Last night our "official" (meaning on the job chart) dining room table wiper/floor sweeper was away for the evening. Three children were sitting at the table when I asked, "Who can wipe the table and sweep for me?"
There was silence. I reconsidered the request and asked, "I need one person to wipe the table and another to sweep the floor. Who will do it?"
Mr. Helper quickly answered, "I'll wipe!" I'm not sure if he really wanted to help or if he decided that half the job was easier than the whole job and if Mom got around to giving out the assignments he didn't want to get stuck with the broom so it was better to volunteer.
The remaining two just looked at each other and Mr. Thinker started to say, "Let's do paper, scissors, rock to see...."
I cut him off and said, "Thank you Thinker for volunteering, you'll be sweeping." I figured if he was going to go to such extremes to get out of the work, that would suffice as an offer in my book.
However, Mr. Slacker then pointed and laughed and told him, "Ha! You're sweeping. You 'volunteered'!"
His gloating didn't last long as he heard me, now from the next room, chime in with, "I changed my mind. Slacker, you're the sweeper. Thank you for volunteering even more loudly than Thinker."
They may not be jump-up-how-can-I-help kids, but if I put my mind to it the work gets done.