The Logic Of Being Lazy

I am genetically encoded to be efficient and fear that my oldest daughter has inherited this trait. How else can I explain the night Katie tried to sleep on top of the covers to avoid having to make her bed the next day? This penchant for putting forth minimal effort also sheds light on her knack for avoiding daily chores in the hope of getting out of them entirely.

One of Katie’s simplest assignments is hanging up her coat and putting her shoes and backpack away after getting home from school. For longer than I would like to admit, I allowed my oldest to drop everything in the entryway if she promised to come back after finishing her after-school snack. Like many parents in similar circumstances I learned that later is not an hour of the day and—unless I got after her several times—later never came.

Dr. Phil once said that there are no victims, only volunteers. With that in mind, I decided that it was time to teach mine children about the logic of being lazy.

“Don’t forget to be lazy,” I called out when they arrived home from school.

“What do you mean?” Katie asked from where she stood just inside our front door.

“Lazy people want to do as little work as possible,” I explained, “and it’s less work to hang your coat up before you come into the kitchen for an after-school snack.”

“No it’s not,” Hollie argued. “It’s easier to just drop it here on the floor.”

“Not if I call you back to the entryway,” I replied. “Then it will take more steps and more time than you would have spent if you had walked over to your cubby and done it right away.”

The girls did not buy into my reasoning immediately. Only after counting the extra steps that it took to return to the front door did they begin to see that, by doing a task right, they could avoid the futility of doing it over and the annoying lyrics that I sing when they refuse to comply with my request.  If your children are also in need of some vocal entertainment, the following words work best when sung to the Elvis classic, Heartbreak Hotel:

Verse 1:

Weeeell, it’s important to be lazy; to save a step or two.

Put your things away, get more time to play.

It’s the right thing to do.

Chorus:

Cause when you’re not lazy, you make a’ me crazy.

I look at the mess aaaand want to cry.

Verse 2:

And when you get home from school, I don’t find it very cool.

Throwing things on the floor; You should care more.

What’s a mom to do?

Chorus:

Cause when you’re not lazy, you make a’ me crazy.

I look at the mess aaaand want to cry.

Verse 3:

And when you turn in for the day, I shouldn’t have to say:

“Clothes don’t go on the floor, find a basket or drawer

or I’ll take TV away.”

Chorus:

Cause when you’re not lazy, you make a’ me crazy.

I look at the mess aaaand want to cry. 

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