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For myself, I can't say that I look back with any particular fondness when it comes to the chores I had growing up. My adopted father was a stern task master and rather controlling, so when he expected a job done right it meant he expected it done exactly the way he would have done it. I rarely lived up to that standard. I can't say if that was out of stubbornness or not. I suspect some of it was.
The first half of my childhood, up until I finished elementary school, passed without much in the way of chores. I was expected to make my bed daily, clean up my room when it got so bad my mom told me to, and pick up after the dogs out in the yard.
It was the summer I turned 12, just before starting jr. high, that brought big changes. All of a sudden I had dishes to wash, grass that needed to be trimmed after my dad mowed, my own bathroom to clean, and garden chores...as well as the chores I'd had before.
When I was in 7th or 8th grade I got a "brilliant" idea (probably from Teen magazine or something similar) to create a contract with my parents in order to earn an allowance. I made a ridiculously long list of chores I would do and listed the price I would do them for (very, very low) and I signed that I would do them every week and my parents signed that they would pay me every two weeks.
What was listed in that contract, you ask? Well, I can't remember the specifics, but it amounted to washing the dishes daily, doing all the ironing (and people still ironed EVERYTHING back then), and cleaning the entire house on Saturdays. Though not in our contract, I still had to clean up after the dogs, trim the grass, and work in the garden.
It didn't take long for me to resent my chores as Dad quickly established a routine of inspecting my work and finding fault with it. Groundings were the punishment for a less than perfect job and he found something wrong nearly every week. I was once grounded for two weeks because while I cleaned the entire house, I didn't dust the tops of the baseboards.
Garden chores were in a class of their own. Dad loved gardening and planted a large vegetable garden every year of my life. I knew that every evening during the gardening season I was expected to work with him and Mom after supper. If and when the gardening chores got done I could join my friends for kickball, tag, or whatever the evening's game was.
My jobs in the garden were watering and weeding. Dad wouldn't run a hose to the garden to water. I had to fill watering can after watering can and lug them the 100 feet or so to the garden. Weeding wasn't an easy job, either. No hoes for us! We pulled those suckers by hand...the entire 1/4 acre garden...and there couldn't be a single weed in sight when I was done. Other garden chores came as the vegetables were ready for harvest. Picking things like beans and peas was always my job...as was snapping the beans and shelling the peas. Sometimes I could get my friends to help me snap a bushel of beans if I could work out a deal with my mom to take us to the lake to swim when we were done.
Those chores remained mine all through high school. The only things that changed were the ironing (that load lightened) and washing dishes. I hated washing dishes and once asked Dad why I had to do them. His response was that Mom cooked so I had to do the dishes. Oh, really? Did that mean if I cooked Mom had to wash dishes? Dad said it did. Mom probably wanted to strangle him, because from that day until I left for college I cooked nearly every meal. That turned out to be a chore I enjoyed and I got to be very good at cooking. Even my dad called me a good cook, which was really something.
Lots of people look back fondly at the chores they had. I can't say that's the case for me. The two exceptions are cooking and working in the garden. I did develop a like for both of those and while I still think Dad was too strict and overbearing, I've since learned how tough his dad was on him. I can at least understand why he was the way he was.
So what was your chore experience?