So after my ramble about expectations and trying to get the boys to help out around here.
Some amazing things have transpired. But, we do have a long way to go around here but, I am feeling better. That afternoon I decided instead of overwhelming them and me with revamping their morning and evening must do lists...I would just start with my least favorite household task and get them to work together to conquer it.
The responsibility of unloading the dishwasher seemed awesome to them.
I could tell they were honored to be trusted to do this without me bossing and snapping at them to be more careful. I decided I would train them and then let them have at it.
They did a great job and for the last two mornings they have done this without complaint.
I know this won't last forever. But it's a start.
So the first summer expectation is that before mama starts flipping flapjacks or scrambling eggs, the boys much check and see if the dishwasher needs unloading. They must get this task done in order to eat breakfast. I figure this will help the kitchen mess all day long because the dishwasher will be ready to be loaded with the breakfast dishes immediately. Henry tackles the silverware job, with Sydney's help, and Charley the big plates and other bottom level stuff. Then they move to the top rack. They can't reach the cupboards to actually put things away but they just stack the stuff on the counter underneath the cupboard where they go. If they aren't sure of where something goes they put it on the center island. It is working really slick.
We also started a quiet time. The boys choose an area to go and play or read for 30 minutes. It has really calmed down what had become a chaotic romping and bickering hour because they honestly, needed a break from each other. We also have decided that there would be a clean up time in the afternoons, and mornings if needed. I told them I would give them plenty of warning and help them out. This has helped keep things under control with indoor messes. Charley has been reading WAY more. I think he just needed some quiet time where he wasn't hounded by Henry. We also went to the library and got some new books which always helps.
Ugh, this is coming off as one of those blog posts where the reader snaps shut the laptop frustrated because lookie here...this mama seems to have it all together. I. DO. NOT. AT. ALL. I have spent many moments on the phone with friends sighing heavily, snapping at my children to stop jumping on the couches, and the laundry is still heaped on the couch. But I do think, slowing down, and making an effort with what I expect of my children did work. Sometimes it just takes attempting a change in order to make the change happen. And taking the change in small steps. Small steps mean expectations are met....and you still get to head to the pool and see all your friends!
Yesterday, we had more rain, and in the afternoon we did this...
I layered two pans with baking soda.
Gave each boy a cupcake pan with food coloring tinted vinegar.
They each used these little droppers to drop the vinegar and make the bubbles and color designs.
This activity lasted a good 45 minutes and both boys want to do it again.
Ed took my van to an oil change.
We have some shopping to get done (black socks and black belts for the boys wedding apparel).
Their last swim lessons for this session (Did I share that Charley didn't just pass his level but jumped two levels! So completely impressed with him and his teacher.)
And then the excitement continues to build for the big wedding weekend that is about to begin. The boys have been practicing their dance moves...Charley's seem to take on the break dancing flavor.
Today's focus will be on keeping Lego's off the guest bed so that when Grandma Barb and Grandpa Bob roll in they don't wake up with one wedged in their ear.
Today is Thursday...our second Thursday of summer.
Are you embracing it?
Are you soaking it in?
If you are home with your kiddos...forget the crumbs on the floor, I have decided they sweep up much easier when they are left to dry. Go spray your kids with the hose while they run crazy in their underwear (yes, we did this the other night).
If you are at work, get yourself a yummy coffee, take a minute to ask a coworker what their weekend plans are. And return home to your family ready for some summer evening fun.