Thursdays in my house is cleaning day. The last few weeks, Thursday has been less than fun for K- and me, often ending with K- losing privileges.
At issue, 98% of the Thursday time, was her room. It was an absolute pig sty and needed to be stripped. My mother-in-law took K- on a train ride the other day, and that required K- to stay a night in order to be there for on time for the train. That gave me an opportunity.
I was a mom on a mission.
I went through and gave the room a mom cleaning, as I had to consider that K- isn't going to clean like mom at the tender age of 8 1/2. I figured that if we gave her a base to work from (believe me, I've done this before), she is now old enough to understand and to take care of that room. K- and I did work on the desk together, weeding through desk drawers, coloring books, miscellaneous bits and parts and actually found that she does possess a desk top. I swore that I saw it there before! Since I have her desk top covered with a thick clear covering, I can slip something underneath it. I'm embarrassed to say that it still has the ABC and 123 posters under there that I put there 4 1/2 years ago. We've decided that we're going to use the fun green, yellow and white polka dot wrapping paper. I realize that if it becomes too distracting, I'll have to change it.
Basically, we've made the desk something that a 3rd grader would use. We're still finishing it, but we're close. We're going to clear the bulletin board, in anticipation of starting the third grade in the fall. We've got the room nearly straightened around and I would love it to remain that way. K- has become more responsible-- willingly taking care of her chores (trash on Friday and Monday, with cans to the street on Monday, dusting the floor, picking up, clearing dishes) and I just needed to give something as a model. The book case has been rearranged and she knows to put things back on the shelf with its book mates. (Junie B, Magic Tree House, Big Nate, Amelia Bedelia, American Girl, Star Wars . . . ) It's when the book shuffle happens that everything falls apart.
I got a little tangential on that. Really, I meant to talk about our trip to the zoo. That's where I started. I'm tired. Truly.
In one of K-'s birthday card, there was a check and a pair of tickets to the local zoo. I decided that today was the day to seize the opportunity to use the tickets. It was sunny and a heat advisory day, but I packed (a little overzealously) a lunch, drinks, ice packs and sunscreen and we were off. We found that the advisory scared all but the diehards away, so it was nice. Few people meant that we weren't tripping over each other. Everyone was kind and pulling together to keep the little ones safe and happy. We ate, we looked, we applied sunscreen, we walked, we fed critters, we drank, we reapplied sunscreen and after about 2 1/2 hours, we were done and needed to go home to relax. We enjoyed ourselves and what was nice is that it is a small enough zoo that it could be done in the heat and Hubs and K- visited there so often over the past many years (zoo pass), she knew everything and took me around. It was great that it wasn't children climbing over children and when we arrived home, K- took a much needed nap. (The heat took the energy right out of her.) We worked on her desk a bit, she went to the neighbors to enjoy a movie and deer tacos (no kidding) and I continued the desk purge in her absence. I took K- and E- to the library summer reading program this evening and once we arrived home, I had K- work on putting things away as I watered the extremely parched gardens with the sprinkler. We have a goal to get the bedroom complete tomorrow, her homework will get done, chores handled, then we will be off to swim for a little while.
It's nice to not be that yucky yelling mom. I sit back and think, "Do I want her to think of me as always yelling and harping on her?" The answer to that is no. Sometimes I have to remember that she is just a kid. Being an only means that sometimes, I think that I expect more of her since there isn't any other child to compare her to. I have to remember that she is 8 1/2 and as such, she is still very much in need of mama right there to mold and shape.
Smiles in my day:
- Our zoo trip!
- Having K-'s room now resembling a room and nearly complete.
- Good sleep.
- The laundry line. With heat like this (down to 90 F at 10:20 PM), the laundry is drying quickly!
- My 4 o'clocks are blooming! They are bloomed in the AM when I go out to water. Kind of funny!
- Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen and NO! burns! Hooray!
- Though I hate to run it (I like the windows open), I'm thankful that we have a/c.
Have a wonderful night!