It happened a few days ago. You may have heard about the straw that broke the camel's back? Or the bridge too far? Or the outside of enough? You may also know this one: when mama aint happy, aint nobody happy.
The straw was laid, the bridge was crossed and the outside was passed last week. It may have had something to do with the question "do we have any milk" from the person standing in front of the open fridge; or tiny Lego pieces impaling tender Mom feet as they tried to cross the living room floor; or the Cheltenham Tragedy acted out when one or another Peanut was asked to put his granola bar wrapper in the recycle bin (Peanut's response: I work all day long. I do nothing but work. You're going to have me do this until I die!)
And so Mama Nut made a declaration: she was, like France, going on holiday for the month of August. The Peanuts One through Five, along with Daddy, are going to be responsible for the food cooking, toy tidying, baby bathing, schedule setting etc. that is usually Mama's purview. For an entire month she will not swipe one single toilet bowl, plan one meal, or sweep one floor.
Well my goodness, based on the reaction when asked to put one small piece of garbage where it belongs, you can only imagine the happy proclamations that were heard when the 'Mama's On Holiday' plans were unveiled. For my part, it sounded very much like: Hooray! From the Why-chromosome bearers, it was rather more along the lines of: oh woe, poor me.
It took a few days for the sting to fade, but gradually the idea began to settle in and feel comfortable. Men like to be in charge (even the small ones), and to do things their way (it's the right way, after all) And so Daddy Nut rose to the occasion and organized his troops. There is a roster with rotating duties posted on the fridge at Peanut height; each task is outlined in a flowchart; chores are clearly outlined with expectations and exceptions.
Today was day one. There wasn't a grumble, nor a pout - each Peanut rose manfully to the occasion. There was such a feeling of industry and order in the house, which was peaceful and - quite frankly - delightful, most especially because it happened without reference to Mama Nut or I. Hoorah! They can do it! They did do it! Let's hear it for boys who rule the house!