Photo: I broke out my good camera a few weeks ago to take pictures of these two fools for the annual Christmas card. I’m not a professional, but a few that I took will be good enough to send to others. The Husband is praying for snow between now and Thanksgiving so we can have a “real snowy card for once.” I told him that he’s crazy and why would he actually ask for that!? Anyway, this one probably won’t be “the photo” but it caught my eye and made me happy.
But now let’s really talk about these two little fools.
Well, I’m the fool because I’m the one with the problem.
So I ran up against two things this weekend that are going to have to change. The how of it will be difficult, but the why of it all is fairly clear. You see, I am pretty “hands-off” on the weekends. Especially when the boys were wee-babes and I was doing all the heavy-lifting during the workweek, I would hand the babies to The Husband and take the time I could to be “off” and have him do the primary caregiving. That’s a bit muddled now, what with long school days and weekend activities, but the spirit still stands: The Husband does a lot of the heavy lifting during the weekends.
But I can’t really type that with a straight face, because it’s just not that simple. Laundry got done this weekend, so did a lot of cooking. The responsibilities of motherhood never really stop, even when you need a pause for other things. I really did take a lot of time this weekend to work on my holiday crafting. I’m so, so close to finishing one of my three projects. I’d love to complete it this week so I can really push on the other two. There are only 6 weeks left until Christmas, ya’ll! Not enough time!
Anyway, last night around 7, I walked up the stairs to get something from my room and the first thing I saw when I hit the landing was the boys’ room. It was an absolute, unequivocal disaster. Books, blankets, towels, clothes, boys, hats, shoes, stuffies, crap strewn across every single surface. If clothes had been hanging from the fan, it would have been Instagram-worthy. A Boy Scouts-heavy weekend, coupled with Daddy being in charge under the backdrop of Mommy being totally occupied created the perfect storm of disaster. I stood in the doorframe and stared.
Since it was too cold to use the playroom, two little bears spent most of their time in the living room when they weren’t off at Scouts. I came down from the disaster in the bedroom and stepped into a living room strewn with pillows, legos and matchbox cars.
And since next weekend is rocket launch weekend for Scouts, my dining room table was covered with newspapers, glue, rockets, parachutes and stickers. “It has to dry before we can put it together,” I was told while I stared at the table in frustration.
I guess it’s just the time of year when the house is going to feel so much smaller without the playroom. But, also, the boys are getting so big, and their toys easily take over the universe.
At dinner, I brought up my displeasure over the state of the house to two little boys. “I couldn’t help but notice that your room is a disaster. It’s kinda crazy up there,” I said.
My youngest son says to me in all seriousness: “Yeah. So, when are you gonna clean it?”
Lord in Heaven. I have created a monster.
This really is the monster of my own creation. There is no chore chart in this house. We’ve never been formal around regular contributions for the boys to be making to household maintenance. Sure, they’ve been told to clean the playroom, clear their plates… but again, there hasn’t been a regularity to it. We’ve been this way for two reasons: first, because managing chores is just as painful for the adults as performing the chores is for the children. So much whining and fighting. Peace is priceless. The second reason is about me: it’s usually easier, faster, and yields better results when I do the work. I get particular about how I want things.
Well, if I’ve written it once, I’ve written it a thousand times: ideas have consequences. I had the great idea that my boys were too young to have regular chores and, well… the consequence is that I’ve got children who don’t appreciate the meaning of a clean room or the work it takes to keep a house clean. The effort it takes to pick up a shirt and put it in the hamper is simply too much for my little philosopher-kings!
I don’t want to give the impression that they are irreversibly spoiled or even horrifically bratty. They’re not. Really. They have great manners and they will lend a helping hand when asked. They are just still at a stage where play is best done with all toys out and mixed and everywhere. It’s all well and good when contained in the playroom. All other rooms, though, require to be put back together. They haven’t really learned to appreciate that because we’ve enforced that idea with any consistency.
I had them put the clothes that were strewn all over the floor into the laundry basket. They helped me put the books in a neater pile on the table (we need a book solution for their room. The skinny little bookshelf we have in their is overflowing and no longer adequate). But will there be a new mess next weekend? Probably.
The Husband and I discussed what we are going to do about those two. We came to no good solutions.
“We’ll just make sure to stop play 20 minutes early to make them clean up,” we drowsily decided in the dark, both yawning as we brainstormed.
It’ll happen tonight, for sure. Tomorrow, too, perhaps. But Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday? I want to think that we are disciplined people… I guess ya’ll should hold me accountable in my Quiet Thoughts post.
No, wait, don’t. lol
Anyway, it’s Monday and there is so much to do. Chapter 3 of Silverwood was finished this weekend and Chapter 4 was started this morning. Things are rolling right along! Christmas gifts are slowly being purchased, too! I bought silly Harry Potter things for a Harry Potter fan in my life. The items leave me… befuddled. I totally missed the Harry Potter phenomenon and I’m not too broken up about it. I know I’m not far away from the boys being consumed. I won’t resist when the time comes, I guess. But for now, again, peace is priceless.
What is on your agenda this week, Dear Reader? I hope you’ve got great plans for productivity. I’m right here with you. Let’s make it a great week!
Until Wednesday, take care.