Noah and the escape clause

Everyone except the 2-year-old has chores that they are expected to do daily. Noah’s job is emptying the trash whenever the can is full. He hates his chore. No. He hates ALL chores. And work of any kind. Noah wants to put forth the least amount of effort needed to get the maximum amount of fun. So, he stomps the trash down in the can instead of taking it out. He empties the can but “can’t see” the trash that falls to the floor. Most days, he ignores the trash until he is reminded that he needs to stop playing until he has taken care of it. One day last week I noticed an empty milk carton and a pile of junk mail (Christmas catalogs already?) sitting beside the trash can and a cardboard box filled with trash sitting on top of the trash can. I added something to the trash pile. Throughout the day, people kept adding trash until we had a small mountain of debris sitting beside the trash can. I grumbled every time I looked at it, but refused to pick it up. If I do it, Noah will have an incentive to ignore the chore. If Noah has a horrible mess to clean up, it will encourage Noah to remove the trash before it becomes insurmountable. So, I ignored the landfill sized pile of trash and felt justified in doing so. Until Doug asked me a question. “Why is everyone piling trash here when the trash can is empty?”

One thought on “Noah and the escape clause

  1. Noah will grow up to be an efficiency expert… just you wait! When I managed a team of 10 at my old job in Florida I always used my laziest team member as my model. I knew that would be the person who would find the most efficient way of doing any task. They were my test case/guinea pig, and I had them do training on seasoned employees. So, despair not, he has a very bright future, if he can get past the trash to get out of the house. Teh Heh Heh

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