Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Boys will be boys

I work at a university in a job where I observe daily the fundamental differences between then behaviour of boys and girls (yes, by the time they're here, they are men and women...)

Someone is shaking the pop machine - it's a boy or two.

Someone stole a chair - it's a boy.
A group of people are playing hacky sack in the corridor. Yep - boys.

Boys are loud, rough, messy; they pee wherever they want and they think they are being cute when they apologize with a wink or try to get around a rule with a dimply smile. Boys seem to have an extra gene in them that drives them to see what they can get away with. What's a mother to do?

I thought my sweet little boy would be different. I wouldn't allow the rough play, wouldn't expose him to violent TV programs or games. I would teach him to be courteous and respectful. I wouldn't treat him any differently than his older sister, who was my perfect little angel.

So, where did he learn to do a ninja kick? Why does he think it's okay to climb over the top of the banister, teetering precariously? Why is he running, jumping, kicking and jumping every waking hour? And what in the world possessed him to do this acrobatic move in the bathtub?
For the funniest post you'll read today, check out Swistle. I'm still laughing at the last line.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Game

Sometimes I think I'm pretty ingenious. Throw a problem at me, I can usually find a way to solve it. Example: my friend was complaining that her son had lost 4 pairs of gloves so far this year at school. She tried tying strings to them (he's 6, so this is not cool); didn't work. She ordered him to the lost & found; no luck. She threatened that he'd have to go without gloves; not a good threat - it was a cold winter. I suggested that the next time he lost them she send him to school in his older sister's hand-me-down gloves (the pinker the better). She did, and it worked. Suddenly, he found not one, but three pairs of gloves emblazened with his name in the school's lost & found. Problem solved.

In our house, the problem is clutter. Give me 30 minutes notice that you're coming, and you would never know we live in clutterville. We've got baskets and junk cupboards galore to swiftly scoop up the mess and put on a neat and tidy face. The problem then becomes the baskets and junk cupboards, because now nothing is organized and we're constantly digging through mountains of stuff in response to "Mom, where's my...?" I can honestly say that the junk does not belong to me. My kids, my husband: they're the slobs. I needed a plan. I tried a bunch of things that didn't work and then I had the mother of all ideas: a game.

The game is called "Clean Sweep". In a small box I put several tasks (e.g. clean out the linen closet, organize the tupperware cupboard, organize the bookshelves, etc.). There are tasks for me (pink paper), tasks for my husband (blue paper) and tasks for the kids (green paper). The tasks are appropriate for that person (my husband has to clean up the area around his desk, a job no one else could or should do). Each Friday we each pick a task and the task has to be done by Sunday at 3PM. This is our fourth week of the game and it's working! The kids can't wait for Friday night; they love their tasks (even asking, "can I pick another one?!" when they're done). My husband hates it, but is shamed into it by the kids' enthusiasm. Slowly, the house is coming together and it's not just me doing the cleaning.

Ingenious, I tell ya!

Friday, March 23, 2007

My first blog entry!

I've been an avid blog reader for awhile, but this is my first, actual blog of my own. I'll be surprised if anyone finds it, even more surprised if anyone reads it, and completely blown away if anyone likes it!

I've started the blog to record my thoughts, vent my frustrations and share the funny stories that come from having three little kids, a cute (and delightfully clueless) husband, aging parents, a great circle of friends and a full-time job. I also have opinions. Lots of them.

Two nights ago, my 6-year-old daughter was sick. She's never sick (really, she's not), so she doesn't take it well. As she's puking in the middle of the night screaming and stamping her feet with each raaalph, my husband is sushing her and I'm holding back her hair. Suddenly, she stood bolt upright and screamed "I'm peeing my pants!" As my poor, sick child is both puking and peeing, my husband and I are no help as we are both doubled over with laughter in the hallway. Perhaps the title of my blog makes sense to you now?