If sanity came in a bottle, I'd be first in line to buy it. I'm pretty sure I'd be one of those selfish consumers that is first in line, 24 hours before the store even opened. I'd race in, trampling those who got in my way. I'd snatch it up....all of it. I'd sit back and drink it whenever I felt as if I just may lose my marbles. Which happens to be occurring a lot lately.
However, since bottled sanity remains somewhat of a fantasy (wine does come pretty darn close) and since I'm not mean enough to trample people (in the event a magical sanity juice was ever invented), I've resorted to more conventional ways of staying sane.
Like accountability charts for my little men. Nothing makes me more giddy than a good, old fashioned chart.
Last week was the first of 37 weeks for the 2012/2013 school year. By day 3, I was ready to yank my hair by the roots. Each morning was spent in a total frenzie, as I made breakfast, packed lunches, gathered snacks, filled water bottles, and collected homework from the night before. Making sure 5 backpacks are set and ready to go is not one of my fondest tasks.
I noticed last Friday, as I hollered at the boys for a little direction, that they seemed to enjoy watching me dance around the kitchen. Like cows chewing their cud, they continued to graze on their warm pancakes, slathered in blueberry syrup. I stopped in my tracks and stared back at their faces. As I did, I saw little thought bubbles pop above each and every one of their wee little heads-
Pop, POP, PoP, pop, pOp....and I read each individual bubble....
(The following sentences are best read in a S L O W , southern draw.)
"Ma will do it for us."
"Yeah...she always figgers it out, it just takes er a while."
"Sure is fun watchin' er, iddn't it, fellas?"
"She ain't as sharp as she used to be. Poor mama."
"Good thing her cookin' hasn't changed...mmmmffff."
That's when I decided to burst their bubbles. "Things will be different on Monday, boys. Just you wait and see."
And I came up with this-
In the morning, the stars are empty. As the boys make their way downstairs, I serve them a hot breakfast and pack their lunches. That's my job. And that's where my job ends.
They are responsible for picking a snack and placing it in their backpack.
They are responsible for filling their water bottle and placing it in their backpack.
They are responsible for gathering their homework and placing it in their backpack.
And they are responsible for grabbing their lunch off the counter and, (you guessed it)
PLACING IT IN THEIR BACKPACK!
As we race out the door (we're always racing), the charts look like this-
Everyone is happy. Everyone is sane.