I am blessed to have special kids. Maybe it's because I am a single parent? I don't know, but they have always been really helpful to me and appreciative of what I do. I think they understand how much responsibility I have, raising four kids on my own, and all that entails. However, every so often, I feel they take me, and what I do for them, for granted. One of the benefits of being quarantined, from my perspective, is that it has given the kids a 24/7, up-close view into my world. I think it has given them more of an appreciation of what it takes to be a mom, especially in these unusual circumstances that we all find ourselves in. I have had to delegate more to the kids since we started this lockdown, simply out of necessity. There is only so much one person can do in a day. For the most part, they have risen to the challenge. Sometimes it takes some reminding (okay a lot of reminding) or some coercion (okay quite a bit of coercion), but in the end, the jobs always get done. Today, however, was a new level of challenge. Try as I have to get some of these big projects done during the week while the kids are "in school," without relying on their help, it has been impossible. Today, we faced one of those daunting projects - one of the biggest organizing projects that I take on, twice a year. This entails the complete overhaul of their clothes and closets. As much as I love my kids and consider myself to be an avid organizer, this is one of my least favorite projects. It is overwhelming, tedious, and seemingly never-ending. But kids grow and need to be clothed (at least they used to before quarantine), so their closets need to be done, end of story. I ambitiously started this project earlier this week but failed at completing it, so I had to break the terrible news to them this morning that they would be helping me today. Never could I have imagined that it would take six hours. It felt like 12 hours, because of the moaning, sighing, and at times, arguing. Even when I tackle it alone it always takes me a lot of time to complete, but I usually space it out over a week. My decision today to knock it out in one fell swoop, may have been biting off more than we could chew. Catherine and Graham were steadfast and stayed the course throughout the day. Miles alternated between wrecking havoc on the progress we had made and sneaking downstairs to the kitchen to binge on sweets from the pantry. Garin was a wild roller coaster, at times helping immensely and at other times vacillating between nails-on-a-chalkboard whining and delusional bouts of giggling, which annoyed all of us. When it was all done, I was wiped out, more so emotionally, than physically, although my body wanted to collapse as well. I had to question whether I had made a huge error in judgment, asking the kids to help me with such an enormous project. I felt guilty. However, a few hours later, I started hearing comments about how proud they were of themselves for getting such a big project done. Garin admitted that it was tough to get through but he liked how he felt afterward, seeing the results. At the least, it gave them a bird's eye view of one of the less glamorous tasks most mothers have to tackle regularly. Interestingly, more than once while we were working I heard such comments as, "I can't believe Mommy does this twice a year." That was impactful for me. In the end, they pulled it off and we got it done. In the spirit of rewarding hard work, I rewarded my helpers by letting them watch Harry Potter. I also made them a delicious dinner followed by ice cream cones for dessert. I am hoping all that is reward enough to entice them to help me finish cleaning the house tomorrow, since I just couldn't manage to fit that in today too. As always, I'll keep you posted....
Knee-deep in containers of clothes. Miles sitting ringside, enjoy a book.
Graham trying on his twentieth pair of pants and Catherine refolding all her balled-up pjs. Miles still reading a book.
Miles hiding in one of the empty clothing containers, hoping not to be noticed so he wouldn't have to help.
Moving on to Garin's room to tackle more containers and many more clothes.
Striking a pose for a small moment of comic relief for all of us.
Everything away, at last. What a welcome sight!
Catherine and Graham's finished closet. They'er actually the neatest of all four, so I am hopeful it will still look like this in a week.
Miles closet all sorted out. Luckily he still leaves his clothes out for me to put away, so it should stay fairly neat for some time.
Garin's closet, which was the most messy to start,, weeded out, neat and ready for him to mess up again, most likely starting tonight.
Roasted Chicken with Fresh Sage, Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon
Pan Roasted Gravy.
Rice Pilaf with Turkish Apricots and Toasted Sliced Almonds.
Spring Peas with Butter and Parsley.