Thursday, July 01, 2010

Small Groove That Hopefully Will Not Become a Rut

I've gotten myself into a bad groove and if I'm not careful it will wear itself down into a deep, dark rut.

I've been up past 3:00 am for three nights (mornings) in a row now.

I'm being a very bad girl.

I'm a night owl, just feel naturally more awake and energetic between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am. Which is brilliant for college life. Mommy life? Not so much. But I adapt and during the school year when I'm tearing children screaming from their beds at 7:30 in the morning, I can barely keep my eyes open past 10:00. And now that I don't have to get up early any more, I find myself luxuriating in the still, silent pre-dawn hours.

But I must stop this or I will make myself sick. Eventually, I'm going to have to rejoin the land of the living and I will probably be sick all day!

We've made and begun implementing our new Summer Schedule (which, no, staying up until unholy hours is not part of). After one day, ONE DAY, of Official Summer Break (look out, I'm full of superfluous caps today), I had had enough. I could not take the bickering, whining or frustration any more and knew we needed some structure!

Beginning today, the children are not allowed to turn on the TV or computer until their beds are made, their rooms are tidied and all the dirty laundry is brought down to the laundry room. Neither child is allowed to be on the computer more than an hour at a time or 2 hours each day and those hours have to be earned. Failure to complete Morning Chores, Zone Chores, Afternoon Blitz or After Dinner Blitz in a pleasant and timely manner will result in the loss of TV and computer privileges. Failure to comply with the time restrictions (such as dragging one's feet, claiming, "I'm getting off now," while taking 30 minutes to say, "good-bye,") will also result in loss of privileges. Extra time may be earned by completing extra chores and tasks.

They were not happy about this. Man-Cub, especially, was ready to throw his head back and howl about it were it not for the threat of spending the entire morning doing my chores in addition to his own. He quickly came around.

Despite their obvious displeasure, I think things went rather well today. The house already seems more peaceful and harmonious. They completed their morning chores surprisingly quickly. I happened upon the genius idea of allowing each child to inspect the other's work and report back to me on it. They became remarkably fair when they realized they were both at the same disadvantage.

Today's Zone was the bathrooms. I set Man-Cub on to the downstairs powder room and Redheaded Snippet on the larger upstairs bathroom. Once both rooms were tidied and the trash cans emptied, Redheaded Snippet began sweeping and Swiffering (yes, it's a verb now, keep up) while Man-Cub scoured the tub. I went in later and took care of the toilets and sinks and anything else that needed to be wiped down (like mirrors and windowsills). We were done in no time at all!

So, now, when the children wake up tomorrow, there will be very little for them to tidy up in their rooms, having just done it this morning, and their Morning Chores will take even less time and I hope they will start to see the wisdom of this plan. I've been doing it in my own bedroom for a few weeks now and it really helps me start my day with a sense of accomplishment and serenity. Ah, the power of a properly made bed!

Let's just see how long we can keep this ball rolling!

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