Today is the last day of school. Today, no lunches to be made (or complained about). Today, no homework to remember (or forget). Backpacks and lunch sacks were brought home for the last time. This is how one backpack was found. Reading logs that never made it out of the backpack. Maybe never made it out of the desk until today. His winter coat came home this week too. Not sure how long that has been at the school and where – since it was a crumpled up mess of its former self. I also found the letter “warning” of the human reproduction lessons. From month ago. Good thing he let me know ALL the details of this education. Still likes to bring it up. Oy.
The last day of school still brings back memories of the excitement of leaving the school for the very last time until fall. The excitement of knowing summer is here and the days are filled with fun – doing only amazing and wondrous things (and a few naps). But then I bring back the memories of last year. While we did so many awesome things, it sure did seem like my kids were staying in a hotel while the housekeeper was cleaning around them. And they never left a tip. My fault. I LIKE to clean (not that you can tell somedays at my house). I LIKE to be organized (liking something and being successful at it are two very different concepts). The cleaning and organizing traits must be recessive genes because my minions do not like to do either of those things*.
That being said. I am going to HELP them this summer. We have always had family responsibilities, chore charts and to do lists; but this year I made it really (sort of) pretty! Look what I spent way too much time on yesterday (curse you, Pinterest)! We have a Summer Fun List of 95 things to do. We have a new menu plan and a new (and expanded!!) chore chart.
Note Mom’s bumper sticker from Rebel Coast Winery. That’s a dose of reality most Command Centers on Pinterest DON’T have. Keepin’ it real for you folks….
The DREADED 5-15s (kids hate that one) is on the board too. I tend to hearken back to my old marketing days and come up with flashy catchphrases for our home life. Like a Peanut Butter Taco!! How fun!! How creative – it’s like fusion cooking!! It’s really just one slice of bread with peanut butter on it folded over. No plate to clean. Kid is happy. Momma is happy. All for a 10 second meal. Beat that Iron Chef.
The 5-15s is just 5 fifteen minute tasks that the kids have to complete to either earn electronics time or cash. It’s totally flexible because that is how I need to roll. Sometimes I make crap up on the fly (or fly on a crap…Ha! Killin’ myself here). They are getting wise to my ways, but I am holding out for as long as I can. The list contains 5 things they need to do each day. They still collapse on the floor in agony when I bring up the 5-15s, but really most tasks take less than the 15 minutes. That is only 75 minutes out of a long summer day. I think they can manage. And not every 15 is a CHORE!! Still not sure why they would complain. That must be a gene they get from their dad. 🙂
- Home Check – A quick spin around the house to find anything they left out. Straighten up any errant pillows on the sofa; collect small mammals, rocks, socks or ancient gum wrappers that may have been left out.
- Chore A Day – ONE stinkin’ little chore. It’s extra to their regular home responsibilities. This one is the knife in the heart for them. Quite entertaining to listen to their moans. We should receive some Oscars or Tonys over here.
- Reading – How bad of a mom is this? Find a book. Pretend to read. Just Put. The iPad/Phone/DS. Down.
- Outdoor Time – Changing this from school work for the summer. Little buggers need to get outside once in a while. For vitamin D and such. It makes the house really quiet. It makes the minions really tired.
- Pet Care – An awful repercussion of begging for furry critters to live with you in your abode. Sorry kids, we warned you! And you PROMISED to help take care of them. We used to rotate those chores (feed cats, feed dog, let dog out) but that led to lies and confusion. Everyone insisted that THEY were the ones that fed/watered/pooped the animal last. Now it’s simple. One has dog doody (a pun, I’m so funny today), one has dog feeding and one has cat feeding.
- EXTRAS – The youngest minion (in his utter perfection of sunshine and happiness) added another star option of Extra/Happy and one for Bad Work. I love it! He knows I do not like a lack of effort (laziness). Neither does he. To get him riled up (yes, most parents do this to their offspring on occasion), I use the words EPIC FAIL. Drives him nuts. He still knows I love him.
So on this gloomy June day, I say send them home, teacher. I got this.
BRING ON SUMMER!!
*To be fair, the youngest minion does love to be organized. He places (hundreds and hundreds, maybe millions) of stuffed animals on his bed with extreme precision. Makes changing sheets a sheer joy for mom. Ha.
Here’s another reality check. This is what the ‘command center’ looked like before.
If it were in an art museum, I would have entitled it, “Art in Life. Still No. 414”.