Today I needed to haul the laundry downstairs, but I couldn't carry the whole basket down. I also wouldn't hold up if I had to take down each piece individually. So what's a person to do?
Make Oliver do it.
"Hey Oliver, want to play a game!? It's called get-the-laundry-downstairs. If you take all of these downstairs and put them in the washing machine, you will win! And winners can have an M&M!"
"GOOD IDEA MOM! Is it teamwork?"
"Yes. It is teamwork. I will sit here and tell you you're doing a good job and keep you on track."
I think it took him half an hour, but he did it. And I got to sit around and play Scrabble while he worked. He got his M&M. I got my laundry downstairs. Everybody was a winner!
Teamwork is a big sell in this house. If I label work as teamwork "like on Clifford!" he will do it, cheerfully and willingly. If I just tell him to do the work, he will complain about 75% of the time and drag his feet. To me? It's a no-brainer. Teamwork it is.
So far, he is happy with my end of the "team" being supervision and issuing commands. His end of the team, somehow, almost always ends up with the manual labor. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.. right?
Some would consider this taking advantage of my child's youthful ignorance. I say a little bit of indentured servitude is my well-deserved reward for expelling him out of my body two years ago.