When I was 5, I had to set the table for dinner and help my mom with dishes afterwards. When I was 7, I asked her for an Easy Bake oven, and instead, she taught me to cook in the kitchen oven/stove, so I was able to make decent foood by junior high age, so my brother and I took turns cooking dinner on weeknights through junior high and high school.
We all had to clean our rooms, make our beds daily, and change the sheets once a week. My sister was exempt from this, because she was the baby, but she remained exempt until the day she moved out.
I did laundry sometimes, but that wasn't my assigned job. I just did it if my mom was really busy or out of town.
My brother mowed the lawn on the rider mower (my sister took over, when he went to college), and my parents did the trimming with the weed wacker and a pushmower. He started doing that around 4th or 5th grade. I hated yard work, so I did the light housework at that time-vacuuming, dusting, breakfast dishes, making cookies or something to eat when they were done with the yard work. My brother also did all the chemicals for the pool, because he was the only one who understood it. When he went to college, my dad paid a guy to do that. We all had to vacuum the pool, and skim it.
When I babysat for people all-day, I usually cleaned their house somewhat-I at least made it look better than it did when I got there. Busy people with little kids don't have time to clean-they sleep during those times. I had teenaged energy, so I cleaned while the kids took their naps. People pay babysitters more if they do things like that for them, too. My sister and I once had to babysit for some neighbors who hadn't cleaned their house in months-we cleaned everything-mopped, scrubbed the tubs, sinks and toilets-everything short of carpet cleaning. We washed all the linens, cleaned the kids' rooms (although one child was a neat-nick who at 5 was keeping her room immaculate), changed the litter boxes, and everything we could think of. The parents were so grateful when they got home that they paid us each $50, which in 1979 standards was a lot of money for teenagers.
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