Between needing to tidy up a tornado-ridden house for the cleaners coming tomorrow, and not being very productive yesterday, this Sunday was decidedly a day of work.
When we remodeled, we put in washer & dryer hookups downstairs, for a "supplemental" stack washer/dryer. Once we moved in, that seemed excessive and we were burnt out on little luxuries (even though the expense was in the infrastructure -- the appliance itself won't cost that much). So we haven't installed one -- but now that all laundry is relegated to weekends, I'm wishing we did have an extra one. Our upstairs laundry was running almost constantly trying to catch up this weekend!
Speaking of laundry, Dave discovered during my trip to NYC that laundry is a great "gateway" chore for kids. He wasn't sure whose pants were whose, so he got the boys to pick out their own pants, fold them, and put them away. Brilliant! Turns out, it's pretty easy for kids to pick out their own clothes from a heap of clean laundry, fold them (crudely), and put them away.
So today I put two baskets of clean clothes in the boys' room and said "have at it, guys!" The enticement of computer time helped, but it got done -- pants, shirts, underpants, socks. Shirts are confusing because of hand-me-downs, and the clothes in their closet end up more heaps than stacks, but, whatever. It bugs me how easy our kids have it with doing almost no household chores, and now that Gabriel's 8, that's getting serious. So getting them to put away their own clothes is a great step. Even Katrina likes folding laundry! (though she's too young to expect to plow through a whole basket.)
I did get to spend some actual time with everyone today, even if much of it was getting them to take care of other life-related duties: valentine's for (three!) upcoming parties, thank-you notes, birthday cards. I was struck again at the difference between my two sons: Julian had a huge heap of Valentine's to do, over 30 (they have to do it for the whole class if at all), and Gabriel just had 6 thank-you notes to write. Julian plunged in, and pretty much plugged at it without stopping until he was done. Gabriel played around, hummed, tapped his pencil on the table, stared at the ceiling, procrastinated and had to be reminded and nudged numerous times. Gabriel has unmatchable powers of focus and concentration when he chooses to unleash them, but he does so only on certain things, and birthday thank-yous aren't on the short list. Julian, overall the putzier of the two boys for most things, is a dream to work with on projects.
I took Julian and Katrina to the Y this morning while I attended a packed Zumba class, and returned to find Dave mowing our weeds and Gabriel playing with his new Nerf gun (bought with birthday money). A photo-op, finally!
(A future serial killer in the making?)
(The absence of a closeup of Julian isn't because of middle-child syndrome, it's because he runs away when I try, just to annoy me.)
And back at it for week#2 tomorrow.