I have to celebrate. I am doing the happy dance, I’m a happy camper, I am ecstatic, and giving high 5’s all over the place. Well, not really. Anybody who knows me, knows that I am very calm and don’t show a lot of excitement (anger yes, but not excitement). However, today is such a big deal that I feel like I’m bursting to jump and shout.
My 7 year old has, in the past, had an outrageous attitude. She would talk back to me, wouldn’t do what I asked her to do, and took advantage of privileges of watching TV and playing Nintendo DS. Almost everything was taken away from her, a lot of toys, her TV, her game, and her portable DVD player. Her attitude improved greatly. She wasn’t stomping around the house saying I hate you and I’m not inviting you to my party. Party? Wait, what party? Oh, never mind.
The other day she asked me if I would make a chores chart for her to check off every day. I forgot all about it (I have a habit of doing that). Then I suddenly remembered it this afternoon. In the past 2 days, I have had to repeatedly tell her things, “Leah, put your pajamas on”. “Leah I am going to get your pediasure ready and I expect you to have your PJs on by the time I’m done. It’s bedtime.” Ohhhh, why didn’t you tell me? DUH?!? I’m wasting my breath.
This morning, I had to constantly remind her to do things. All she wanted was her hands on that Nintendo DS , if only just to listen to the music playing from the game. Now, personally, I don’t want to hear the “tinky” music as I call it while I’m trying to wake up and focus at 6:30 in the morning. I tell her to go brush her teeth and get dressed, in that order. She starts to get dressed first (she is notorious for getting toothpaste all over herself). Okay, that got sorted out. Then she comes to me in my office, dressed, and asks for her game. “Leah, where are your socks and shoes?” “Oh, I forgot.”
So this afternoon I decided she was not getting her game back tonight and her attitude better be ship shape. I made out a to-do list for her.
- Put your dirty clothes in the basket in the laundry room, where they belong.
- Pick up the “trash” on the living room floor. We have an 8 month old puppy that drags things out of the trash can and shreds them all over the floor. It is Leah’s job to keep that clean and to put away the dog’s toys at night.
- Pick up the “trash” on my office floor.
- Pick up HER trash in her bedroom. Her trash bin was overflowing with juice boxes, bowls, and spoons and used kleenexes were all over the floor.
- Clean up her bedroom.
- Make Bed.
- Vacuum living room.
- Pick out clothes for school tomorrow.
- Homework pages.
- Bible reading lesson.
- Bathe & dress for bed.
- Brush teeth.
- Say bed time prayers with the night time prayer bunny (she added this last one).
She managed all these chores, some we had to go back and “do over”. Wait, the “whoot whoot” is coming. See # 7? That was really for me. But guess what? She did it herself, for the first time ever, she vacuumed the floor.
Wow, I am still amazed. I never thought she would have the strength in her hands and arms to pull that vacuum back and forth, but she did it. YEAH!
[Mission completed: Teach Leah to use the vacuum]