’t have to do it myself, or just to make a point. So, I basked in older siblings taking care of younger siblings, children standing in line and ordering, doors being held open, daughters running back to the car and getting what her brother needed. It was good to watch them play and work together.
After a few hours of extreme fun (extreme noise, extreme jumping, extreme so much more!) we were starving and ready to head out. We decided to hit the nearest Chic-Fil-A for a bite so the kids could enjoy the rest of their free day and the frazzled moms can recover. The other two moms and I started talking about kids and the amount of work they do around the house. I love to hear what other families are doing.
We talked for a bit then I asked what it was like for them growing up. One of them shared a beauty. “Spic ‘n Span Saturdays”.
My friend’s mother is German and ran a tight ship. Her kids were an integral part of the spotless house. They learned and practiced the ins and outs of home management from a young age. Laundry, bathrooms, sweeping, mopping, you name it. As if that weren’t enough. Her mother had Spic ‘n Span Saturdays where she would fill a bucket with water and cleaner, then arm the kids with rags and old toothbrushes before unleashing them on every kitchen appliance. Forget the fact that the kitchen was clean, this mom put her kids to scrubbing each appliance until every crevice shined.
My friend honed her skills at tough household chores and learned some valuable lessons that easily transferred to other areas of life. Here are just a few:
- Just because it looks clean on the outside doesn’t mean dirt and grime isn’t hidden just below the surface.
- Whether you feel like it or not and whether you agree or not, do what the boss orders and do it to the best of your ability.
- It’s important to take care of the things you own.
- Putting in in the effort gives a great sense of accomplishment
- Status quo does not equal excellence
I’m scared to do it, but we just might try a Spic ‘n Span Saturday around here. I just love what it did for my friend. It would teach my crew a few lifelong lessons … plus it will give them some memorable moments (as if they don’t already have enough!!).
One thing is for sure, I’d hear lots and lots of “but, that’s not fair!!!”. Maybe I’ll dangle a trip to the State Fair as a reward. I guess I could make that sacrifice :) Mmmm… Fletcher’s Corny Dogs.
Thanks for walking the road with me.