On allowances and child abuse…

It’s worth noting before I get started that the twins trade personalities roughly every seven months.  Unfortunately for me, I don’t NOTICE when they’ve done this until one does something appalling that I would have previously expected from the other one.

Alyssa is currently in the appalling category.
The other night we had a discussion on allowances.  Now, I am a lazy housekeeper.  I hate it.  I don’t really think there’s anything worse than having to clean the house….except having to live in it when it’s dirty.  Allowances/chores have been brought up several times in the past.  I have two opinions on this:

1. I may be lazy, but they’re worse and it’s just EASIER for me to do it (and then I have an excuse to stomp around when I’m still cleaning the kitchen three hours later and ranting because no one else bothers to do squat around  here) and

2. Setting up allowances for them is just too much bookkeeping – who didn’t do what on what day, how much to deduct, and it’s really like having a whole other BILL to take care of (is that a third opinion?)

So we’re discussing.  Really, I was trying to work and Tyler was trying to play WOW and Todd and the girls were discussing. Okay, so really Todd and Ashleigh were discussing because Alyssa was having an honest-to-God meltdown over allowance.  Not because she’s currently not getting one.  Not because she has to work for one.  No, she’s in real tears because she somehow thinks she’s owed some RETROACTIVE allowance payments from before she was born.  As long as Tyler’s been receiving allowance (he hasn’t – please see above opinions) or as long as he’s been old enough to receive it (so in her eyes, since July 8, 1995) well Alyssa thinks she’s entitled to some of that action.

And there’s NO convincing her otherwise.  In fact, I almost started a post about this the other night – it was going to be titled “Yellers” because I live in a house of them and it drives me crazy…but yeah, that’s a completely different post.

Finally, it’s decided between the people actually having the conversation (or yelling) that X chores will be done for X money.  Okay fine, I’m calling the B.S. card here because I’m opposed to this and because I’m the one ultimately who has to teach them to do everything.  (Refer to “It’s just easier…”)

I’m sure at some point, my parents had to teach me to do chores as well.  But who remembers that?  I only remember sacrificing Saturday mornings and doing the dinner dishes.  Why…WHY do I have to give lessons on washing pots and pans?  Soap, water, wash til clean, rinse, repeat.  Don’t use a 1/4 cup of soap to cleanse a spoon.  Turn on the water.   Hot water.  Rinsing helps.  You’ll need the water.

All this eco-friendly don’t waste water crap – it’s only taught my kids to NOT use the water when they do the dishes.  Who does that?  Oh, my kids.

Really, it’s just easier… GRRR.

And on child abuse…

So my neighbor comes outside the other day and starts walking around her front yard.  I think maybe she’s calming down because she’s been yelling at her girls for quite a bit now.  Then I notice she’s not walking around, she’s stalking the tree looking for just the right…oh there, she found it.  A nice long, skinny switch.  She pulls the leaves off and disappears inside.  My kids are dumbstruck.

This starts a conversation about child abuse.  Given my job, this is a tricky explanation to give.  Would I whip my kids with a switch?  No.  (But I won’t pretend it hasn’t crossed my mind).  But my neighbor’s kids aren’t my kids and I don’t know what’s happening inside and I’ve never seen anything to make me think these kids are abused.  Different strokes…

So Alyssa wants to call 911 (she’s all about that these days, I’m keeping a close eye on the phone).  We leave to pick up Tyler from track practice and the conversation shifts to reveal that ALL THREE of my children would prefer getting spanked to getting grounded.  What?  Wait.  What?  “Because you get spanked, you go back out to play.”

I like that grounding is torture  – it’s going to be so much more satisfying the next time I ground one of them.

From there the conversation moves to Todd and his upbringing/relationship with his dad who, for lack of a better way to put it, beat him frequently.  “Even for failing a spelling test?”  Ashleigh asks.  “Even for,” I respond.  It’s quiet for a minute and she then tells me that she no longer wants anything from her grandpa – “even if it’s the thing I wanted most in the world because he hurt my dad.”


“Yeah, well you can give it to me then because I’m just thankful to get anything.”  (You know, because she’s SO deprived and never gets anything.)

What I heard was “well I’ll take it because I’m greedy and I want everything all the time right now gimme gimme gimme”.  But I could just need my ears checked.



  1. monanic Said:

    Oh jen, jen, jen. I LOVE your kids. Seriously. Especially since they are not mine. I think there is more personality in your two girls than in any other 9yr olds that I have ever met. And for retroactive allowances? I seriously need to take lessons from Alyssa. I NEVER would have thought up that one.

  2. LOA Said:

    Retro Active Allowance. ROFL!! I’m going through something similar trying to teach mine how to do her chores. And I just stomped around my kitchen earlier today, too. lmao She doesn’t know how easy she’s got it. I remember doing massive chores every day and when I asked for allowance, my mom said: “I allow you to live.” Used to make me so mad. lol Now I find myself saying the same thing to my daughter.

    And OMG! I did have to pick my switch once or twice growing up. But it was totally different back then… not that I am real old or anything. I would never do that to mine though.

    • monanic Said:

      Hahaha, that’s similiar to what I say to mine. When we are in the car they get loud and rowdy and I will tell them to shut up, we are now playing the “quiet game”. They asked me what they get if they win, I told them that the winner gets me NOT kicking their ass. They don’t like that too much but they still do it LOL.

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