Thursday, June 12, 2008

School's out...are they bored, yet?

Alright, so I have this reputation with my friends and it makes me laugh! "If you ask Michelle to watch your kids, they will come home with some kind of art project or stories of their nature hike! It's disgusting!"
My entire life as a mom (please don't take this as bragging - because I am giggling outloud as I type this!) other moms say, "You make me look bad" or "Just stop being so crafty" or "You did WHAT? with your kids today?"
Now, I find this funny because some moms spend their days cleaning and organizing and/or working outside the home. To those moms I say, "You make me look bad!" AND "Just stop being so productive!" AND "You got WHAT? accomplished today?!"
You see, I am not a naturally organized person. I hate to clean (although I CRAVE a clean house!) and I would rather play and paint than do anything else in the world. This personality trait which I blame on being an artist DRIVES MY POOR HUSBAND BONKERS!
My husband is the epitome of organized. If I didn't think he would feel violated, I would post a picture of his side of our walk-in looks like a department store! My girlfriends sometimes (just to get his goat) will sneak up there and stick a plaid shirt in with the solids or transplant a white pinpoint in between his dress pants. Makes him crazy!
Our children, much to his shagrin, take after me. They hoard everything that ever meant anything to them. "I can't give that away, Daddy. The lady I met when Nana and I went shopping that day Pappy had to go to the doctors gave me that stuffed animal!" They are not very organized. "Mooooooom, can you grab my purple sock while you are upstairs? It is behind my nightstand, next to the plate from my snack, under my 2nd grade year book (she's going into 4th grade!)."
We (hubby and I) have agreed that at 9 & 10, our older kids are plenty capable of becoming more disciplined and having desired behaviors accomplished without having to ask. He sat us them down the other night after dinner and he talked about discipline and what that means. SOMETHING COMING SO NATURALLY THAT YOU DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING IT - IT JUST GETS DONE.
So, he told them they each needed to pick 3 things that they could take responsibility for each and every day. These are not equivalent to chores, these are just common courtesy things that you don't get allowance wiping/rinsing out their bathroom sink every day, keeping their shoes in the mudroom closet, etc. He also told them that it takes 21 days to form a habit and when 30 were up and those disciplines were completed each and every day, he would have a pretty hefty surprise for them. Although it would be the first priviledge taken away when those disciplines fall to the wayside!
All the books you read tell you that kids love boundaries and expectations. I have read it, I know it! But this week, I HAVE SEEN IT! They are feeling so good about themselves because they are being PRODUCTIVE! They are not bored!
Quite honestly, they are motivating me to be more productive, too. Tuesday we lost power from a horrible storm and we were without it for over 18 hours so needless to say, I have some fridge-dumping to do.
So, I figured, while I was emptying the fridge, what better time to rinse out all the drawers, take out shelves and gag at the dog hair stuck to spilled syrup wipe them clean and scoop out all the scattered ice cubes under the freezer drawer.
Even my little man got inside involved!
So, when I was done and the kids had leisurely started their day....(this is where those of you who get mad at me for stepping "outside the box" can click to another site)...
we had a delightful picnic outside...
(btw - this was sooo simple. 2 boxes of crackers, tub of cream cheese, pistachios, canned pineapple, raisins, organic bunny grahams, lemonade, 4 cups, forks and a knife for the cream cheese on a tray. Less prep time than even a grilled cheese! No plates to wash and no mess made!)
their "project o'the day" was to eliminate books that they have grown out of, didn't like or had finished and weren't planning to read again so we can donate them to the local library...
and now we are getting ready to start a naptime craft activity... MY FAVORITE THINGS! We have done this one before and they love it! Here's a look at my last attempt -
they want to out-do their last attempts so they didn't want me to post their "old ones." However I am sure I will have beautiful ones to post later!
So, in my next book I will be giving 365 things to do to make your kids happy, productive and crafty! LOL! Just kidding!
I will be back later to tell you all about my birthday!


Michelle said...


