August 15, 2008

The Little Red Hen Goes to the Pool


Once upon a time, a girl and two boys and their mom all lived together in a cozy little house. One of the boys and the girl liked to "do their own thing," leaving the other little boy and his mom to do all of the housework.

"Who will help me bring in the groceries from the car?" asked the mom.
"No thanks," said Cortlen.
"I'm busy," said Camber.
"I will!" said Kellen, and he did.

"Who will put on your swimsuit without dumping the contents of your dresser on the floor?" asked the mom three times.
"I will!" said Kellen right away.
The other two preferred to chase each other around the front yard with sticks.

"Who will help me pack the cooler for the pool?" asked the mom.
"Me! Me!" said Kellen.
Camber and Cortlen were too busy stomping on a colony of ants to be bothered.

"Who is ready to go to the pool?" asked the mom.
Kellen was already in the car. The other two laughed and ran into the backyard.

"See you later!" said the mom to Camber and Cortlen as she backed her car down the driveway. She stopped at the bottom of the driveway long enough to pick up two screaming children before continuing on to the pool.

"Who wants to go swimming?" asked the mom to her three kids when they arrived at the pool.
"I do!" said Kellen.
"Me too!" said Cortlen.
"Me three!" said Camber.

"All right," said the mom. "Hop in."
"But I don't have my swimsuit," said Camber.
"Me neither," said Cortlen.
"Where is it?" asked the mom.
"In my room," said Camber.
"Mine is too," said Cortlen.
"That's very sad," said the mom. "I guess you'll have to watch from the pool deck today."
And they did. With much sadness and regret.

And from that day forward, the mom never had any trouble getting all three of her children to help with the chores (well, that's not exactly true, but it makes for a nice story ending and a good start to the weekend).

19 comments

Liz said...

Life Lessons... aren't they great fun!

Lisa said...

I did this once with Isaac. I told him to get his shoes on and he wouldn't so off we went to the store. "Anyone who has their shoes on gets to pick out a candy" I said. Em and Abby were delighted to get some treats and Isaac, well, Isaac was quite sad. Now when we go to the store I get strange looks when he says, "Mom, I have two shoes on can I have a candy?" Yup those life lessons are the best.

Skubaliscious said...

Wow! I don't know if I'm strong enough to enforce a consequence like that. Way to go! That's totally awesome!

mamajil said...

Ahhh!!
Gotta love those life lessons!!
They aren't so fun but very effective!!
Have a great weekend!

Shosh said...

Wow. Did you actually follow through on that? If so, I'm totally impressed. I'll stay tuned to see if they actually learn the lesson for next time....

Mrs. Morty said...

My friend came to pick up her kids from my house. She yelled out the back door that she was leaving and they came running behind her. "WOW!! How did you get them to do that!?!" I asked. "I left them a few times." She replied. He he, AWESOME!! Sometimes they have to learn the hard way.

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

Wow. Living up to your name there Mean Mum! I like your style.

Karen said...

Did I ever tell you, you're my hero? You're the wind beneath my wings!

Seriously, best pool story EVAH!

Jan Russell said...

After reading about the the chicken(foot) and mouse I'm relieved that the hen in this story was figurative...

Sass E-mum said...

Heh, heh. Ruthless.

I'm learning so much from you...

Michal said...

what a good mom you are. i need to do that more often. you've inspired me. i'll tell my kids they have you to thank when they are moaning in agony!:)

Robinson's said...

This same story happens at my house all of the time, but they are fewer and farther between. Which means there is progress.

Britt said...

This is a fabalous lesson in parenting the "Love and Logic parenting" way. I was told about your post and can not wait to pass it on!
Way to go being a great mom!

MegRuth said...

I laughed out loud when I read this at work. Thanks for blowing my bog reading cover! you made my day.

smiles4u said...

Way to go mean mom! Reality consequences work the best and kids learn so much better this way. From one mean mom to another, keep up the great job!

Jana said...

I did actually follow through with this. Camber accepted her fate quite stoically; Cortlen, on the other hand, went nuts. Every time Kellen jumped off the diving board he screamed "AHHHH! That looks like so much fun!" He also asked me "When are we going to leave?" every five seconds. I don't want my kids to go to therapy forever, so we ended up going home after about 45 minutes.

Lani said...

very nice... my mom used to read me that story all the time! I think its a great lesson!

peapodsquadmom said...

Holy cow, that was funny. We're trying to do the whole Love & Logic thing with our trio and these life lessons are tough for us to stick to. I think I may have been inspired to keep at it, though. Thanks!

Triplethefunplus2 said...

Can I say: BRAVO!!! Lesson learned, I hope! I'm the mom that will make her kids sit out and watch also if they think my threats are idle!

Oh and congrats on your pregnancy, hadn't read your blog in awhile!