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July is National Children Learn to Lift a Finger Month!


July, 2, 2012, Ann Imig officially proclaimed July Learn to lift A (*&%$#@) Finger Month.

No, Not that finger.We know you can lift that finger, Dear Five, because you showed it to your Nana and then sheepishly covered it because “God sees everything.” [Note: Check Highlights and Johnny Test for fire and brimstone subliminal messaging].

WHO: You. Children. Future functioning members of society if society is still semi-functioning.

WHAT: A Litany of Fun. A month-long plus the rest of your youth celebration of phalange-exertion!

.5K Toys-Be-Gone walk/run/right now I mean it.

All-you-can eat Appropriate-choices Spaghetti Dinner! If you set the table and clear your plate!!

Unpack the groceries relay. Yes, relllay.

Cake walk. Your life has been one, now please bring a piece to Mommy.

Floor sweep. Beat the clock! I didn’t set it!!

Make your own bed station. With pillow toppings!!

Dunk the dinner table sponge!

Kitty box dig: Unearth the self-clumping treasures!

and yes, even…

Learn the ancient art of dishwasher arranging!

WHEN: All of a sudden and forever more. Or until the next time your mother reads a parenting commentary, suffers another inferiority spasm, and hemorrhages productivity.

WHERE: Under our roof, Wisconsin.

WHYYYYYY: Similar to the highly-successful Everyone Shares Everything or it All Goes to the Less-Fortunate Store Month of December 2007, the month’s festivities will include adjustments and concessions from all parties involved, with only the far-off promise of creating future well-adjusted humans/non-ingrates out of rudimentary boy parts.


Sorry and you’re welcome.

18 comments… add one

  • MommyTime July 2, 2012, 5:17 am

    I had a poster like this up in our kitchen for a while to remind the kids about table manners when my son was about three. It had (among others) a cartoon drawing on it labeled “no knives in milk,” and as the mother of two boys, you know why. It was extremely effective. Truly.

    Now that they are 6 and 8, my chore chart is an excel spreadsheet page with different jobs for each day, designed to ensure that our whole house gets cleaned weekly. I am extremely good at making such charts, not so good at ensuring they are properly enforced. I may need some laminated cartoons for that. Otherwise, I’m basically just the mother who makes lists but never crosses anything off them. I suspect you will do better than I do.

  • Becky July 2, 2012, 8:24 am

    This was the best “Cake walk. Your life has been one, now please bring a piece to Mommy.”

    Ben has a Chore Chart up on the fridge that we keep there for comedic value as he never does ANY of it.

  • Lisa Golden July 2, 2012, 8:30 am

    Yes! Take it from me – nip this non phalange exertion in the bud because once they are older, their goldbricking comes at a higher price. Not only do they not lift a finger to help, but they hold out a hand for money.

    Sometimes I dream of lopping shears.

  • gradydoctor July 2, 2012, 9:03 am

    Yes, rellllaaayy. Damn you are so extremely funny. Love me some Ann’s Rants.

  • Suzy July 2, 2012, 9:05 am

    That New Yorker article was interesting. Coming from a chore packed childhood with parents who stopped over-parenting when we graduated from college (Dad said, “after you graduate, you’re both on your own, in every way”)(asshole)I found myself desperate for parenting as an adult. Once in Florida, I was at Dad’s and got a gig in another town. I had no idea where the town was. AND IT WAS DARK OUT. Dad gave me the keys to the car and as the time to leave approached I waited for him to you know, get ready to DRIVE ME THERE.

    Instead he made another Manhattan and read the newspaper and I had to figure it out using MAPS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

    I figured it out.

  • Amy Windsor July 2, 2012, 5:32 pm

    Well played, Ann.

  • Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac July 3, 2012, 8:11 am

    I’m right there with you. I just wish that this month didn’t fall during summer break, when the “future functioning members of society” have so many more opportunities to renegotiate the terms of our agreement.

  • Franny July 3, 2012, 10:24 am

    “the ancient art of dishwasher arranging” I am absolutely on board with you on everything in this post, EXCEPT about this art – it must not be trusted to the children. It is what tetris has trained me for. I am a MASTER of this art. If I pass it on now, my brain will turn to mush. It is one of the most challenging mental exercises I do everyday. How to get that last, stinky, yucky plate into that seemingly-already-full magic machine. The dish must face the magic spray thingy. the dish must not be covered too much by other dishes. The dish must not be placed so as to be full of nasty, odd water once magic cleaning machine claims to be done. The dish must NOT be put in some balancing way so as to cause breakage of itself. The soap must be measured out so as to clean, yet not to etch. (WTF if up with all the etching?) Pushing the button to start the magic machine does give some joy, right? Well, joy, no. But some feeling of goodbye-garlic-ketchup-sticky-syrup-plates, which is close to joy in my homemaking mind. I mean joy in the way we enjoy joy for now.

    As for the children who somehow can’t even spray their own spray cheese in the month of July, they are not as easily put in the magic machine and made pleasant again. And this heat, it ALMOST give them an excuse, which doesn’t help ANYTHING. And I said almost. At least the heat has forced our windows closed and AC on, so the neighbors don’t hear my motherly, imploring, heartfelt pleas (cursing) at my kids to put their own dirty underpants in the fricken hamper.

  • Lady Jennie July 3, 2012, 12:09 pm

    I made this beautiful chores-chart once, complete with stickers and colors and enthusiasm.


  • Marta July 3, 2012, 1:22 pm

    I love this poster can you make me one and mail it to Minnesota?

    The art of dishwasher arranging is a very important skill. I think I need to enroll my husband in this as I’m always rearranging what he’s done to be more effective!

  • dusty earth mother July 3, 2012, 9:40 pm

    Loved every tortured moment of this. We have “If It’s On The Floor That Means You Don’t Value It and It’s Going To The Poor Kids” spasms quite frequently.

  • Kathy (p/t writer, f/t mom) July 6, 2012, 9:46 am

    “Will I get paid?”

    No, but we’ll let you live here.

    Thanks for raising contributing human beings. Cuz we’ve met plenty who are not! Good job mama!

  • The Empress July 8, 2012, 10:14 pm

    Spitting out my Sprite here because I could FILL an artist’s portfolio with my chore charts.

    This is my 17th summer as a mother, I have hope. Still.

    Can you believe it?

    I still hold out with the hope.


  • Kelley July 8, 2012, 11:06 pm

    OH, I NEED TO MAKE MY KIDS DO MORE AROUND HERE. Thanks for the (funny) reminder!

  • Jessica July 12, 2012, 12:10 pm

    This is perfect and since I’m reading it a week or so after you posted just wondered how the whole “lift a finger” month is working (as I pick up the latest pile of dumpt toys from the floor).

  • Heidi July 14, 2012, 11:35 am

    Ah, yes. I just lectured my kids yesterday (every day) about helping out around the house – that I should not have to nag them about what they have to do. They have chores like making beds, tidying rooms, emptying the dishwasher because I hate that job, and stuff they’ve got to do like brush their teeth (do you want them to rot out of your head??) without me having to stand over them guiding them every step of the way. You should have heard my lecture. It was epic, the stuff of Mom legends! My daughter looked at me, trying not to laugh. I said, “This isn’t funny.” She said, “I farted.” And that was that.

  • Loukia July 14, 2012, 12:14 pm

    Thank you for this. My GOD when does school start again?

  • tracy@sellabitmum July 16, 2012, 7:35 am

    I like your label of ‘whips’ – Perfect. Seriously, I even had to add my husband to the chore chart.

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