Thursday, July 18, 2013

Initiative - learned or genetic?

I had a talk with the children today. It was a while in coming. You see, it's time to take a step forward. It's time for some independence... for Mom.

I've had several conversations recently with family and friends about kids taking initiative in personal responsibilities. Is it personality driven or a learned behavior? Gender related? I have no idea. What I do know is that I am sick and tired of having to tell them to do their chores, which chores to do, and manage the whole buffet of household "whatnot"ery.

Today, I made a list of all the chores they knew how to do.  It's mighty fancy (NOT). We talked about how I was going to be really busy in a month or so with two classes of graduate work and starting a school year with a new team member. About then it started to dawn on the kidlets that something out of their experience was coming. I asked them to help think of ways to make the dreaded chores automatic in their lives, so I wouldn't have to direct them. They didn't get it. "But Mom, we always do what you tell us to do." "What if I didn't have to tell you?" "Then how would we know to do it?" Exactly.

I got a sinking feeling in my tummy that this is going to be a long road to walk. I used the floor as an example. I hadn't told anyone to sweep in an embarrassingly long time and it was nasty. I asked them to look at it and see what I meant about "if you see it needs doing, get it done". They looked at me with wide innocent eyes and proclaimed "It looks fine Mom". Hmmm, they really didn't see the dog hair, dirt, crumbs, leaves, toys, and used Kleenex under the coffee table.

Taking the initiative requires the knowledge that something needs to be done. Somehow, the fact that something ALWAYS needs to be done is not in their personal encyclopedia of general knowledge.

So, I am embarking on an experiment to see if I can teach two good little boys how to take initiative and just get it done without me telling them to do it.

Stop Laughing! Let a girl dream a little!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Summer Life

The Summer Life, it's a whole different world. It does amazing things in our family. We spend time together. We play games. We watch amazing amount of television. We go places. We don't feel run by schedules and alarms. We relax and ride the waves of life, much like a lazy river at a water park.

Our schedules, which are unashamedly rigid during the school year, get much less apparent, nonexistent you might say. For example, my 10 pm Cinderella type self was wide awake after 12:30 am this morning. I only went to bed because the poor husband had to go to work in the morning. During the school year, I am up around 5:30 am, 6:00 if the alarm doesn't go off. I woke at 9:15 this morning (after being awake for a bit while the poor husband got ready and left for work).

The dark circles under my eyes go away in the summer. The twitch in my right eye disappears, too. I cook more often. I look for healthy instead of fast foods, sometimes. I answer "sure, why not!" much more often when the kids ask for something or to do something. I forget to eat lunch at lunch time and usually end up having linner or dunch. I read a lot of books and see movies. It's a good life.

This summer has been a lot of traveling, but is finally settling down. We have gone some amazing places, but I am happy to be home for a while. After about 2 weeks at home, I usually feel the need to clean stuff. So, that should be happening pretty soon. I hope. I really want to have the compulsion to keep a clean and tidy house. But that bend in the lazy river of life has yet to arrive. Until then, we will float along doing what needs to be done.

Taking college courses is a new thing this summer. I am currently in a class about reference services in the library and have several projects to complete, along with some traditional paper activities. It's a really informational class. I still have a lot to do in the next 2 weeks. I find it hard to switch back and forth between studious student and laid back Mom, but it is working out. I love to geek out and learn stuff. I love to be a lazy lump and vegetate. It is my Summer Life. And I like it!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What to do?What to do?

I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized it was my first day of summer! How could July 1 be the first day? Well, it was the first day I didn't have anything pressing to do since I got out of school. June flew by at the rate of light. I'm sure there was a WARP drive in there somewhere. And now I have 3 whole days before I am off on another trip. And the husband is home because he took a day off! Woo-hoo!

So, I sit here and wonder what I will do with the day. I don't want to spend it online. I want to DO something. Something new. Something I've done before. It doesn't really matter. Just so that the family can do something together. We've done lots of stuff. Just not much together. Because we haven't really been together much. Between trips and VBS and that pesky job, our family time has shrunk to nothingness.

The problem is, I don't know what I want to do. A movie was suggested. Not a bad idea. But not amazing. A mall excursion. Nah, who wants to just window shop? Bowling? perhaps. Kayaking to the lake? maybe if it isn't too hot.

Hmm, I still don't know. But I do know I need a shower. So that is a good place to start. Maybe a great idea will strike as I wash my hair.