I'm trying to spend more time actively engaged with Middle Son, and less time screwing around on the internet while he is here. That's good for both of us.
Yesterday I came up with a new idea. We were doing laundry. Middle usually helps with loading and unloading the machines, and sometimes I have him help with the folding. This time, I had him fold each garment. I had to help him hand-over-hand, it's the sort of activity he's not very good at. After folding it, we carried it to my room and put it away. Then we went back to the washer, took the next garment out of the basket, and repeated the process. It took 25 or 30 minutes to put the whole load away.
On the one had, it seems inefficient to do it that way. On the other hand, what is the correct definition of efficiency here? I am trying to minimize the amount of time spent on chores? That seems like a reasonable goal, but what do I do with the "saved" time? If I spend it playing games on Facebook and Middle spends it shredding toilet paper into the toilet, is that actually a good thing? I think it is not.
This way, Middle was engaged in a useful task that helps him learn a practical skill as well as improving his fine-motor abilities. I get off my rear end and spend 25 minutes walking around the house--a worthwhile endeavor for my out of shape, overweight self.
And most important, the two of us spend 25 minutes interacting.