Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mama's Helper

At the start of summer I always have these big plans for everything I want to do with the kids.  Of course I want to go to the zoo, water park, riding trails, and some museums, on a weekly basis.  I also want to do my own small version of summer school with the kids.  I tried this last summer (for about 2 weeks) and it was great!  But we ended up getting busy with errands and swimming lessons and really just life.  This summer the kids aren't letting me give up that easy.  They are desperate for me to start their "home school."

One thing that I wanted to do I've actually started already.  I've instituted "Mama's Helper" days.  Mondays are Sophia's, Wednesdays are Anna's and Fridays are Isabella's.  On the day that the girls are "Mama's Helper" they get to help me plan and make dinner and do the dishes and other chores around the house.  Notice I said they get to help.  We'll see how long they feel this way....it can't last forever. 

So, on Monday Sophia began to help me out.  She planned the dinner - macaroni & cheese, yogurt and strawberries.  No matter how many different homemade recipes I've tried, Sophia insists that we use good old Kraft -- because "it's the cheesiest, Mom!"  Sophia had so much fun helping with everything.  Our meals may suffer for a while, but I think in the end it will be worth it.

Then I started teaching her the fine art of dish washing.  I will confess that I have a perfectly fine dishwasher in my house that only gets used about 2-3 times a year.  The reason is a little ridiculous.  I hate unloading the dishwasher.  It's not just that I don't like it, I really do hate emptying it.  And we have a big family so it needs run at least once a day if not more when I'm really cooking!  So last July I stopped using it and started hand-washing all my dishes.  For some reason, putting away a dish tray or two is so much quicker than emptying an entire dishwasher.  Long term, I think it's good for the girls to learn how to clean things really well instead of relying on technology because you aren't always fortunate enough to have a dishwasher. 

Sophia loved her Mama's Helper day.  In fact, on Tuesday she insisted on doing the dishes again.  There are certainly more bubbles when she does them, and lots more water on the counter tops and back splash, but it also seems more fun to do the dishes with her instead of by myself.  The other girls can't wait for their day to come.  I'm just hoping that eagerness lasts a little while into the summer!  It's not even June yet. 

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