Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Tidbit-I am NOT the Maid.

Allow me to start by saying, I love my children.  I could list a million things I love about them. There are, as well, some things I do not even pretend to like. Before I became a mommy, I was determined that having children would not change my life course. (That's a whole other discussion, but, well, we'll get to that another day). By changing my life course, I simply mean that the children would not rule me. My house would be my house, not a complete toy and diaper pit. My car would be my car, not the french fry infested, cheerio smushed van.  One thing I hold fast to, even today, is that I am the mommy, not the maid. It's not that I have to be entirely militant about it. I taught them young. 

When they first understood what money was, and began getting excited over having a nickel or a quarter, I had an A-HA moment. They liked getting money, especially once they realized that you could trade said money for things they liked even more, like treats or toys. So began the process of earning money. At age four, my son could earn money by keeping his toys picked up, or going through his morning routine on his own. He could even earn extra money by doing things without being told, like putting his dishes in the sink. I would watch as he would save up his nickels and dimes and quarters and then would come Saturday. Saturday morning, we went to the dollar store to spend that money.  He would make his selection and toddle up to the register. The look of pride on his face when he paid for his toy with his OWN money was priceless. I let this happen a few times before I introduced the next concept. I wanted him to be addicted.

You see, he didn't ALWAYS pick up his toys. Some weeks were better than others.  Compliance was not complete, and I had to figure out a way to get his attention so that he would continue to want to earn the money. Enter, THE BUY BACK BIN.

Yup, you read it correctly. He had the choice. He could pick up all of his stuff and put it away. If he didn't, and mommy picked it up, it went in the BUY BACK BIN where it would cost you a nickel per item to buy it back. What if he decided he didn't want to buy it back that week? That's fine. The Goodwill would accept and appreciate that donation of his items left laying in the BUY BACK BIN. If it wasn't important enough to buy back, then it was fine to be donated.

Call me the mean mommy. That's fine. But I'm the mommy who doesn't walk around cleaning up after my kids so much anymore. Yes, we have BUY BACK BIN AMNESTY DAYS, when I just let them have whatever is in the bin. And I do warn them before I am about to make a sweep of the house. Daily. But the BUY BACK BIN certainly, certainly has cut my cleaning time in half.

Yours, wondering how I can include the DH in all this,


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