Responsibility

I’m pretty lucky. The Boy generally does what I ask him to do. Unless, of course, he is in the middle of something. And generally, if I set a timer for five minutes or so, he will usually do it then.

Last Sunday, I decided that he should help me prep his lunched for the week. Pretty simple tasks involved, like counting 12 crackers and 12 pepperonis to put into snack bags. The cheese is a bit more complicated, involving a knife and cutting, but I figured he could help me with the bulk of it. I gave him five minutes, and he came to help, doing what I asked. My goal is to get him to the point where he can do this himself every Sunday, because why not?


It took awhile, mostly because he is so careful when he does tasks like this. It would have been much easier for me to do it myself, but then, I won’t always be there, will I?

Every time we do something like this, I give myself an internal high five, and The Man and I look at each other and say, “He needs to do more of this.”

I’m off to brainstorm more ways he can “help,” so we can add them bit by bit…

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The Cat Stays

A few weeks ago, I posted that we were probably going to have to re-home the cat we rescued due to my allergies.  Much to The Boy’s delight, we have decided to hang on to Raphael.  As long as I am careful about washing my hands, and as long as we manage the cleanliness of the place, my allergies seem to be held at bay.  He is still a very sweet kitty, and The Boy has stepped up, all on his own initiative, feeding Raphael without being asked.  I’d love to see him get to a point where he can help with the litter, too, but mornings are already crazy, and baby steps are still progress.

Raphael is an older cat, but still fairly frisky, and loves the hot pink wand toy The Boy bought for him at the dollar store more than any other toy we have purchased.  He also likes to hang out in The Boy’s room, and has stopped yowling at night.  The Man is still his favorite, but I think I may be winning him over…

cuddler

Housework Help

In order to earn back his iPad time, The Boy has agreed to do some chores to “pay back” his half of the repair bill.  We’ve developed a system, and we’ve tweaked it a bit, too, with input from his veryownself.  Within the past few days, he has voiced the desire to get this all done by the time school starts…  on Monday.  If you remember, this was originally supposed to be a four-week process…  But I didn’t want him to think it wasn’t possible.  I mean, if he wants to work extra hard to get it done quicker, there’s a valuable lesson in that.  Last night, I told him we’d sit down with the chore chart and the calendar in the morning and figure it out.

Today, we looked at the chart and figured out what chores he could accomplish today.  And I got him started right away – this was key.  I showed him how to wipe the kitchen counter down, and he did the other half on his own – check!  While standing there in the kitchen, looking at a pile of dishes that needed to be put away, I thought maybe he’d be motivated to earn some extra for things not on his chart…  “Hey, do you want to earn some extra money?  You could help me put the dishes away…”

“Yeah!  I’ll do that!”

Check!

Which lead to changing the load from the washer to the drier, which lead to folding some clothes…

I assigned him the towels, and showed him how to do it.  On his first try, it was a messy lump.  I had him re-do it, and told him to pay careful attention to lining the corners up just right.  And he did it.  And I realized I should have shown this to him ages ago.

finished product

Now he is in his room, attempting to clear the floor (i.e. putting all the clothes on his floor into the hamper).  All by himself.

This works for me!

🙂

Baby Steps to Adulthood

Tonight, I had everything prepped for Hummus-Crusted Chicken, went into the fridge to get the hummus, and… no hummus.  How can you salvage that recipe?  Um, you can’t.  I know I bought some on the previous grocery trip, but somewhere along the line, the hummus jumped ship.  So what to do?  I needed to run to the store.

I offered to The Boy the option of staying home, as I have a few times before.  He has always said no, a little afraid of the responsibility, and convinced he isn’t old enough.  But tonight, he was contentedly watching Spongebob videos, and responded that, yes, he would like to stay home, while I took five minutes to run to the store and back.  I reminded him that he could face-time me from his iPad if he needed anything, and I took off.

The whole time, I felt like I had a weight on my chest, but I drove carefully, moved quickly and efficiently into and out of the store, and face-timed him on the way home.  “How ya doin’?”

“Fine.”

“What’re ya doin’?”

“Watching Spongebob.”

“I’m on my way home.”

“OK, Mom.”

“See you in a minute!”

“OK, see you in a minute.”

“Bye!”

“Bye, Mom.”

Movin' On UpAnd a minute later I was home.  “Are you home?” he said when he heard me come in the door.  I responded in the affirmative, told him how proud I was of him for being so mature and responsible, and he was visibly excited and proud of himself.

Will I be taking off by myself to the movies anytime soon?  Hell no.

But this is a proud mama moment for me.  This is a baby step toward adulthood for my little man.

Crazy Busy Week

Don't Worry - that's not my hairy arm! (stress by bottled_void)

Don’t Worry – that’s not my hairy arm! (stress by bottled_void)

This week is one of those where I just know I’m going to be stressed out, and after the huge meltdown this weekend, and The Man leaving, I’m rather dreading it.  I have an evaluation by my boss, multiple after school meetings that will last multiple hours, the landlord is due to come over to inspect the house to see what needed repairs there are, and I have an evening school event.  I also have to be “on call” for a nonprofit board meeting, you know, one that I backed out of because I was so busy this week…

The bright spot is a Girls’ Night Out right in the middle of the week — I just hope I can enjoy it with the rest of this going on.  And I hope the forecasted snowstorm doesn’t mess that up!

I also hope The Boy is OK with a babysitter for two nights in a row.  Usually it isn’t a problem, but after this weekend, I’m a little skittish.

All I can do is take it day by day, hour by hour, and just try to stay as calm as possible.  Oh, and remember to breathe.  And maybe stop for some sweet tea on the way to work, or pick up a magazine to read for the evening…

Anyone else a little crazy this week?