Arm Wrestling to decide who gets to decide.
Sometimes the sillier you make it, the easier it is for kids to just roll with the concept.
In our family, the House Elves are the ones who don’t actually clean up after everyone.
They are supposed to, but they don’t. The kids hear my disappointment…
“Those naughty House Elves left their sneakers on the kitchen table.” Or, “Which House Elf was supposed to set the table?”
Yet they don’t take it personally. After all, it’s the Elves, not the girls themselves, who are in the wrong.
Then, the girls get to swoop in and save the day, because those “naughty house elves can’t be trusted to do the work of smart girls”.
(I’m not quite sure how things work in elf- and fairyland. I make it up and so far no one has challenged my narrative.)
We also never, never, EVER have “leftovers”.
We have “Encore Presentations“, just like on HBO.
We make up silly labels, silly creatures, and silly behaviors, because these silly things help us slip past the awkwardness — or the hum drum routine — of household and child care work.
As WarmStateMomma explains:
As a last resort, we arm wrestle for it. My daughter knows she has to eat her veggies/meat/whatever to “grow big and strong.” Sometimes we will arm wrestle her to determine if she’s big and strong enough to be done with her dinner. At her age, she thinks this is an objective measure. Everyone enjoys the challenge – she stretches and warms up, the AP laughs out loud, etc.
Your Host Kids may be too old for this tactic, but the weirdest stuff can work sometimes.
You hear that, House Elves?!
What kind of silliness helps your Au Pair?
Image from Flickr: Mushroom Children and Teacher Owl by Elsa Beskow