It’s been quite a while. Quite! I was thinking a few weeks ago (yes, that long) that I haven’t been keeping up with the new year’s resolutions. Is this really news? I supposed not, but this year I wanted to get back to writing notes, on all the stationary collecting in my desk. I think the hand written letters are an art form that needs to be kept up in the world. It meant so much to me growing up to have a pen pal. So exciting to get notes with pictures or little tokens of love and friendship. Recently, a college friend from Jersey was looking for a pen pal for her daughter. I got her connected with someone out here is Washington. I truly hope the girls become friends and have that same love of letter writing and quirky local fare to send to each other.
It’s been a trying 2 weeks for me. My ass has been kicked around by multiple illnesses. Last week I had a fever for two days, slept most of that off. A sore throat that turned out to be strep. Another little health scare that has turned out to not be as serious as I had thought. And now I have a head cold. Frick. Of course, going to 3 concerts this past week has not helped in my healing. I think it’s why I have a head cold right now.
It certainly is a reminder to take care of myself. More than working out or eating right. I need to figure out how to not be so stressed out most of the time, or perhaps the more accurate way to describe it is not to be so forward focused on what needs to get done. I haven’t been a manager for 5 1/2 years since I left my old job. Learning to delegate was one of the more challenging aspects for me. I’m not really in a role to delegate – but I’m not talking about work, I’m talking about home.
Mostly for the kid. A few weeks ago she and I cleaned her room. There was an expectation that she keep it up, within reason, as we promised to update her room. The baby colors and artwork has served its purpose. Now she is 8 and ready to move into her tween phase (goddess help us!). She got a new stereo this week, a real one with actual speakers and docking station for her iTouch. When it was set up this week I got all nostalgic for my first stereo. Music has played such an important part of my life, although she won’t be laying on the floor looking at the LP sleeve and learning all the lyrics – it has been great to watch her this past week steal away to her room at night and listen to all sorts of music. Norman gave her some Bowie, although I haven’t heard that coming out of the speakers yet. I have heard Storm Large and a mix-CD she got at a birthday party 2 years ago. And last night – she asked me for Black Eyed Peas!! There is hope for her yet! Granted, not sure the Peas are 8-yr old appropriate, but we are getting somewhere.
Anyway – my point is – as parents we need to be better about holding her to household chores. Like – my goodness put your clean clothes away on Sunday! Not Friday! And put them away properly please, don’t just shove them in a drawer. Oh, and make your bed, empty the dishwasher, feed the cat and water the plants. That is not too much to ask of an 8-yr old.
I’ve been beating myself up about slacking on that, that I need to be better to hold her accountable. She’s starting 3rd grade in the fall and needs to start contributing. Some girlfriends and I were talking recently that kids don’t seem to be as afraid of their parents as when we grew up. I don’t mean in an abusive way. I mean that if we didn’t behave or do what expected – that there are consequences. Like being grounded or TV taken away (in today’s world is that grounded, no Xbox or cell phones?!) The one that got me every single time was having my stereo taken away. If my offense was serious enough, I would lose my stereo for a week. It killed me, I really got the point of what I had done wrong. I learned my lesson. I tried to do better. I need to find that kind of meaningful thing for A – what is going to help teach the lesson so she tries to do better the next time.
I think, to start, we should make a chore chart this weekend. And a promise statement about what is expected in the house, and any consequences if not upheld. Yep…think I should go talk to Norman about that…
So – here’s to healing and taking the next steps for positive mental health!