Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"What Would Make Our Home A Good Place For You?"

(If only heliotrope and salvia were good cut flowers)

If there is one recurring stress that perplexes me more than chore assignments, I don't know what it is.

Last week's AmZyg 'moral inventory' confessed the guilt over how untrained my choreless childhood was,  how that guilt renders me disabled as chore foreman, and how my kids have figured that out about me (and exploit it pretty well).

(That Ignored Wall Detail)

Enter ystdy's !LaborDay! broadcast on Focus.  Swept, did dishes and culled vase flowers while listening to it four or five times this afternoon.  What I learned: with the kids all but all moved out so that the bulk of household upkeep falls on me, it doesn't make sense to be outside gardening anymore.

The good news is that I must've done something right. That front landscape could never have emerged without kids taking up the slack indoors. Except for the day we layered the original compost-in-place, I scarcely recall any child of mine out there weeding. I'd even try to bribe them with $1per weed offers. Nuthin'. But while I was out there pruning, somebody must've been in here sweeping up. (We can all guess who it was... er-hem. Her name probably starts with the first letter in Cinderella...)

I never thought to sit down with the family and say, like the woman in today's broadcast, "What would make our home a good place for you...?" and proceed to a healthy conversation about what they all think should go into a chore system.  Now that they're (chorelessly) launched, I'm starting to figure out what "makes them tick." Who knew that the Boy cares if there's grime on the piano keys? Who knew the girls like our house to look like an eclectic flop house when friends stop by?

Who knew that red spray paint in the hands of teenage boys could invite such artistry...?
No one 'fessed up, but we named it after a prime suspect
Had we sat down to discuss what they like, I would've learned that nobody notices when weeds pop up outside, so,,,, why should I care?

Interview with the authors of their HowTo Figure It All Out book:


Authors'  "Who's Responsible for What" worksheet:


"I hoed, planted, weeded, pruned, fertilized and cut these all by myself! Not."

- - - - - - - -
Gasp. What I learned after re-reading this, is that the gardens front and back emerged out of sheer need to escape my children as they studied inside; evidence of an art deprived and harried homeschool mom who found her sanity and solitude 'in dirt.'

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