I hope you didn't read that title expecting me to have some answers here.
We keep our house relatively clean, but picking up toys, shoes and princess costumes is an ongoing battle.
Magpie used to be our tidy child. Not anymore. Tonight, as she helped me make tortilla pie, she got all Julie McCoy on me, tearing up the corn tortillas and throwing them in the air like confetti.
I've always intended to start a system where, at the end of the day, whatever is left out gets put away or donated. (I hate associating something negative with donation, though, so I don't think I'd ever do that.)
Ohdeedoh featured a brilliant and hilarious idea for this last week. Meet Gunny, the toy-eating sack.
It's the brainchild of Cheri Heaton, of I am Momma Hear Me Roar.
Gunny's mouth opens up and he eats toys that get left out.
I explained the concept to Bo today and told her I was going to make one (except a goat instead of a person since goats eat anything and since we have a garbage-eating goat in Spokane).
At first she thought it was funny, but as she started to think about it she decided she didn't like the Gunny Goat.
She said, "Don't make it tomorrow." I said, "OK, I'll give you a few days to prepare (i.e., tidy the frig up!!!)."
Then, after I put her to bed tonight she came out of her room to tell me she didn't want me to make one at all. I promised her I wouldn't as long as she put her toys away. If things get messy, I said, I'm sewing me a goat. (Only I used proper English. She has enough problems with pronouns, past tense, overuse of the word "poopy," etc.)
So, you see, I haven't even threaded my needle and that thing is already working. Thanks, Cheri!
Next project: a chores chart.
I have a couple different designs in my head. Stay tuned. That could be a tutorial soon.
I'm still trying to figure out the allowance thing, too. I don't want to tie it to chores. In other words, I don't want to give the kids a dime every time they do something they should be doing anyway.
But what happens if they don't do their chores? Do they still get their allowance? If I don't write my articles I don't get paid, right?
And how much do you give a 4 year old? A friend said half her age in dollars per week (so $2 per week). According to J, it should be more like 25 cents. I think he figures that if we did that, by the time she saved up for the Barbie doll she's always wanted, she will have outgrown Barbies altogether.
Considering she has decided that this year's birthday theme is "Barbie Goes Camping," I think we're kind of screwed on the whole keep-the-Barbies-out-of-the-house thing anyway.
Unrelated ... check out this beautiful greenhouse made from salvaged windows.
It was at the Red Barn Lavender Farm, which I visited while part of a culinary/agritourism trip last week.
The tour took place in and around my hometown of Bellingham, Wash. I'm planning on writing a visitor's guide to Bellingham here soon, as well as one for Spokane (you know, just in case you ever stop by). More details then.
Also coming soon ... How to make birthday badges: