Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Help for the Chronically Distracted

So every morning, my kids have this Morning List they're supposed to work through. You know -- the brushing of the teeth, the clearing of the dishes, the putting away of pajamas, etc. Basic life skills.

And still, after all these years, my Girl gets, more often than not, completely off track. It drives me wonko-wonko, as a close relative would say.

Today I tried a different approach, when I caught her lollygagging yet again.

"Darling Child. Let's imagine that the steps of your Morning List are stepping stones in a straight path across a river. On the other side is a river bank, where you can run and skip and climb trees if you desire. In other words, free time. Now, you can take two hours to cross the river and and have no time on the river bank, because we have to leave the house at a certain time. Or, you can step right off those stones and land in the river. Or, you can put one foot right in front of the other and hop, skip and jump right across that river. Whaddya think?"

Oh, my friends. It was like MAGIC. We were so, so focused on stepping over those stones to that river bank. We even stepped on the Putting-away-the-Silverware stone, and the Help Mama Dust stone. Lollygagging? The word simply vanished from our lexicon.

Now let's just see if it works tomorrow.

Oh, and by the way? My mother-in-law and I took the five cousins out to Terra Burger for lunch today, since they have a sprinkler area on their playscape.

Here's a picture I took, just so you know what I'm up against. You figure it out.

Please send psychiatric help. Thank you. 


Jared said...

Haha! The photo made my morning. I like how you tagged the post both Caroline and Eliza, to protect the innocent!

Jenny said...

First, I love the new blog header!

I tried your stepping stone analogy this morning with Henry, who is a notorious lolly-gagger. His response? "Well, maybe I really didn't want to play on the other side, anyway. Maybe I like stepping stones. Or maybe I like staying on the original side of the river". This kid is exhausting me!

housebecky said...

that picture of you guys on the beach! i don't think i've ever seen a more beautiful picture of a family in my entire life!

Bear Creek Mama said...

Thank you!

Stephanie said...

Did I not comment on this yet? Love this picture! Awesome.