Now, normally we don't pay the kids for chores and we stopped giving allowances when we realized they were a bit too young for it, tipped off by the crumpled dollar bills shoved into their toy trucks and doll furniture (Note to self: Rhubarb can probably handle it now). But I was so taken aback and thrilled with Blueberry's initiative on this one, that I agreed to her $.50 per unloaded dishwasher fee (I was being gouged, if you ask me, but I didn't want to destroy her motivation). She made a chart, depicting $.50 per day, adding up to the amount she needs for her desired purchase (something from the bane of my existence, the American Girl catalog). I was so impressed with her math, a topic she seems to grasp naturally (her father's DNA, trust me). "Mamma," she announced effortlessly after the second day, "I now have four quarters, which is a dollar, so I only need 57 more dollars, but after Friday, I will have 12 quarters, which is three dollars, and then I will only need 55 dollars."
This lovely little burst of innovation lasted a whole three days. The chart remains on the bulletin board, full of numbers and lacking in X's.
Also recently, I awoke to the girls planning out how they were going to organize their bedrooms. They were awash in excitement over the prospect of re-decorating their bedroom as their birthday gifts. They had tossed all the trash by the time I saw them, and then went to all the recycling bins in our building to find shoe boxes. They also put up signs all over the building requesting more shoe boxes from our neighbors. Following the guidelines set out for them in The Bernstein Bears and the Messy Room (true story), they had planned to decorate the boxes and use them to store doll clothes and small toys. They were glowing with the anticipation of keeping their room clean.
That lasted about four days. The empty, undecorated shoe boxes are strewn about their bedroom, somewhat like their clothes, toys and books.
I want to offer up a divine lecture about fortitude and perseverance, admonishing procrastination as the devil's syrup. Couldn't you see me doing that? In my corset and bustle?
Unfortunately, they'd probably look right up at me with their two sets of spectacularly bright eyes and confidently bellow their new favorite word: "HYPOCRITE!!"
They would be right.
I start far too many projects to utter here. I am an idea person in many regards. Ideas excite me; they stir up my creative juices and make me giddy. I execute about one-half of my ideas. I actually complete about one-third of those. But if you saw all the plans swirling around in my brain, you would be stunned by my brilliance.
So, lately, when the kids toss out ideas or start new projects, I try not to invest in them emotionally. I support their endeavors however they need me, but I don't hang my hat on them. In so many cases, their ideas, just like mine, are merely spontaneous cerebral creations, meant to be pondered and perhaps savored, but not always to be born. And when they are in fact nurtured to fruition, like today when all three kids spent hours painting colorful designs for new bedrooms, I am reminded that every idea is a necessary stepping stone to an eventual success.
|The poncho is a project of mine I began conceiving|
while pregnant with Blueberry.