I need to distract myself and expressing my feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewings isn’t helping very much. So here’s some stuff I need to start writing down. I’m going to write a series of posts over the next three months. I’m going to document as much as I can about how I say things and why I say them. A friend is going to stay with us for a bit around my due date (because even as I whiiiiiiiiiiiine about how I feel like I can’t ask for things… I did a better job of arranging labor support this time than last time. I was way more clear and demanding about what I asked for and I did find a person who could say yes. I feel like karmically I have used up my asking for a while.)
S&R stands for scripts and routines. You are going to see that attached to all of the posts.
I’ll start with mornings.
In the morning the kids wake up sometime between 5:30 and 7. Obviously it is better for me when they sleep later but… what am I going to do? Rarely if we have an outing that goes late they sleep till 8 but it is incredibly freakish. Don’t expect them to sleep past 7.
Most of the time the kids want to immediately move to the couch with me for a morning snuggle. Noah usually makes breakfast while the three of us sit on the couch and talk about randomness. I assume that your routine will more closely resemble that of the routine we maintain when Noah is not around. So we’ll skip over the ridiculously awesome part of every day that involves Noah cooking. You’ll get that part when we aren’t in the hospital.
I have no idea if the kids will want to sit on the couch and have a morning chat with you. My attitude towards this kind of stuff with the kids is that I rarely offer but I don’t refuse. You of course will have your own comfort level. You can decide if you are comfortable with two minutes or twenty. Or more. Chatting with them is fun.
When Noah isn’t here I wait until the kids complain that they want food and I get up. I tend to go back and forth between a couple kinds of breakfasts with the kids. I try to make sure there is a fruit and a protein. I go back and forth between a carbohydrate or a vegetable but I rarely do both at once.
Examples: fruit & granola & yogurt, eggs & potatoes & bell pepper in a stir fry, breakfast pastry & fruit & lunch meat, cereal & fruit & milk & cheese, nuts & fruit & cheese & bread.
I’m not saying you MUST FEED THEM WHAT I DO. I’m saying this is what I will have in the house. If you want to feed them whatever the heck combinations you want… rock on. I just find I do better knowing what a given child is accustomed to because then the little sucker argues with me less. Like, if you want to give vegetables and carbs and protein for breakfast it’s not a big deal. They eat a lot of fruit.
You’d better believe we will have a full larder of food when you are here. Going to the store won’t be an issue.
Like, when we run out of fresh fruit… we have lots of canned/preserved and the kids love it.
After breakfast I ask the kids to get dressed and brush their teeth and their hair (EC doesn’t really brush her hair and I don’t care).
I notice that I tend to divide the day into little checklists I rattle off on my fingers. I try to keep it to 2 or 3 things per list. After breakfast the three I say repeatedly: hair, teeth, clothes. They still need reminding. We are not a household that likes hygiene. We have a grudging relationship with society where we admit that other people require it of us.
After that I walk over to the chore chart list and I say, “Ok… what chores need to be done?” The kids usually need to be told to wash their hands with soap before unloading the dishwasher. Because of course they do. It’s not like we have had this conversation every day for years or anything.
Everyone is responsible for clearing their own dishes to the sink/counter area. Usually a grown up loads the dishwasher but the kids are completely capable of doing so and I will probably ask them to just do that. They get a butt-load of points for washing dishes so they are usually happy to chip in.
The chore list is important because they earn points for their chores. Washing dishes is 20 points and that’s really forking high in our scale. I think it’s twice what any other chore is worth (I’m too lazy to walk over and check) because it is so far an adult chore and them doing it is covering for something an adult should be doing and they get bonus points for that.
EC is supposed to sweep the floor as needed and check every day. In practice this means she does it when I tell her it’s gross and we are going to get bugs.
FMC is supposed to mop about once a week. Of course this means they do it approximately when I go, “Dude… this is nasty.”
A lot of their chore list are “suggestions” and not requirements. If they do those things they get points for it because we are trying to encourage habits but I don’t require them because I’m not that big of a hypocrite. I don’t do frequent sit ups even though they would be good for me either.
But they empty the dishwasher and set the table as a pretty major “every day” part of the habit of life.
We try to get chores done by 9. Then we transition into academics.
I require them to do a solid hour of work on something that can be turned in. We have to produce for: language arts (spelling, writing, or grammar all count), science (we have a huge number of options here from reading a science oriented book to them and having them draw pictures to we have really awesome curriculum for biology, chemistry, and physics… there are so many cool experiments in the workbooks), math (Khan Academy doesn’t count! EC can do Life of Fred or one of the other workbooks; FMC has several workbook options), and history (read a book about a historical person and write a book report, work on the CA history comic book or time line, watch documentaries about history and do the workbook write up).
After they work for an hour on stuff for the school they get to play with something academic for another hour. I don’t really care what they do. Sometimes they do language stuff (we have Signing Time videos and FMC works on Duolingo). Sometimes they play on Khan Academy for a while (EC in particular is into their coding stuff). They like playing Human Resource Machine. Sometimes we research something kind of random like the history of fashion or something about travel or researching a person or watching videos in another language or something. We do a lot of stuff. The general motto for this is: Be Curious.
Ok. That’s all I have in me to write today.