Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chores, School, Morninngs

Now that school is in full swing, Kathleen has the wonderful job of getting two children ready for school every day. But once they get on the bus they are gone daddy gone gone away for the whole day and life is beaufitul. As is my custom, I tried to lend a hand by creating a spreadsheet.

Now, every morning, every child is responsible for the following:

Getting out of bed.
Getting dressed for school.
Getting breakfast.
Getting on the Bus.

and at bed time each child is responsible for the following:

Getting into pajamas.
Brushing your teeth.
Getting into bed.
Staying in bed.

Each item has a row, and each day has a column, with a new spreadsheet for each child. Sam gets a spreadsheet even though he doesn't go to real school yet, and he is usually the first one awake, trotting into our room at 6AM and saying "GOOD MORNING" as he jumps into bed and starts bugging us. Our own real live action alarm clock.

Every day that a child gets all for morning boxes checked, he gets a quarter in allowance at the end of the week. Likewise, for every four evening boxes you get a quarter. No partial credit. Anna wanted to get 6 cents a box, but I insisted on paying off only a 100% successful morning or evening.

I have noticed a pattern, though, over the past few days. There is a line of X's in the "Get out of Bed" row on Anna's spreadsheet. She doesn't do mornings well. Usually when you try to wake her up she just hisses at you like a cat. Eventually she might say something like "GO AWAY" usually punctuated with a loud, nasal, 'WAHH, before, after, or instead of actual words.

PJ, in a surprise, has been doing morninngs really well. It was a surprise because he is the one who would normally sleep in until 11AM if you let him. But PJ gets a row of X's in the "Stay in bed." PJ seems to be confronted with a great many of difficult questions that only strike him five minutes after bedtime. Questions like, "uh, dad, can I get a drink of water?" (Yes, PJ,. the cup is in the bathroom, same as yesterday.) "uh, dad, can I have a piece of buttered bread?" (no) "could you fluff my pillow" (mostly I do) or he just plays with Sam some impossibly noisy game.

So Anna is addicted to bed and PJ is allergic to it. And Sam is neither.what about Sam? He just causes trouble to make up for it. He twisted PJ's sneakers and thought he broke them this morning. I fixed them and said to Sam, "Yeah! I fixed PJ's shoes! You didn't break them after all."

"Boo daddy!" Sam said, he was mad at me.

"Boo daddy?"

"Boo daddy"

"Why boo daddy"

"Because I wanted to break them." Sam said.

"But Sam, you don't want to break things, thats not nice."

"Daddy, the golden rule says that you do unto others as they do to you. PJ was mean to me and so I broke his sneakers." He looks at me like I am being slow, someone too dumb to understand his bullet proof logic.

Kathleen later pointed out to me later that this is actually more of "an eye for an eye" than the golden rule, but at the time I didn't know what to say to him, so instead I just fled the scene and left for work.

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