Sadly, I need a few more months.
Honestly, it never ends. At least around here, with our youngest being 3, we got lots more teen years ahead. (I’d add them up, but that would involve entirely too much effort and spend some of my precious remaining brain cells.) So that said, we’ll be staying the work course, just maybe not in such a defined way.
Yesterday, I told the kids that we’ll end our experiment with a day or two of them doing EVERYTHING. I think I will put tasks in a jar and let them draw a task then prove they can do it. (This could be challenging for a few of them… especially ones that would rather pay someone else to do it for them.)
Among the moans, I offer, “Hey… we’ve almost made it a year. Think of all the tasks we’ve done…. that you can do!!”
“Great. Now it’s over. We can go back to normal.” TTO replies.
“Oh no, Honey. We have a new normal.”
I’m hit with a major groans, eye rolls and an obligatory, “Maaahhhwmm!!”
“Moan and groan all you want… I’ve talked with your dad about doing a little something special to celebrate all we’ve accomplished.” (even as I’m saying this, I’m wondering… Have we accomplished anything?!… oh, I hope so.)
“Yes!”, says Sister Save-A-Lot. “I know exactly what it can be!”
(I had told Jon, I think a trip to Disney World is in order … we’ve never taken the kids. His response? a gasp and, “I was thinking more along the lines of Sonic.”)
“Oh yes… maybe we can get one of those Slurpee coupons you got us a few years ago,” she dreamed.
Little does she know, I never got a Slurpee coupon for them. It was the prize given to kids who signed up for the Dallas Public Library summer reading program… We really reach for the stars around here. Frugal Fred has trained them well (most of them!).
But… I’m jumping ahead. We aren’t there quite yet even though the finish line is in sight.
We absolutely loved our month of December, focusing on others. But, I’m not feeling the same warm fuzzies about our January tasks: Manners and Money. (to which TTO excitedly responded, “YES! Finally, we get to spend money?!” … “Uh.. No…. We’ll learn how to manage money.” I reply.)
On manners, the push-back has begun.
“Open the door for your sister.”
“Because ladies go first.”
“Because… It’s the polite, proper way to act.”
“Who made that up?!”
“I don’t know … Emily Post… It actually goes back to the way men should treat women… to cherish them… to care for them…”
“Well that’s what we’re going to practice. …. And chew with your mouth closed. That’s what’s gross.”
“When do I get to go first?” he asks, completely ignoring the request to keep his food noises to himself.
… Isn’t that at the heart of it all – wanting to be sure that we get to go first?!
This could be a bit of a bumpy ride.
Thanks for walking the road with me.