Childhood Epidemic

The clock is ticking and its only a matter of time.  Its an epidemic of such great proportion that I think its high time it was recognized.  This “sickness” comes on while they are young and once it attaches itself to the host body, recovery can be long an arduous.  Recognizing  the “sickness” at a young age is most important if you wish to cure it!  It starts over the simplest of tasks and fighting it takes nerves of steel. Although there seems to be many theories about how to treat this “virus”, once it has set in, it is pure hell to eradicate. When it infects one, it usually infects all.. 

The day starts out like any other, kids get up, coffee is made, breakfast is had, kitchen is cleaned.  Through conversation with the kids the days activities are planned out, excitment is in the air.   The little ones are jumping up and down, “to the park” they exclaim with glee!  The middle son is quietly pestering the oldest one to hang out with him today!  Maybe do a little bike riding and bouncing on the trampoline?  Oh yeah the day is looking stellar!  MAN VACATION ROCKS!  Can be heard echoing up and down the hallway!  No school, oh yeah, no school for us fools!!!  Whooo Hooooo!  

While this is happening my wife is slowly waking up to the glorious smell of the coffee that fills her favorite mug.  Ahh yes the hearty smell of French Roast wafts through the air bringing the senses alive!  The brain kick starts after just one sinful sip.  MMMMmmmm  so good.  And then it happens, she asks herself; Self what needs to be accomplished today?  The answers come flooding in like watching the great Niagra falls pour into its basin.  And without haste she writes them down on a piece of paper which subsequently gets transferred to the dreaded “chore board”! 

Now the Chore board is this wonderful thing my wife and I have placed on the wall just outside our childrens bedrooms.  Its a white, dry erase board that has the daily chores written upon its glowing white face.  There are no excuses as to why their chores arent done once the chores have adorned the “chore board”.  Its right there in front of them for all too see!  My children booo the chore board and have a very strong 6th sense about its existence.  It seems that all is tranquill and happy until my wife or I start to write on a piece of paper, then before we can transfer the contents of said paper to the board amazingly all forms of life have disappeared from our home. 

Which brings me full circle to the “sickness, the epidemic, the virus” if you will…  Its called LAZINESS!  Yep thats right, good ole fashioned laziness!  The same kids that would build a bridge with the exuberance, skill  and expertise to rival the one crossing the river Kwai if it meant no adults and playtime till dark on the other side.  Suddenly have come down with the strangest of afflictions when it comes to completing their assigned chores. 

The smallest one inevitably lays on the floor and cries that he cant complete the cleaning of his room because he didnt make the mess!  After a half hour of crying and sniveling he miraculously comes down sick. Now here’s where the littlest shines above the rest! He has the ability to throw up on cue! Oh yeah! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! Think of all the jambs we could have gotten out of with that talent! Part of me is jealous, its like watching one of those goats that faints out of fear! Sometimes he is so good at it you are not sure whether or not its part of the act!

Next up! My daughter, who also cries at the mere thought of picking up anything in her room, she sits on her bed screaming, chanting, its not fair!  To which the reply is “you’re right honey its not fair” maybe your room will like you more if you keep it cleaner.  I am not sure which is worse, her screaming or the fact we have her believing that her room lives and has feelings! After a half an hour she has miraculously come down sick.

My  middle child will march upstairs and decide that he is going to “take charge” and tighten this ship up by running a perfect operation.  R. Lee Ermy would be proud of the charged up insults flying around the room as he treats his little brother (also his bunkmate) like a scumbag private! Of course his little brother will eventually have enough of his barrage and do one of two things. He will cry some more or vomit!  (think fainting goat) This never works out well for him yet he does it every single time!  Within a half hour and no signs of progress on the horizion, amazingly he is also sick.  “My tummy hurts, my arm hurts, is my hand swollen and I have a headache” are the ususal cries. Bad soldier…

The older child of course just lets out a heavy teenager sigh, wanders into his room, shuts the door and within a half hour comes out done and ready to move on with his day.   No sickness, aparently his immunity system is strong!  I wish we could harvest the anti-venom flowing in his veins to use on the others.  I suppose it means there is hope after all?

Of course as a parent you cannot waiver, you cannot let them see that you are actually thinking about checking their little temperatures even though you know this “sickness” is a sham to get out of chores.  You cannot let them off the hook, oh no! These little chores add up to bigger chores which add up to earned responsibilities.  Those responsibilities allow them future freedoms, and future freedoms prepare them for life which of course leads to the dreaded day you can sit back, pat yourself on the back as they prepare to walk out the door and say; job well done, (slowly now) job well done.. 

Yet there it is, the sickness, the epidemic that is sweeping across the country enveloping our youth.  Stay strong fellow parents, know your limitations, dont waiver even for a second.  For if you do the epidemic will grow, the youth will suffer and we will be left as senior citiznes to change our own diapers because our kids are to lazy to do it for us.  And really no one wants that! Do you???

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