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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

EJ Responded with: "Huh?! What About My Wife?"

That photo is my son, EJ, when he was just 2 years old, helping Mommy put away clean spoon and forks from dishwasher to their designated drawer.



 I was transferring cleaned plates from our (automatic) dishwasher to cupboard while EJ was busy playing with his lego. I didn't see him walk up to where I was but he just started helping Mommy. He was so cute then doing that. Thankfully, my digicam was within reach so I clicked away as he did his chore at only 2 years old!

Guess what? I didn't have to tell him where to put the spoon and forks. He just knew which drawer!


I took loads of photos as he walked back and forth because I thought someday I can show him that "he used to" help Mommy. I guess this is the time, he turned 9 last summer.

At 7, EJ has been routinely doing simple household chores like putting his toys back in the toy box, putting his socks, underwear and folded clothes into his clothes cabinet. At dinner time, he sets the dinner table and gets the drinks for us. He also clears and cleans the dinner table after we finish our meal.

Last year, I've added more chores to his list. I taught him to sweep his own bedroom floor, empty the dish drainer and taught him how to fold blankets and towels.

Sometimes he does chores dutifully. Just last week, he surprised me when he folded the towels by himself without me showing him how. Most of the time though, I have to remind him, especially clearing his toys off his bedroom floor and sweeping it.  He'd do it eventually after I shouted at him the third or fourth time.


But recently, he started firing questions like,

Why do I have to do this, Mommy? All I wanna do is play!

He asked that question when I was showing him how to wash dinnerware, spoons and forks. My reply was,

So that when you grow up and living by yourself, you know what to do. And so you know how to clean up after yourself.

You know son, when I worked abroad, I didn't know how to cook, how to wash my own clothes or do other household chores. It was difficult especially I was by myself. I cried and cried for months!

To my astonishment and perplexity, EJ's response was:

Huh?! What about my wife?

I almost dropped the dinner plate I was cleaning and wanted to burst into laughter, but didn't.

Dumbfounded, I did stare at him and thought to myself,

Why did he respond like that? At his very young age, does he see women as plain wives who should do all the chores at home? 

It was funny but I didn't dare laugh so I told him,


Son, not only women should do chores at home. Men should also do it.


Husbands should also help their wives do chores. Your Daddy is very good at tidying, you know.


Well, I just made that last one up.


I was never taught how to cook when I a kid, even when I reached adolescent years. So I struggled a little on feeding myself when I worked abroad. Most of the time I purchased ready-to-eat meals for myself to survive.

Now, let's not blame my mother for not teaching me and my sisters how to cook and do other chores. She worked really hard to buy all our books so all we need to do was read, read, and read which I loved. I read most academic books before school days start when I was a kid.


How soon do you think kids should know how to do household chores? Do you (or would you) teach your children to help cleaning the house?

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