My favorite gift this year was one for our whole family, from ourselves. We invested in a printer.
With the Cave Man going off to college in just one week, I knew we would likely be needing one. Also, homeschooling starts in July for us. There have been many a craft or activity or recipe I wanted to print just in the past two weeks. Every family can make use of a good printer. My only requirement, I told Cave Man as he ventured into the store, was that it have refillable cartridges. Check!
You see, lately I've been in this super funk. I say lately, but I mean for the past year. Everything feels impossible. And it's starting to feel like our apartment is a prison, even though I'm free to come and go. Free that is, as long as Wee Piglet doesn't need me. I'm new to this style of parenting. The attatchment, "extended" nursing, gentle, on demand, parenting thing. Also Wee Piglet is always on the move and getting into things that a baby has no business getting into, so I often end up holding him much to his frustration all day to keep him out of said things.
It's not that we need to baby proof. He grabs my mouse off my desk and my keyboard too. He almost pulled my tower down on himself the other day. He rips my speakers out. He pulls all of our DVD's off the shelf, he rips all of the books, he gets his fingers caught in drawers and climbs up the baby gate, then he pinches his siblings trying to climb over their bodies while they insist on laying his way and they scream and hurt him, then he cries and next thing you know we're in a five way fight. PHEW. Then, he dumps over his bin of blocks, climbs behind Cave Man's computer desk, we de-tangle him from the wires, he opens the balcony door and gets outside (we're on the third floor) and we snatch him up mid-houdini act and he pulls over the clothes rack full of drying cloth diapers... I mean seriously. He NEVER. STOPS.
And in between all of this, I'm hearing whines for drinks, snacks, he hit me, she spit on my big toe, he was throwing food, I made a mess, can you please open this, I lost my crayon, I have to pee, no I won't ever take a bath again, he's not wearing underwear....
Just imagine all of that going on at the same time. That is my life, 24 hours a day! I love being a Mom, it's great, amazing, rewarding, challenging, exciting. But it is also intense, monotonous, redundant, frustrating, anxiety causing, omgamIdoingthisright feeling.
My point is, it feels good to bring a little order back into my life. To feel like I have some control over how our day goes, to give the kids clear expectations so that they know this is what is happening now, and this is what will happen next. To add some responsibility to their lives, like clearing the table or helping me fold laundry. That printer right now, feels like a life saver.
Now, Ape Boy and Tiny Twirler have colour coded chore charts (blue for him, pink for her - very cliche). I even have my own, yellow chore chart. And with those is our daily routine schedule chart. It's green. They all look very official, and there are boxes for the kids to check off their chores each day. Chores equal marbles. Marbles go in the "nice jar," and when it is full we will do something fun like bowling, see a movie, go to the big sledding hill, or some other fantastic activity.