Here's another great thing about the kids being responsible for more laundry: now we are able to exchange work in a Trader Principle manner!
Earlier today, I needed to run upstairs briefly to pull some clothes out of the dryer before they got wrinkled. I didn't want to bring the baby all the way up there, just to come back down with him (which would anger him tremendously). I also knew Ryan had sheets in the washing machine.
So I offered him a deal. If he'd keep an eye on Sean while I ran upstairs to empty the dryer, I'd be happy to put his stuff into the dryer for him, and start the next load. And a deal was struck!
Prior to making Ryan responsible for his laundry, I would have had to do the same exact thing--throw the sheets in the dryer and start the new load. But I may or may not have received his help with the baby. Not without complaint, perhaps.
He was clearly able to see this as a value-for-value exchange, and stopped his game to play with Sean for a few minutes. I got the laundry situated, and the baby saw no need to lose his temper. Ryan didn't need to be grumpy because of my asking him to do this; and I had no need to get grumpy because I was doing all of this laundry, yet was having a difficult time getting five minutes' worth of help.
Hmmm.....what other responsibilities is he ready for? YAY!