Friday, February 11, 2011

Ringmaster in a Circus of Sloths

The title of this post is how I identify myself in the mornings: as in, I am the ringmaster trying to get the sloths to shake a leg, stay focused, get their stuff done, stop teasing, pick up their______, find their _______, brush their _______, and do it all before we leave at __:___. Sometimes I succeed at getting them out the door without yelling. Not very often.
new lovely plush toy, Ella,
made for me by a young seamstress.

So being a systems girl, I like to try new things and tweak the existing system, particularly when it's a faulty one. Only reminding a person once. Throwing a boot. Leaving the house and sitting in the car (this only works when I don't have to be at work myself). Writing lists on a slate. Staying in bed and avoiding the whole business, my favorite option (this one works great, but only if Mr. Crafty is getting them out the door).
arugula and beet salad with red onions, pine nuts,
kicking vinaigrette=mind blowing eating experience

Also being a teaching type of girl, who is married to a teacher and the daughter of a teacher, I always assume that if they're not getting it, this is because of something I have or haven't done. Am I asking too much, too little? What's appropriate for the 12 year-old vs. the eight year-old, and can I stand the discussion about what is/isn't fair? (My favorite answer is always: "Of COURSE I wouldn't dream of treating you equally! That would be terribly unfair!!") How can I coach them to be successful in whatever we're trying to do? What can I do differently to engineer the outcome I want?
Finally, we've already established that the demands of the mornings are my least favorite part of the job we call motherhood. Cleaning up vomit is a close second, but thankfully it doesn't happen daily.
someone knows me well:
a birthday box full of the most delicious stationery

So now we come to a new system, on day 2. Knock on wood, no yelling either day. Each boy has a checklist: things to do appear up top, just under the departure time of the day (which changes based on whether Mr. or Mrs. is driving in).
"Think through your day and all parts of it. What will you need?" This question is followed by the items a boy might need for his day. I think it's an essential question because really, that's exactly what I ask myself when I am leaving the house for the day.
They seem to like checking the boxes off. Perhaps it's because they go to a Waldorf school.

The following two sentences, on the reverse side of the letterpress Thank You/Birthday set, seem to also relate to what we've been speaking of here:


  1. Great checklist, Iris! I did this myself, when my kids were young. "Teeth brushed? Deodorant on? Wearing a bra today? Good, go to school." :)

  2. Oh, well happy birthday! I have to say, though, I am so curious about the checklist item "Girls + Eggs" that I don't know if I will be able to sleep tonight.
    BTW- the jersey in the previous post is just a work of art. Perfectly fitting, lovely colour, fancy lining bits. What more could a man want??

  3. OK Miss Smith: I hope you haven't missed any winks! Girls + Eggs means "let the chickens out and for God's sake collect the eggs!!!!" usually this last part is forgotten in the 30 seconds between leaving the house and getting down there. And thanks for the kind words about the sweater! It looks very nice on him.