The morning routine around casa de Phillips is fairly straightforward.
The moment the clocks in the children’s rooms switch over to 6am, their little internal alarms start shouting “ALERT! MUST BEGIN THE DAY!” and two bleary eyed children emerge from their cocoon of darkness. Please note that we do not make them get up at such an hour. These children are homeschooled, for goodness sake. There is no bus to catch, no breakfast to hurriedly get down in order to make it to car pool on time.
Despite this luxury, both kids are up and ready to go at 6am on the dot.
Because school is in session here, both children must come down and eat, get dressed, have hair and teeth brushed (the girl still acts shocked every morning when it is time to do her hair. Every. Morning. It is as if I have not been styling her hair for almost six years now. I tell her she is lucky. My mom used to hot roll my hair every morning before first grade.) Once that list is accomplished, they may play or watch a thirty minute cartoon (which allows me time to get ready for the day) before lessons begin for the day.
In this list of things to do before school begins at 8am, the children must tidy rooms (a laughable notion for one child…especially when her spiritual gift is creating epic messes in a matter of minutes. God bless her future husband. We pray now that he is a Type A personality who loves to tidy….and doesn’t mind scraps of craft feathers and stray pieces of Scotch tape left in random places of their future home.) and put their pajamas away. These are very basic chores and nothing that really requires effort. In fact, the kids have jobs around the house that are more involved and take much more time.
Yet somehow the idea of putting the dirty pjs in the clothes hamper seems to be my children’s Mount Everest. They desire for the clothes to be put away. They even take those clothes off. Somehow they just cannot manage to get said clothes from the floor of their room to the clothes hamper in the bathroom.
Because hiring a Sherpa was not very feasible, I did the next best thing I could think of. I told my children I was now charging 25 cents to pick up their dirty clothes. There would be no second chances, no period of grace, no kind mama. If they could not manage to remember to get their clothes into the laundry basket after taking them off their little bodies, then I would do it for them for a fee.
So far, I have yet to collect a quarter.
This is pretty sad considering I had my heart set on an ice tea from Sonic with all the change I figured I would be making with this deal.
When this “Quarter for a PJ Pickup” deal came into existence, there was a lot of moaning and complaining. The children questioned how I could possibly take their hard-earned money (?) for such a simple task as picking up discarded clothing. They were appalled that I was going to spend their money on TEA of all things. (Yet find it perfectly acceptable to use my quarters in gum ball machines for plastic rings and bouncy balls that immediately become lost). The injustice of the whole thing troubles them deeply.
Oh well. They can share it with their therapist one day.
What rules have you set forth for your kids when their inability to complete the easiest of task has driven you to the brink of insanity?
(Share so we can spread your own version of mama injustice around our own homes)