Thursday, January 8, 2009

Surprising Motivation

We have a couple of friends coming over tomorrow, and our house is still not recovered from Christmas and Harris' birthday. So today, I decided that we were going to have to tackle the clean-up of all these toys. Like with most kids, it's hard to get them to stay on task while cleaning up, and in the process of wrangling them in, I also lose focus on what needs to get cleaned up. Usually, I get tired and frustrated and give up with a half-way clean and half-way messy house.

Today, however, I made a list. I showed it to the boys and explained what the list was. I even had them help think of things that needed to be put on the list. I told them how we would cross each thing off our list once it was done. I mainly did it to help me stay focused on what needed to get done. However, Harris got all excited about doing the list. He took it and a pen downstairs. I was cleaning up in the kitchen, but I overheard him telling David, "Okay, the first thing we need to do is, put away our cars and trucks." A few minutes later, I heard him telling David about the next thing on the list. Before I knew it, they had completed everything on the list, and Harris had dutifully marked off each item. I thought maybe they just did a half-way job just so Harris could cross off the things on the list, but when I went to check behind them, I was impressed at what a good job they did!

So, what was supposed to be a tool for me turned into a surprising motivation technique for Harris and David to clean up! Awesome! I'm going to go make some more lists now...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Conversation with Boys

I was playing with my hair this morning, trying to make it cooperate with me. David asked me what I was doing, which led to this converation:

David: What are you doing with your hair?
Me: Just playing with it.
David: Why?
Me: 'Cause girls like to play with hair.
Harris: Well, boys don't. Boys like to play with stuff like dinosaurs - especially T-Rexes - and cars and trucks and...
David: And we like to run into walls.

At which point Harris pauses to consider this and then says, "Yeah, and we like to run into walls!"

That explains a LOT - not the least of which is why I've noticed my walls looking quite banged up lately...