Posted by: canthold | February 13, 2008

Alarming Tricks

I’m sitting in my office, which is directly below the living room. I can hear pretty well, which makes “watching” the kids a bit easier when I just have to be down here. So, while trying to get motivated to pay the bills and finish doing the taxes, I hear my youngest say – in a grown-up accent:

“Child! We’re late. We’re late, we’re late, we’re late. Did you hear me? I said we’re late.”

Um.

I wonder where she got that from. It’s funny and a bit disturbing to hear your own words trickle down into the imaginary play. At least the royal princesses don’t swear like sailors.

And speaking of being late…my oldest daughter has been on time to school three days in a row. (Sort of.) I got her attention one day and pulled out the Sharpie. Permanent markers to her are cool like cigarettes will be in a few years. Exotic and forbidden.

We drew up a list of chores and a routine for the morning. I got her buy-in on it and we taped it to her door. The reward for getting up, dressed, eating breakfast, etc is a piece of candy. The punishment for not accomplishing the tasks set forth is No TV. It’s a tough situation because while we were on-time Monday and Tuesday, she didn’t do her routine items and didn’t eat breakfast on Tuesday. (No TV.) While she did everything on her list today, we weren’t exactly totally on time. Wednesday is a little fuzzy on the tardiness since the school has a morning pep-rally.

I don’t want to be a hard-ass, but I want her to learn to be responsible. This morning she did everything she was supposed to, but I set three alarms for her to get out of bed. Since she turns off the main alarm after lights out, I sneak it back on when she falls asleep. Right before I go to bed, I hide a small portable clock with two alarms on it so she has to get out of bed to turn it off. (I don’t always remember, but when I do, it works nicely.)

I’d like to find her an alarm that I can record messages into. I don’t know if they make them, but someone must, somewhere. I think it would be fun. At least for me.

Such is life when you’re always late, late, late.

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