We started up our new charts on the kitchen wall today. You know the kind – where the kids check off every time they wipe their own butt and get stickers and other stupid rewards for doing things that humans need to do. I really, really hate these things. But haven’t found a better way to minimize the amount of nagging that comes from my mouth. I can say, “Make your bed. Did you make your bed? We make our beds” every day, or I can put it on a chart that they need to check off when they’ve done it all by themselves. And then never talk about it again.
So charts we have. Even though I don’t like it.
This year we added the “make your bed” line item. Simply because their beds were something to be scared of. My children think that beds are just a soft fancy word for toy chest. And they fill their beds full of toys, books, crayons, paper, cards, stickers, cups, trash, stuffed animals, and whatnot. So much so that at night they will whine that there is no space for their bodies. So today was Day One of the Make Your Beds Campaign. And I spent an hour showing them what a made bed would look like in our house. They each have one small plastic box to fill with toys and keep at the foot of their beds. All books or toys that don’t fit in their boxes must be put back on the shelves each morning. Stuffed animals lined up in an orderly way. Trash disposed of appropriately.
When I was done with all that, 8 said, “Um. Do you want us to do anything with the sheets or something?”
Oh yeah. I really don’t care too much about it, but to save face I showed them how to pull their sheets up and fold their blankets, etc. When we were all done, we stepped back and 5 said, “Wow, Mommy. That’s pretty!”
What’s funny is that they will usually trip over themselves each morning, trying to make my bed for me. But their own beds? Phsht! When 5 and I have a conversation about why he still crawls in our bed each night, he insists it’s because his bed is “yucky” and my bed is “wonderful.” How can I argue with that?
I do have a great bed. He’s got me there.