If you give a child a chore,

she’s going to smile and ignore you.

She’ll dance and play in the usual ways.


When you remind her she has a chore

she’ll probably stomp to her room and shut the door.

When she’s bored, she’ll ask to use the computer.

Then she’ll want a snack.


When you say “no,” she will wonder if you are serious.

So she’ll consider doing the chore.

Then she’ll want to go to grandma’s house.


When you say “no” again, she’ll negotiate, yell, cry, and tell you you’renotmyfriendanymore.

Thinking of her friends will remind her of her birthday.

She’ll tell you you’re not invited.


So you’ll have to leave the room.

When your child notices she’s alone, she’ll stop crying.


Then she’ll find you.  Sniffling, she’ll ask for help.

Which means you’ll need to lock yourself in the bathroom.


Staring at the bathroom will remind her that you clean

the toilet.

So she’ll complete her chore, without help.  She’ll do a great job.


Chances are, when she finishes her chore, she’ll feel proud.

She’ll know you love her, and she’ll tell you she loves you to the moon and back.

You’ll want to share a cookie, and a glass of milk to go with it.


The cadence and story of this poem refers to the fine writing of children’s book author Laura Numeroff.  Each of her many books gives young children many opportunities to giggle.