And I do mean “Our.” Sometimes you just know the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
My son is so like me in many ways.
One of my favorite things to do is to complete a to do list. I actually will write items that I’ve already completed onto a to do list just so that I can cross them off. A white board is nice so that I can reuse it (thanks to my SIL for giving me a portable one for Christmas two years ago), but sometimes it’s not as satisfying to erase something as to scratch it off.
Mister Man is the same way. He loves order and having things done the right way.
When reading through Tip Junkie last week, I spotted the various types of chore charts that people (those creative ones anyway) had put together. As I thought about it, I realized that this could possibly work well for us in many ways.
1) I hate whining. Two and four year olds whine when they’re nagged to do something. And when they’re tired. Or hungry. Or bored. Or really sometimes for no good reason at all, but I digress.
2) There are things we forget to do some days that really ought to be done.
3) One of Mister Man’s favorite things to do is practice reading. EVERYthing.
The only problem was that I’m not nearly that crafty. And cheap (my friend’s prefer to call it frugal, but tomato/tomato, I think).
As I continued to peruse her site, I discovered a version that I thought I could handle. Plus, my dad LOVES and constantly eats popsicles. As in a couple boxes a week. And Mister Man loves to use the leftover (washed) sticks to make things when he’s playing with his trains.
Mister Man and I had fun deciding what his jobs were. Some were easy, like putting away breakfast/lunch/dinner dishes away. Others are ones he needs to do that we aren’t always the best at, like practicing piano. And we just gave him the job of checking the cats’ food and water every day. Oh yeah, and making sure the toys are picked up every night before bed. All in all, there are a little over ten, although most are ones he’s been doing for a long time.
I am debating whether or not to put clear nail polish atop the Sharpie writing. I’ve already learned that they smear if you get them a little wet. Fortunately, Mister Man doesn’t seem to mind.
The first thing he does in the morning is run over to the chore sticks and plop the “dirty clothes in hamper” into the YES cup. He’s so proud of himself for doing his jobs, and there’s no whining about them. If I need him to do something, I just direct him to the sticks, and he figures it out himself.
His are all red popsicle sticks. See, I know my children well. As soon as Little Miss saw that Mister Man got jobs to do and had sticks that he could put into a YES cup, she wanted her own. She can’t read, and many of their chores (dirty and clean clothes in the appropriate places, dishes into the dishwasher, toys put away, etc) are the same. Color coding was the easy answer. Hers are all purple, and everyone’s happy. Mister Man is even willing to share his YES cup.
On Tuesday night, my mom watched the wee ones while I went to my softball game and my husband was our umpire for the night (and a very serious one, I might add!). She put the wee ones to bed, and all was well.
About ten minutes later, she heard the door to Mister Man’s room opening. She assumed he had to go to the bathroom or get a drink, but she went up to check on him anyway. She saw him walking down the hallway taking off his clothes.
Grandma: Mister Man, are you hot?
Mister Man: No.
Grandma: Uhhh, what are you doing then?
Mister Man: I forgot to take a shower, and I want to put my stick into the YES cup.
Grandma: Sweetie, it’s too late tonight. We can count the washdown you had after swimming as your shower. How’s that?
Mister Man: Ok.
Oh, and I found him still mostly undressed Wednesday morning. Awww, such a sweet kid, right?
Happy day! My system board came in today, and it was replaced in my computer. I can once again unplug my computer and not have it instantly lose whatever I was working on. Yay! Now I just need to figure out why it keeps randomly turning on the screen saver as I’m working. Gotta love typing and a black screen suddenly appearing!