It was the busiest month of the year. It was the time when i get the most number of bookings for hosting gigs. It was a merry and exciting time. It was also at this time when my yaya of three years told us she is going home to spend the holidays with her family. My initial reaction was, “uh-oh”, not this time. Any other time, but now. But then somehow, there was this soothing voice who told me, “Dont worry, everything’s going to be alright”. My ever-reliable mother’s instinct told me to trust that voice. And the reassuring thing was, the voice sounded a lot like my own mother’s voice. I knew right away that things will work out just fine:)
I happily told yaya she can go home and take the time that she needed to enjoy her vacation. It was a sincere wish. No hard feelings and a reproachful, “How can you leave me at a time like this?”. Nope, weird as it may have sounded, i was secretly glad she was going. It would be an intimate time for me and my family.
And a time of teamwork and learnings on patience, humility and simple joys, we would later on discover.
That first morning after she left, i woke up with this realization: What do i need to be scared of? I grew up being taught how to do household chores. I was no primadonna. I have no qualms getting sweaty and having calloused hands. I was able to take care of my daughter for four straight years without a nursemaid, while doing the household chores myself, and doing a couple of freelance work in between. This is doable. Even if there are now two children, instead of one, more clothes to wash, healthier appetites to feed a bigger space to clean, more stuff and clutter to organize and squeezing in some work that actually pays. By God’s grace, this is doable.
After i have resolved that, my second thought was: Good thing i was able to train my daughter to help with the chores as early as kindergarten. Being raised by a certified home maker myself, i was not going to be a Mom to children who depend on the house help for a simple task like getting a glass of water.
So there. We are going to have the best of the busiest season of the year. First agenda on our list was to tackle the laundry. And boy, what a marvelous time all three of us had. If you find this hard to believe, these photos will tell you so.
But of course, for small, bright and active minds, no chore should be done without a bit of fun. So, in between the rinsing and spinning, we have managed to transform our backyard into a mini resort. I never knew doing laundry could be this much and wet :)
And if you would think the little one did not do his share of the chore, that’s where you are wrong. He took hold of the hose and proceeded to clean the laundry area for as long as he wanted. He did a pretty good job at it too. I happened to note that when our water bill arrived a month after :)
Next on our list was to prepare our meals. Now, this is mighty easy for my active kids who love playing chef and customer with their kitchen toys. I am also grateful to have a daughter who is always excited to lend me a helping hand in the kitchen. There was never a time when i had to drag her into learning how to cook. She was always right beside me even before i ask her.
This daughter of mine has come a long way from our scrambled egg and pancake days back when she was in preschool. At ten, she is now able to prepare pasta sauce, slice and saute vegetables, mix ,wrap and fry shanghai rolls and cook the rice. Still she dislikes slicing onions :)
Not to be outdone, our other sous chef has his own share of cooking abilities too.
Well, this one’s really more for photo purposes. Still he demanded that i let him hold the ladle as he sautes our vegetable tofu dish for dinner.
But guess who chopped the nuts for our fruit salad last Christmas Eve dinner? :) It was a task not to be taken lightly for my little boy faced it with ardent focus. I tell you, the nuts were transformed into polvoron :)
To tell you the truth, it was the best fruit salad we ever had, with my two kitchen helpers pinching in and leaving me with almost nothing to do at all :)
When there is a lot of food, there will always be lots of dirty dishes. But this was not a problem for my “mini me” who loves getting her hands wet . Honestly, she would scrub the dishes to a spotless state that could even outdo Martha Stewart :)
As for trying times like this, one would always need some cheering up. That’s where our little comedian comes in:)
At last our laundry has dried, folded and organized . Next step is to iron the ones that needed to be ironed. I was ready to do this alone, but no, my kind and industrious daughter will not let me. She asked if she could do it. What can i say?
And if you would look closely at this photo, you would see a sad face at the back. He was not happy that he was not given a chance at the ironing board. But “Baby boy”, i said, ” This chore is still to heavy for you”. :) But don’t you worry my darling someday, but not too soon, you’ll get to have the heaviest chore of all. Washing Mommy’s car :)
This was our life for over a month. It was very challenging. But i can truthfully say, it was one of the best times we shared as a family. It was a time when we learned to rely on each other, to be sensitive of each other’s needs, to be a team. It became an opportunity for me to teach my children a valuable lesson in life: That no one should grow up not learning and being to do a single household chore.
So you see, it can be done. I almost told our helper not to come back. But my ever soft-hearted husband talked me out of it. He didn’t want to be the cause of one’s unemployment. Still, with a helper now in the house once again, we have managed to stick to our routine and the lifestyle we have acquired during our more than thirty days of being yaya-less.
And i’m proud to say that this family knows how to stick together and will never be helpless through a mountain of laundry and piles of dirty dishes. :)