My daughter needs math tutelage. Claus works with her on that, creating daily “Daddy homework” to help her. She detests it, and she gives him a hard time, which is – obviously – draining to endure.
This daily occurrence is generally peppered with time-outs, whining, crying, and perhaps foot-stomping. And that’s just my husband.
I accidentally learned how to turn that around: Give her a choice between housework and homework.
The other day I was readying the house for a dinner party. I dictatorially enlist my reluctant family, which means a half-hearted job by Olivia and some minimally acceptable action from Claus.
After an hour, I passed through the living room and saw my husband relaxing on the sofa, watching Netflix. I incinerated him with my heat vision.
“What?” he said flatly.
“I didn’t say anything,” I replied from the kitchen.
“I saw that look,” he said. That Withering Wife look.
He got up and kept working for a little bit more. Pretty soon, though, he informed me it was time to do extracurricular math with Olivia.
You should see how they both ran to the homework table. You would think this is their favorite time of day by the gusto and duration with which they tackled fractions.
For the rest of this cleaning spurt, it was just me against the shower mildew. My family bailed because they had to study. Air quotes around study.
I should be insulted that they’ll do anything to avoid deep cleaning, but if this makes education preferable for her, I guess it’s OK. Which probably means I’ll have a very clean house in the near future and a math genius for a child in the long run.