I've been busy posting all my...not sure what to call them. They are really problems, just little bumps in the road. I also want to post about all the great and unexpected stuff going on here.
About a month ago I bought some craft sticks to write the contributions on. Now when it's time to choose new contributions everyone grabs a stick. It's easier then the pieces of paper I was using and much better (for my sanity) then arguing who's going to do what. I decided to add a couple. There are 4 of us doing contribution and 6 contribution. The rules are: you can trade with anyone at the table and you can pick a 2nd contribution if you want. If you don't like the 2nd one you can put it back in the pot but it can't be traded for the 1st on drawn. I really want everyone to learn how to do everything. I think this is the best way to facilitate that.
Our Contribution list is: Kitchen, Living Room, Bathroom, Floors, Laundry and Meals. I might add to these in the future. Sweetie Heart has really wanted to choose the Meals contribution. I told her she didn't have to draw it to do it, but she really wants to draw it. Three weeks ago she took her draw (kitchen), she decided she wanted to draw again to see if she could get meals and she did! She was so excited!
The next morning before school I asked her what we were having for dinner that night. She looked at me like oh! I need to do that now? She started naming stuff off she like to eat. I told her I didn't have some of the ingredients we needed for those meals. I gave her this form (that was tough to find again!) and she went to work. There are certain things we eat certain night. For example: Monday is pasta night, Wednesday is breakfast for dinner, Friday is pizza night and Sunday is rice and stir fried veggies. We then talked about what we had on hand and could make meals out of.
Honestly, I hate meal planning. I like cooking but meal planning, at least for right now, is difficult for me right now. I like to be able to look at the list and know what I'm making. The added bonus is that she is choosing food she likes to eat so I don't get the complaints about not liking the food. Hurray!
Sweet Girl is showing great skills with the laundry. Have I ever told you how much I LOVE my front loader. I have a very basic model and it is wonderful. It has all the dials and dispensers on the front right above the door so even small people can fill it and turn the knobs. The dryer sits right next to it so it's easy to move clothes from one to the other.
Right now expectations are pretty low. If they have the kitchen it means they have to set and clear the table. We tend to have a problem with the girls clearing their places. Now it someone doesn't clear their place it is cleared by the person with the kitchen contribution. In the last 3 week Sweetie Heart has drawn kitchen twice. It makes her made when she has to clear other people's places. Last week she very nicely asked us to please clear our own places. Sweet Girl can be a bit contrary. She said no and walked away.
This week Sweet Girl drew kitchen. I have intentionally left a bowl or fork on the table for her to clear. I was wondering what Sweetie Heart would do. Yesterday morning she cleared her place without even thinking about it (success!!) Yesterday evening, however, she leaned over and quietly asked me if she had to clear her place. I told her it was up to her. She said, "Sweet Girl hasn't cleared her place so I'm not going to clear mine." Fair enough.
Last week Sweetie Heart drew the living room. So she needed to keep it picked up in the evening. That also means she can put stuff in the lost and found if it's not put away. That was the first week she was doing meals, too. At Family Meeting I told her I appreciated that she had kept the living room clean and helped me with the meals. She turned to me and said, "Yea, except I haven't been doing the living room." I responded, "Isn't it nice when we all do our part so one person isn't left to pick up after everyone." Just a little food for thought.
Webby and I are working with the kids while they are doing their contributions. Ultimately, we have to do what is left over, so we are taking the time to work with them. Webby commented to me the other day. He said that it is easier to do a more thorough job on things (like the kitchen) because the rest of the house it clean. It doesn't seem so futile. When you can get something done knowing that you are going to move into the next room and it's going to be clean makes us all so much happier.
We just keep moving forward. It's not always easy. We have break downs and tantrums. Things get hard. We keep moving forward (and sometimes backward) doing our best to "Keep Calm and Carry On!"