Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Allowance

If I hadn’t slept twelve hours last night I’d surely be taking a nap today.

(That’s right. Twelve hours. Last night at 7 p.m. I told Michael I was going to lie down for half an hour. I was starting to get the chills and felt sort of strange. I woke up at 7 a.m.)

So I’m on an organizational bender. I promised myself (how many resolutions does this make?) that I would organize one space per day for as long as it was necessary (read: Until my kids move out). So far I’ve done a drawer and a few closet shelves. Taking it easy, nothing too time consuming. Today I thought I’d organize the toys in the boys’ room. And with that, I totally overshot the Keep It Simple mark.

I chose this instead of continuing with my closet because a) I was tired of folding size 2 and 4 jeans and shirts labeled “S” (I WILL kick my own butt and lose this weight but I’m not so sure looking at these clothes is helping) and b) I’ll be watching two of Sam’s friends a couple days a week after kindergarten and I can’t very well expect them to tidy up after themselves if the room began as a federally declared disaster area.

Seriously. I spent the morning hoping a FEMA agent would come offer me clean clothes, a hotel room, and a Visa card. I look like I could use it. I’m sitting here in the van waiting for the kindergarteners to be released and I just noticed I haven’t bathed or changed clothes since yesterday morning. Nice.

So anyway, this toy clean-up turned into a Sort and Chuck kind of thing. I attempted to make piles for things that belong in another part of the house, things that need to be tossed, things that need to go to Goodwill, and Baby Toys. As I did this, Josh was busy taking things out of piles and playing with them. I plugged along telling myself that there wouldn’t be a better time to do it. That I could do it. Shake it off Tiff.

But you know, I’m not a robot. I can only take my path being thwarted so much. While I was trying to keep it together and plow through that room, I had a child yelling at me from the bottom of the stairs that it wasn’t FAIR. This belly-aching went on for over an hour and a half. This child lost his allowance for the day for, hmm, how shall I put it? Insubordination.

We’ve never given allowances before but I figured it was time they learned to handle money better. I can tell them they must tithe and save 20% but if they’re only working with birthday money, the lesson isn’t going to grow roots. So, we killed a few birds (Scout requirements for both boys) with one Family Home Evening and created a chore chart and a list of responsibilities they all have. In exchange for doing their part, they oldest four would receive 50 cents per year (example: the 13 year old receives $6.50) per week. They were excited to have walking-around money and probably didn’t give much thought to how little of it they will actually see until they can learn to behave themselves a little better.

Anyway, this child was having a hard time understanding the fact that although there are chores that must be done to EARN the allowance, mouthing off is a quick way to lose it.

I wonder if I should add any stipulations about how they treat each other. This morning while watching “Arthur” I overheard Kenny yell at Sierra, “Fast forward woman!” And what if the other child thinks it’s funny? Hmm. I’ve definitely got some kinks to work out.

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