My Kids Are ALMOST as Good as Monkey Butlers

I'd spent a good amount of my 20s wondering if I could, in fact, enlist the services of a monkey butler, whom I'd already christened "Mr. Pinchey." I had wild fantasies of the adventures we'd go on and the long nights spent watching him pick nits out of his back and eat them, in between answering the door and cooking our dinner.

My husband, The Daver, brought all of that to a screeching halt one day when he had the audacity to inform me that, actually, PETA would show up at my door and pelt little monkey carcasses filled with blood at my house.

So, I decided the next best thing would be to have a ROBOT monkey butler. Turns out that those are in short supply these days and do NOT look particularly fashionable in a wee tuxedo.

I turned my attentions to my (at the time) my drooling baby and screeching toddler ...

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... and immediately discounted them as possible monkey butlers.

I mean, I know child labor is the thing in so many third world countries, but we live in America, where we all speak American. I figured that trying to get an infant who chewed on everything she saw into a wee tux and have her actually -- despite her tiny hands -- help around the house was probably a bad idea.

The toddler was a better option. He had the advantage of both the shrill shrieking of a monkey and the small hands to boot, so I figured if I could bribe him with something or another, I could probably get him to do a few things around the house.

Not so much.

Much as I tried to coax the kid into a wee tuxedo, he screamed and tore it off within mere seconds. While I applauded his sense of worth as well as his dexterity, I realized it would be a long time before I'd be able to get a proper monkey butler. Robot, child, or otherwise.

I lamented this for at least three (maybe even five) seconds before getting distracted by an "OOO! SHINY!" and promptly forgot about it. Which, really, was for the best.

That toddler is now a 5-year-old who adores helping around the house, providing that it's all on his terms and his idea and, well, you know how 5-year olds can get.

I've had more luck with the oldest, who is nearly 11, and loves nothing more than cleaning things up ... if you can keep him undistracted from the rest of the world. He's a great worker, except when he gets distracted by the television, his siblings, or air. So he's a definite win.

And that squishy drooling baby? She's grown up to be so fastidious a child that I wonder (as I see the coffee stains on my shirt) if we're related. If she wasn't my clone, I'd imagine that she'd been switched at birth. She's less a helper around the house ... unless you provide her a sponge, in which case, she's ALL about it. (Although, to be fair, she mostly soaks the room with water and then tries to give the cat a bath.)

But finally, I can see that these small things I popped out of my girl bits are going to be amazing help around the house.

It's just a shame none of them will wear a monkey suit while doing so -- I've asked and been rejected each time.

Sighs.

Can't win 'em all.

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