Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Month, New Endeavor(s)

1.) a conscientious or concerted effort toward an end; an earnest attempt.
2.) purposeful or industrious activity; enterprise.

It may not be obvious to all, but my main activity this month will be having a baby. Toward this goal, nearly all of my activities will be focused. I have 24 days left until the promised arrival of #5, but I am trying to be realistic with this forecasted date because as of yet, no one has asked #5 what his/her plans are. Still, I am trying to keep myself busy so I am not sitting around sore and bored, waiting for baby to come.

So here is our endeavor for today: cleaning the boys' room and devising a method to keep it thus. I'm calling this project
The Hilary,

named for my aunt who stood in their bedroom doorway and asked "do they ever have to clean their room?"

The Hilary
Phase 1: Big Clean Up.

The sons are currently in the midst of this part. I divided the clean up into six tasks, written on small slips of card stock.
  • Pick up books and magazines and put away (nicely) on the bookshelf.
  • Pick up small toys (like Legos and K'nex) and put away.
  • Gather up dirty laundry and bring downstairs.
  • Carry trash downstairs and put a new bag in the wastebasket.
  • Make bed and put away clean clothes (Weston).
  • Make bed and put away clean clothes (Sammy).

Each boy selected three face-down slips of paper. I have promised to come vacuum and put clean sheets on their beds when they finish with their tasks. Yes, there has already been conflict, but we will overcome so as to make progress toward Phase 2.

The Hilary
Phase 2: Maintain Tidiness

The sons will have until Spring Break (conveniently beginning in 24 days) to keep their room tidy. I will inspect their room each morning after they go to school. If it passes my inspection, I will mark a smiley face beside the date; if it fails, I will draw a frowney face. If they receive 18 smileys they will earn the agreed upon reward. If they never get a frowney they will receive a bonus prize.

I don't know if I feel like the prize announcer on a game show or like the bizarre rule-makers of my college years. All I know is that I'm largely pregnant and rather weary of bending over to pick up their messes.

Later, upon further reflection: I am quite certain that my presentation of this fabulous idea was unfortunately more in the tones of dictatorial rule-maker instead of Charlie O'Donnell, but the room is clean and we're all set for Phase 2. You know, maybe I need an inspector to keep me on my toes. A smiley face for every morning that the kitchen is tidy?

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