Saturday, in our house and many others, is housework day. I hate housework. I truly do. I've become such a fanatical baker because I was using cooking as a way to get out of housework! I really dislike it :) The boys are expected to help, mostly in the 'tidying' department rather than 'cleaning'. The thing is, they've done such a good job of keeping their rooms and the loungeroom tidy, that there wasn't much for them to do. This impressed Will of course, not so much Charlie. Charlie loves to help. We praise him regularly for his help, and the fact that he helps without even being asked. Praise, praise, praise (I am a teacher after all! Nothing like positive reinforcement). So Charlie went and cleaned his room, which, in his interpretation of 'cleaned', means that he pulled half of his clothes out of the cupboard and emptied half of his toy basket. That's ok, we said. Good boy for trying, but we will have to tidy this up.
When it came time for the wood Mark had chopped to be put away, Charlie spent 20 mins finding his gloves, so that there were 3 pieces of wood left. That's ok, you can help do these ones! Good boy for trying to be helpful.
A little while later, Will was going through his tool box to see what tools he could take to Grandad's next Saturday to help build his Billy Cart. Charlie thought that he could use the screwdriver and the hammer to help out and 'fix' stuff. How cute, we said. What a good helper. Just be careful.
Flash forward to this morning. At around 6.30 I left Mark in bed for a sleep-in and made my way out to the kitchen to feed the boys. My first sight was a river of water through the kitchen, followed by a sighting of a half-empty fish tank. Bear in mind that our fish tank is about 200L. After getting Mark out of bed, I began to mop up the mess. Mark was searching everywhere for the leak. It didn't seem to be coming from anywhere. No cracks, the filter was going, no idea what it could be. Then he noticed the filter was unlatched. He pointed this out to me, with Charlie always watching. "That's ok dad," said Charlie. "I fixed that already. I fixed it with a screwdriver AND a hammer!" He was so pleased with himself. A big grin and eyes that said, 'ok, where's that praise?' What could we do? How can you be angry at that??!!