Letting Go

River Rain has been taking more control of her bedroom. She has recently insisted that she wants to tend to her dresser drawers herself. And since I often ask her to put away her own laundry, and since she always chooses her clothes herself these days, that makes sense.

However, she wants to keep her drawers like this:

I probably don’t have to tell you that this does not fit my ideal of what a dresser drawer would look like. But if she’s doing the work, and if she’s choosing the clothes, why do I care? We have been practicing folding clothes Marie Kondo style, so she is learning, but if she wants to shove them in her drawer and save me a bunch of work, why should I strive for an ideal that is taking away valuable novel reading time? Ultimately what I want is to teach my kids to be self reliant and to care for their own selves and belongings. I think that caring for her own dresser, at 6, is going to teach her more than being forced to perfectly fold all of her clothing. I think…  Also, another big plus of me going with this idea is that I no longer need to fold her clothes every time I wash them. Does it sound like I feel relaxed about this transition? Because I don’t. But I DO want more time to myself. So I take a deep breath and – move on.

 

Toooo… River cleaning her own room. I have been griping for a month about all the little toys on her floor. Every time I am putting her to bed I am fearful of stepping on teeny footnhurting pieces of plastic. Her carpet has been un-vacuumable because there were so many tiny treasures littering it. I kept wondering if I should just bite the bullet and clean it for her; after all, she is only six. But I do SO MUCH housework every day. I am a dish washing, clothes folding, floor sweeping, animal feeding machine. Plus I work and volunteer at least as much as I work. If one person in our home can do something that takes part of the burden off me, you bet I’m for it. So I have been strong on this idea that she is responsible for her own belongings. And it has slowly been taking root. Yesterday at the store she wanted a toy with many small pieces and I reminded her about the state of her room and told her she would not be getting any toys for quite some time until I saw a change in the way she cared for her room. We made a deal then and there that if she could clean up her room, and clear the floor of junk and find a home for everything (or choose toys to give away) by the end of the weekend, that I would buy her that toy. Well, two afternoons after school she worked on her room, and here is the result as of all her hard work. I would say we are 99% of the way there, and I did none of the work. But I will gladly come in and vacuum now.

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Homemade Coffee Filter

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Garden Prep

Early March 2019

 

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March 4th 2019

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Saving Up

River really wanted an LOL doll.  These are not my favorite toys. Still, I believe in setting limits about what is allowed in our family while still being flexible and not denying kids ALL of the pop culture type things they crave. She has been saving diligently for maybe a month and a half and has saved up $5. There were many things she wanted along the way, but each time I reminded her about what she was saving up for and she decided it was worth foregoing whatever thing was tempting her for the ultimate reward of an LOL doll. I am proud of her. Saving and thoughtfully choosing what  we want to spend our money on are important skills that most human beings should constantly work on honing. LOL doll here we come.

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You Never Know

River has caught the organizing bug. We’ve been doing a lot of it over the past few years and she’s seen me tackle many areas of our house. Lately we’ve watched a few episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Nextflix (we’ve had a lot of time at home with each other) and these episodes have inspired River. She motived me to clean out our storage closet, which was badly in need of organizing. My close friend and tidying buddy could tell you that she and I have cleaned out and organized that storage closet probably five times together over the past two years. Somehow the storage closet and the back room just accumulate stuff…

We came up with a big load of things to move out. Here it is:

River was also motivated to organize a few of her own spaces all on her own.

She organized her play kitchen in a way I never would have thought of:

And she organized her dresser top as well. We added a cute little display shelf that had been living in the storage closet.

It feels good to have somebody on my organizing team.

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Help

I have been needing help with chores ever since I started working again. I’ve been vocal about asking for help, and have received some, although it can be sporadic. Lately though the help seems more consistent. This helps me to feel much calmer and opens up space in my life for other endeavors.

Here you can see that River helped me fold the laundry. She put hers neatly away in her drawers and took pictures of the process. She even helped type up some of this blog post (lots of learning about sounds and words these days in her world).

River also likes to help with the cooking. She scrambled the eggs for our morning quesadilla.

She has also been helping to feed our animals lately and let out and feed the outdoor animals; our chickens and our bunny who likes to free range. She hopes to get a puppy at some point in the future. I have told her many times that the best way to show me that she would help care for a puppy is to care for the animals we already have, including our 16 year old little dog, Skootch.

I let River watch certain TV shows (although not commercials, thank you Netflix and Amazon). To help get her motivated about chores and being tidy I let her watch a ‘grown up’ show with me – Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up. We watched the one with the couple with kids, episode one, and River’s reaction was ‘can we do that?’ “Can I fold my clothes like that?’ Very satisfying.

Also, I want to say Welcome! to all 200 subscribers. I am so happy to have you.

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