I don’t know if you have noticed, but time FLIES when you have little ones moving around. Each day, after nap, I swear Luke grows bigger. I know they do grow while sleeping but I find some days more noticeable. With our tiny humans growing quickly, it’s brought Jon and I to discuss what we have envisioned for our family. We’re currently taking Grace Based Parenting through our church and we’ve been trying to focus how we are around our kids. We want our children to be respectful, behaved, but still have fun. This brings us to working on us, how we act, what we say, and how we say it. Hold a mirror up to yourself and sometimes it’s a bit frightening.
A few weeks ago, Jon was out of town on business and I took over all the chores he normally does. This included feeding our cat, Butters. Honestly, I failed at that. I realized at the end of the 2nd day I never fed Butters. Jon fed him super early on the first day, and I should have fed him in the morning on the 2nd. At 10pm I realized I hadn’t. Oops. The next morning I DID remember, and as I was doing it, I thought it was a perfect opportunity for Aubrey to help. I should say, help. I brought his container of food (we store it in a tupperware cereal holder) and she helped carry it to his food dish and helped me tip it. I told her one day, this will be her job.
I told Jon about how I had her help me and how excited she was to play a part in the morning routine. Then I started binge-watching the Duggars (ya know, the family with 19 kids) and realized their household runs well because everyone helps. Michelle calls it jurisdictions and everyone has one. They rotate the responsibilities, but some older kids remain in one area if they excel at it. Two of the older girls are the official packers for when they head out on trips. Even a day trip is an ordeal.
In one of Michelle Duggar’s interviews, she said she wants each child to feel needed. To feel that they have a role to help contribute to the family. What a great spin. I see it as something I don’t have to do that I don’t want to do, and she sees it as a way for them to be needed & involved. My, what a different take!
So, I made a list of what Aubrey does, currently, to be needed in our home. She cleans up her toys – downstairs, in the bedroom, and in her bathtub. Big messes are a bigger deal to clean, and sometimes we help. Other times we tell her she had a great time making the big mess, and must clean up the big mess herself. She also LOVES putting her dirty clothes (or any dirty clothes) in the hamper. She loves throwing trash away. I really have no idea why. But I’ll take it.
I’ve started incorporating her in the kitchen with carrying something from the fridge/pantry to the counter – she’s tall enough to just reach and place something on top. I ask her to watch Luke and make sure he has fun playing when I have to grab something from downstairs. I shut the kid gate and tell her I am closing it so Luke can’t get out (but really – it’s for her. I am playing a mean parenting trick on her. HA!)
Eventually I know things like making beds, folding laundry, cleaning up the bathroom mess will be another add-in. Except I don’t make my bed, I am anal about how laundry is folded, and I don’t really clean up my mess. I suppose I better work on doing these things so I can be a good teacher, huh?