I adore your blog (and you).......but you make ME LOOK BAD!!!!!!!!!!!

Come to my house please????????

The picnic is a great idea. I always look at what we do with the kids, that is just so much fun for them, and I think..........

This is a memory for them to carry through out their lives.

It is most important, I think, to create "memories" for our babies. That is what they will remember. Noty the scoldings or the lectures.

Debbie Yost said...

Although you make me look bad, you inspire me. I will never be like you, but I try to be more open when my kids want to do crafts. I don't normally participate, but they get to do clay or coloring or something. Sometimes, that is. But, I'm also not organized and my house is a mess. I think I'll go hide under the covers now.

Debbie Yost said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm the organized kind of mommy, I admit it. I'm currently going thru and organizing/cleaning each room in my home before I head off to the Hershey Feeding Clinic with my son.

Doing art projects is like pulling my fingernails out one by one.

Mabunny said...

I"m not a very organized person either Michelle. I am getting better though, and have recently washed my kitchen baseboards, and scrubbed out my fridge too.
Will get more done hopefully soon.
Nicole and I have been having fun since she got out of school. She goes to camp in 10 days, so hopefully we can continue to have fun, while getting her ready to go , shes gone for 2 wks!!!

Karen said...

Well, I think I'm somewhere in between the extremes, but I'm NOT saying I'm balanced. Not one bit. Maybe I'm more like a day it's all cleaning, then we spend the next three or four messing it all up with crafts and sewing projects.

Love the fact that your husband is teaching your kids about their habits and how important it is to form GOOD ones. :) I could go on forever about that, but I'll stop with "way to go, mom!" :)

TheHMC said...

Nice! I strive to be a neat freak, but my husband and kids won't let it happen lol. Strangely enough though, my older two(9 and 8, respectively) have been doing great at helping around the house the past couple of weeks in order to earn game time(which doesn't bother me nearly as much now that we have Wii Fit- which.. yes, I'm totally advertising all over the place.. I LOVE IT!).

I love the artsy stuff too... though lately my 'craftiness' has revolved around crocheting afghans.

Karla with a K said...

Karen, I think I'm like you. I like doing some things with my kids, but I can't do a ton. And I "work neat" (anyone else like that? nice way of saying, um... controlling?) Anywho, so I'm more of a one-at-a-timer. But my kids are used to it and like cooking or doing projects.

And it all goes to pot around here especially when we're all really busy, but then we get the kids to help clean it up.

Michelle, I love that favorite things project. I may copy-cat it.

Ok, enough from me, except for holy crap your kitchen sink! (We jointly cleaned our fridge earlier this year, and I'm pretty good about making sure the science projects don't take over.)

Ok, THAT's enough from me!

nomi said...

If I didn't sew, and ever grew up, I might be organized! But I'm soooooooo not! Art and fun take the cake for me too! Doesn't it feel GREAT to have such a clean fridge though! LOL

AlaneM said...

I'm working on being more, I guess I could say impulsive this summer. I am usually one to say no to everything the kids ask right off the bat. I want to be more flexible and willing to dive in & play/create/make messes with them.
You are inspiring in that regard, you do make me look bad but I love ya for it!

Your hubby sounds like my uncle. He has a similar closet but the really funny thing is the outlet & light switch plates. The screws in them (and I mean everywhere in the house, I checked) all go the same way. My cousin once moved a few of them just to see what if he would notice & the next time he visited they were back to their uniform look. OCD anyone??

Theresa said...

I can see why you drive your friends crazy. You're ideas are so fun! I fall in between the crafty mom (I will do food crafts with them) and the house cleaning mom...but really not perfecting either.

(You should see my house today.)

I love your blog.

Love T

Sue said...

I have been labeled as one of "those" moms, like you. What can I say, I like baking and crafts.
I do like the favorite things page and will broach that to the girls when they finally get out of school (the 23rd!).

Dawn said...

Hmmm, I'm not organized OR crafty. What does that say about me? Wait - don't answer that.
And I actually think that's a great idea for a book, Michelle!