Monday, March 9, 2015

Slice of Life: Just another Manic Monday

Wish it was Sunday, cause that's my Fun Day. My I don't have to run, la, la etc...

There is always a song in my head. (even if the words aren't all correct)

Mondays are actually all about avoiding the manic for me. Every Monday I sit down at the family computer, gather my tools (cell phone, notepads of various sizes and colors, extra fine sharpie, neon sharpie, dry erase marker) and attempt to make sense of our week.

First up is always school. I sit down with each of my sons and explain to them how they failed me last week and need to do better. Okay, I put a much more positive spin on things than that, but that's what it feels like I'm doing in my head :( Each of the boys gets a weekly goal sheet detailing what high hopes I have for them in each subject. We highlight any subject they completely skipped during the past week and make that the mandatory first subject to complete this week, ignoring of this rule will produce swift and harsh punishments. Rewards of Disney Infinity Power Discs are than given in a grand celebratory ceremony where they dig through my purse til they find a pack, fight over who gets each one, and then tear through the wrappers like it's the worlds last twinkie. Kids who haven't earned Power Discs watch forlornly from the corner and make secret vows to pinch the Power Discs the first time their brothers back is turned. I input everything into my master spreadsheet so that when the goal sheets are inevitably lost I have backup proof that I did indeed ask them to do Unit 8 Lesson 11 and I am not secretly adding goals to ruin their lives. The spreadsheet looks a little something like this:
Next up I choose one lucky son, in a rotating fashion, to meal plan for the week. I tell people I'm teaching them life skills, the reality is, I dislike mealtime so much I'm willing to make them do this chore with me just so someone can share my pain, even though it takes twice as long to get a child to do it. The chosen one, as he shall now be referred to, has to search through the pantry, refrigerator and freezers to see what staple foods we are without. Then, beginning with breakfast and making their way through to dinner, they choose 4 different meal options, for each time of day, that they can assist with, or that we have food on hand for people to make for themselves. Any ingredients needed for the delightful options they've chosen get added to the list. Now I write everything they decided onto the dry erase meal board on our pantry door so that I never, ever, ever need to hear the words "I'm hunnnnnngggggrrrryyyy. I don't know what to eeeeeeeeeeeaaatttttttttttt." My answer to these words is always a very kind and generous, "Well then, I guess you have to starve." You can see why people often describe me as loving.
Don't judge me to harshly on this weeks list, the 8 year old made it and I do plan to add vegetables, promise.
No household items are listed because I buy them all on Amazon, we do use toilet paper etc... just like the rest of you.
Finally, the part that gives me the most anxiety. The weekly calendar. At this point I've sent my boys downstairs to get started on their school, or have a farting contest, I try to let them work out their own time management. The baby is down for a nap, or a throw all your books on the floor party, either way she's contained quietly in a safe space away from me. I pull out my phone, debate what we have to do, consider giving my boys options on activities, quickly dismiss this consideration, and then I start writing. I start off slowly, as soon as I hit a day with one or less activities it spurs me on to write faster, filled with hope that there might be a bit of the elusive "free time" that I've heard so much about. The list is done, I'm mentally exhausted. My house is now plastered with colorful lists and its time to get dressed and head out for the weekly Costco run.
That Thursday is looking pretty sweet!
 It's noon and my week is planned. I encourage you all to make a list today and take a little of the manic out of your Monday.

Hope you enjoyed the first in my series of "Slice of Life" moments. There's more to come even if you didn't.