Dan went with me to my spin class this morning. I tend to call it a “spinning class” but have come to realize that sounds like we’re making yarn or turning straw into gold when actually what we do is pedal a bike that doesn’t go anywhere while wiping sweat from our brows, moaning and congratulating ourselves on our growing awesomeness. I don’t think he particularly enjoyed himself but now he knows a bit more about what I’m doing and he called me an athlete at least 3 times so it was a good morning. The best 5am date we’ve ever had.
The house is still clean following a mad rush of cleanliness that preceded my hosting a PTA board meeting. I love the clean but am a bit sick of listening to my own nagging voice . (more on my struggle not to become a Spotless Wench at Parenting.com)
For the most part I don’t nag too loudly but the tone of nagging is almost as obnoxious as the tone of whining. So I’m going to try and change to a tone of gentle reminder and rely more heavily on the new chore chart.
I stole the card idea from Jessica and modified it to suit my style (or lack thereof) and the materials I already had on hand. For some reason I have an insane amount of denim in stock out in my garage. Oooo. Maybe I shouldn’t have let that slip. I don’t want to attract every strung-out denim junkie in town, low on their supply and jonesin’ for some jean fabric.
So I tried to make the cards look as much like my house as possible and Laylee was super impressed. Just because I DON’T color 24/7 doesn’t mean I CAN’T. I’m a woman of many hidden talents and also hidden markers that all still have their lids.
On days when I have specific chores I need the kids to do, I assign them but on more flexible days I let them assign their own. I find that they actually do more work and do it more cheerfully if they feel like they’re in control of what they’re doing. I like to give them the illusion of control as much as I can.
The denim pockets are tied onto an IKEA white board which I then screwed into the wall.
When the kids finish one of their chores, they flip the card over and when they’re all flipped over, they turn over the card with their name on it. The back says “ALL DONE” indicating that they are more than partially done. Kind of like “ALL NEW” episodes on NBC which are created without reusing any footage from previous episodes. Not even a bit. ALL NEW.
They vacuum with a mini stick vac or carpet sweeper. They wipe the dirt around, rather than actually cleaning anything. They “do laundry” by helping me sort the clothes and move piles from one spot to another. They feel very useful and they’re learning.
I find that they take my pictures very seriously. Magoo will now only pray like this.
And insists that everyone else follow suit and do it LIKE THE PICTURE! I was hesitant to make prayer a chore in the first place but decided it might be helpful to give them a little reminder. When I went to draw the hands, I found that intertwining fingers were beyond my capabilities. Now for Magoo it’s flat hands or he will have none of it.
I know he’s begun doing his chores when I hear him in the living room shouting up to the heavens, “I yank thee for my bed and my big ducks and my friend River and my sister!”
I’ll be saying a special prayer of “yanks” when we get to a point where their cleaning actually helps make my life easier. It can’t be long now.