Monday, August 8, 2011

Child Labor Laws

We don't believe in 'em.  Both GI Joe and I work really hard so we expect no different from our kids.  Especially since they're "farm kids", there's no easy street for them.  No siree. 
Since they've been school age they've had chores, both inside and outside.  We've been criticized for making our kids *gasp* work but ummm, well, ummm....we don't really care.  There's a reason that back in the pioneer days there weren't as many juvenile delinquents, it's because they were TOO BUSY WORKING ON THE FARM.  Anyway, the older they get the more labor intensive the chores get.  Of course, it's not like GI Joe and I sit on the deck and eat bon bons while watching our kids slave away.  We're working right along side them.  Such is life in the country.  There's lots to do and there are 5 able bodied people to do it, no child left behind so they say.  Although pretty sure that's not what they meant when that phrase was all over the campaign trail. 

Last weekend when it was 100 degrees, we decided it was time to pull the wood siding off one of the shelter buildings for the animals so we could replace it before winter.  Since our boys are stereotypical boys who like to destroy and destruct things we put them to work tearing it off the building and getting it into smaller, manageable pieces so that we could burn it in a small, contained, fire in the ditch.  So destroying stuff+breaking stuff+fire=OH YES PLEASE. 

First, they got in their uniforms...

You know, swim trunks and cowboy boots for one, swim trunks and tennis shoes for the other.  Classic working man's uniform. 

There was extensive drug testing.  One failed....

Say no to crack. 

Then they got to work. It was all puppy dog tails and snails for the first board or so, but then when the heat set in and they realized just how much work they had ahead of them the mood quickly turned sour.

If looks could kill, he'd be using his inheritance to hire someone to do this "stupid work" for him. 

But you know what?  They did it.  And when they climbed up in the tree to watch the fire in the burn pile that they had made, they were pretty darn proud of themselves. 

Then a few days later, they volunteered to help me stain the swingset.  I figured no harm could come of that, I didn't care if the swingset looked perfect or not it just needed to have a new coat of stain on it to keep it weatherproofed.  And my arm was getting tired from already having stained one section of it.  So I handed them the brushes and the can of stain and went on my merry way. 

I kept hearing giggling and squeals and my heart delighted in them working together and having fun while doing something productive. 

I should've known.

A good while later, I came back to this...

 And this...
They looked like self tanner jobs gone wrong.  It took days before the big brown spot of stain on Ryder's nose wore off.  Classy.  

They had fun and the swingset is stained so mission accomplish.  Never mind that the slide also has a protective coat of stain on it.  You can just never be too careful with Iowa winters, you know.  

Ryder told me the other day, "Maybe I do want to live in the city so I wouldn't have to work SO HARD all the time."
I told him it really didn't matter where he lived as long as we were his parents he'd have to work hard so deal with it, oh and sorry about your luck, oh and one more thing...SUCK IT UP CUPCAKE.  Also, editor's sidenote:  AS IF. 
Then in a fit of exasperation and frustration at the unfairness of his tortured life as a farm kid he exclaimed, "I just want ONE summer where we don't have to do any chores!"
And then I laughed hysterically because THAT?  That is NEVER gonna happen. 

Country kids these days.  They have it so rough don't they?!?  I'm sure Laura Ingalls Wilder hated it too when her Wii time got cut short because she had to go do chores like staining her swingset.

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