Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Superhero duties...and Teamwork

As promised, here are more lessons on doing household chores, which from the beginning I have put under that death defying label, the Superhero Duty. Look at that Avengers picture above. Obviously superheroes also value teamwork. I just wonder how they can work together without getting into each other's hair.

I've been doing this a while and I notice there's more than teamwork involved when putting the house in order. It's one thing to say we'll clean the house as a team, but it's a very different matter to assign chores. Why? People being people, we all tend to be a little touchy when someone orders us around. I know I do, sometimes.

Here's an example: on the first week of our housekeeper's vacation, I was so enthusiastic about the new duty of fixing the bed every morning. I would wake up and wait for my sister Isis to get up, and then I'd attack the covers and pillows with a flourish, to the point that I could fix the bed with 5 minutes left to spare in the cellphone alarm. It was all good until my sense of fairness started bothering me and soon I was pretty indignant about her not getting up as early as I would like. I thought, "Am I spoiling her?"

So I brought the matter up with a friend and she suggested that I could divide the work (but of course!). I told my sister the new plan and she was ok with it instantly--but I had to find out in the morning what it was truly like.

Every time I would remind her to do something, she comes at me with another. Mornings go this way:

"Your turn to fix the bed."
"Okay, but you do the dishes."
"Okay, but you feed the cat."
And so on.

Why do we do this? I don't really understand the need to assert the fact that something else had to be done by someone else because one's hand is already full with something herenoworelse.

Just this morning I was washing the dishes and I asked my sister to feed the cat. She comes up to me twenty minutes later saying she can't feed the cat because I didn't bring the food out. Apparently I was supposed to have done it for her. Ah, well.

Teamwork makes work easier but at the same time it causes some friction here and there. (So one must really stock up on patience!) And teamwork plus superhero duties? All I can think of now is: 'Now that's something to force you to grow!'


sunnyday said...

Kamusta na ba? Have the tides changed? Do you and your sister now try to beat each other to all the chores at home? :-)

I asked a friend about this, and she said in her experience growing up, each sibling had a fixed assignment. Walang rotation. So maybe a written schedule of superhero duties posted on the wall or the ref door would help you. What about putting superhero icons? Hehe! Let's say if I were one of your siblings, the duties for me would fall under the Mrs. Incredible icon or drawing.

Hope it helps.

petrufied said...

Thanks for the tips! Better than constantly arguing whose turn it is. Oh, my sister is more responsible now, I'm happy. :-)

the cat litter duty is fixed na, so i'll just have to worry about making the list for other duties. hmmm it would be fun to choose a superhero!