Wednesday, February 25, 2009

All the Growing Up

We have entered into a new phase in our family - one where mom no longer has to do everything.

Today, I was able to send Abbey to the downstairs fridge to bring up a jug of milk.

Braeden's new daily job is to take out the garbage and recycling.

All four of the bigger kids are taking their plates to the counter after a meal. Whoever is done last takes Kai's plate (that's usually Meg, she's a good eater).

Shea likes to help me with the Windex.

Meg loves to dust with the little electro-static Swiffer duster.

Every job I do has become less mine, and I love it! To be honest, I don't completely love the help all the time - let's be real, kids helping is often more like "teaching hour" than anything resembling productive. What I do love is seeing the pride on their faces at a job well done. Each child is developing a sense of ownership over his or her chores. And seeing a sibling working hard at a task inspires the others to do likewise. What's not to love? Well, except for that nasty part of step-by-step training them in the tasks...

I also discovered another great idea today! It's very crazy to try to do three kids completely different homework at once. With Meg just learning to read, she needs my full attention as she reads her book. But I really needed Braeden and Abbey to practice their spelling words. So, I handed Braeden Abbey's list and Abbey Braeden's. I told them to take turns reading each other a word that they could spell out on their paper.

Not only did this ingenious idea save me time and energy, it was amazing for Braeden's speech! He had to concentrate so hard on pronouncing each word clearly enough that Abbey would know what it was, and if she couldn't understand she just asked again and again until he said it in a way that she got it. Never again will I do spelling practice with my children.

I must say, the mourning period over the "I'm never again going to have another wee, tiny, beautiful baby" might just be coming to an end. This growing up, it is neat stuff!

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