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Monday, August 6, 2012

Monkey Labour in the Garden

Finally the little monkeys have reached an age where they are of some use to me! Yep I've set them to work doing some of the jobs that I don't like much in the garden!

Our monkeys started earning pocket money when they began school. They had little jobs to complete which changed with the seasons and at the end of each week we'd hand over the gold coins. But the jobs haven't been too taxing and they haven't seemed to alleviate my workload. I mean how tricky is it to collect a couple of chook eggs each day? And some of their jobs required more supervision and clean up afterwards by me. Setting a little monkey free with a bucket and sloppy cloth to clean the staircase results in quite a bit of splashing about and cleaning up afterwards. Mind you, littlest monkey is still of an age where jobs are mostly fun. He takes a fair bit of pride in his housework. And they both seem quite proud of their pocket money stash which they spend a remarkable amount of time counting and re-counting.

Anyway, I think I'm finally starting to see rewards for all that childbirth pain. I'm gonna delegate some of those jobs that I never seem to get round to - like wiping down the kitchen cupboards and weeding the garden. Why I didn't think of gardening jobs before is beyond me. Now I'm seeing a huge potential for those little monkey fingers. Naturally, they'll need some educating about just what is a weed and what is a plant (even Monkey Man finds this one tricky) but I'm expecting miraculous garden transformations and weed free patches. Those fluffy chooks have been a bit of a disappointment in the weeding department. And especially now that three of them have squished into fuzzy, broody balls on top of each other in the nesting box there's even less weeding getting done.  Oh yeah, I am so gonna be using the monkeys to weed.

Now I'm rather proud of the little fridge chart that I concocted the other day. I'm quite handy with a glue gun. And I'm very happy doing a bit of cut and paste when it detains me from the rest of the household jobs. I choose a glue gun over a toilet brush any day. I can't claim this as an original idea (I discovered it on pinterest) but it sure is nifty. See the monkey boys have a whole bunch of little jobs to choose from. And these have been glued to magnets. They have a daily job which they stick with for a couple of months and a couple of weekly jobs. And just below these jobs on the fridge are their names with a spot to plop the "to do" and "done" jobs.

Oh yeah, I'm seeing it now. Human weed machines. 

15 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to the day my boys can help out in the garden. My eldest can water, but it quickly becomes a game. Looking forward to the day when he can tell the difference between a weed and a self sowed basil or tomato, now that would be handy!
    Love the magnet idea.

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  2. I can think of a few more: dead-head the flowers; peel the spuds; tidy a bedroom... And when will "Make Dinner" appear on one of your magnets?? I fondly remember the day when our kitchen suddenly became too small, because our 2 daughters started taking an interest in cooking and food-preparation.

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  3. awwww,so sweet,love this idea. My 11 yr old Grandson washes cars for $3. I asked him how long it takes him, "He said, awwh about 40mins" I said " That's cheap" He said " I am not out to rip anyone off. LOL. He's so cute too. :)

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  4. You go girl! Good luck with it all - it's great when they want to help out (with benefits) cheers Wendy

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  5. Monkey labour surely there is no better kind. I would add putting the bins out and cleaning windows too

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  6. Dust something is my personal fav, although it would provoke to much discussion as to what " something" is if I allowed that one in my house.

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  7. Some more good ideas thanks everyone. Liz I sure don't let them choose what to dust - I decide what needs to be done!

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  8. Very nice! I like your thinking!

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  9. I love the magnets - will certainly give that a go. Thanks.

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  10. Love it, both the getting the monkeys to weed and the fridge magnets. I too have been thinking about adding some gardening chores. You have got me excited about the weeding idea.

    I think it is really important for children to have chores. They may complain to start with, but I firmly believe that it makes them feel valued members of the family. And like you say chores can be fun, even for adults if you attack it with the right frame of mind. My children have to do the breakfast dishes on the weekend and they have a ball playing with the bubbles.

    Recently in a discussion about pocket money, a friend pointed out that should we expect to get paid for helping our family. This statement got Melanie and I thinking so we have now disassociated the chores from the money.

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  11. Send 'em down the mines, I say. Are there any cotton mills near your house? Mwha ha ha ha!
    Hey, do you want some fertile eggs for those broody girls? I could bring you down a few.

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  12. Jason we too were in a bit of a dilemma about giving pocket money for jobs. But then we decided to have some things that are just expected to help out - bringing dishes, setting table, putting away their clothes etc and some extra jobs for pocket money. Oh and we try not to call them chores cos the word implies that doing them is a chore and not rewarding/fun. Good luck with your kids and the weeding/gardening.
    Hazel you so got me thinking cos I have been clucky when I saw all your chicks. And when i showed littlest monkey the pics he started nagging about how cuuuuute they are. But I'm just not sure about those big chooks mixing with my little fluffy ones. And surely they'd jump straight over my teeny fences and destroy my garden!

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  13. Mmm! I have big fences, and can't keep them out of the veggie patch. So it probably isn't a good idea. You could get some silkie eggs like you did the first time, and pop them under. You have to keep renewing the flock...good animal husbandry (or wifery). With chicks, you don't have to 'introduce' them. The mum keeps them protected at first and then they just sort of get absorbed into the flock.

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  14. Thanks Hazel. I will get more silkies. But what will I do with the roosters? Actually more to the point what will you do with all your roosters?!

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  15. My heavy RIRs don't do fences. When they were young and could have flown that high, they were all eyeing the top of the fence. I threw pine cones at the fence to make a noise. After doing that three times over three days, they decided the top of the fence was unfriendly. Now, they don't even jump over the little raised bed fence--4 ft.

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