So every June, as the school year starts to wind down, I begin to get really excited for summer. Marc and I think longingly of sleeping in, and no “parent projects” from the school, no Friday folders, and no lost reading logs, and especially not having to find matching socks for people. Impossible! I fantasize about spending whole days at the pool eating Pringles and frozen grapes, and chatting with my lady friends (oh, you stay at home moms with nothing to do…), but then, as eager as I am for school to let out, I start to feel the fear.

Because, let’s face it, I live with this:

And also this:

And you know what lurks beneath this innocent looking exterior!

So, reasonably I think, I begin to plan. How will I keep the munchkins from spending their days google eyed in front of the TV or computer (when they are not at camp, of course), munching fish crackers and moving only to wrestle for the remote or demand that I drive them somewhere? How? How, I ask myself!

And then I say, “Points!” I love points. Points were introduced to me by the luverly Paige back when we could just up and load our combined six children onto the metro for an impromptu trip to the Smithsonian. WHAT??!! Now we have nine between us, the only place we go is…nope, we don’t go anywhere with all of them. That would be crazy talk.

Anyhow, with points I get to make job charts and schedules for everyone that detail what jobs, chores, or responsibilities they have each day, and what point value each job etc. is worth. Then, I make a list of privileges, treats and outings that they can redeem points for. We actually make our own point money, like Monopoly money that I pay them with. No, I don’t have too much time on my hands. That is the whole point, no pun intended.

I just introduced the new summer program to the smalls yesterday. They’ve seen it before, but, you know every year demands adjustments for ages and interests. Yep.

So this morning Ellie comes hopping into my bathroom where I was getting ready and chirps, “Mom! Do I need to use a point to go to the bathroom?!”

What are your summer plans? Any advice on time, chore, entertainment management?


8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    cageboy said,

    Laughing, chuckling, chortling out loud. LOVE it and can totally relate. You are going
    to have to send me a detailed break down because I just realized that I am free wheeling
    it over here. LOVE!

  2. 2

    Mom said,

    I live in a different world — always have — but I understand points. I give them to myself for being good (good translates as doing anything that I must do but don’t want to do) and then I spend them on stuff I want. In my world there’s no Monopoly money, just the real thing, and I usually treat myself to something beautiful such as a trip, art work, a piece of jewelry that I don’t need but that will be yours one day, or extravagant clothes. I hope someone in your nuclear family is giving you about a million points a day for being the most fabulous mom on the planet. Here are some psychic points from me right now: You are an amazing writer. I love your gentle, natural style. Your gorgeous heart shines through in every word you write. Plus you make me start my day chuckling, and that’s not a bad way to get going in the morning. This blog stuff is the best.

  3. 3

    shelleykennedy said,

    That is so nice of you to say. I can’t believe how much I am enjoying having a reason to write, it is the most fun ever!

  4. 4

    Auntie Tonya said,

    I will now have something to look forward to reading everyday. You do such a wonderful job. You are so organized, or at least appear to be. 🙂

  5. 5

    Nick said,

    You are my idol! I can’t wait to grow up and be like you….or at least until my kids can get started on points! 🙂 While Miss might be able to understand part of it, I am sure that at 2.5 Sir would just eat the point cards! We are starting Miss out slowly this summer. She has a “chore chart” with things that she is responsible to do, based on days of the week (feed the dog, make her bed, etc.) When she does a chore, she gets to put a little sticker in the box (working on rows and columns as the skill here!) So many stickers earns her little rewards (a trip to the pool, a friend over to play, a pick for the Friday-night movie, etc.) It makes every little thing take soooooo much longer now because we have to put the sticker (the perfect one mind you, not just any sticker will do…) on the chart before we can do anything else!! UGH! I know I should be cherishing these moments, but honestly I am sooo worn out. Maybe I can hire one of your bigs to come out and help with my littles!

  6. 6

    shelleykennedy said,

    Charts are the way to go! Have you seen this web site? http://housekeeping.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=housekeeping&cdn=homegarden&tm=7&f=11&su=p284.9.336.ip_p504.1.336.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.dltk-cards.com/chart/

    It helps you make them.

    If you are serious about one of girls let me know. August is pretty dry for us right now (no money) and one of them would probably love to come, for free, of course. Family, duh.

  7. 7

    Mandy said,

    I am thinking that points are the way to go! Someday, in the VERY distant future when we have smalls I will remember this blog and my little ones will have points. Until then I keep wishing I got points for the things I do, just think about how many points cooking dinner and working full time would get me! For now our summer is consisting of small day trips and hanging out together. Oh yeah, and I am going to CALIFORNIA 🙂

  8. 8

    shelleykennedy said,

    Mother this is Kate, and I really want to say that i hate you and that you will never be forgiven for this transgression you have made, I will never love you again………girls should be able to take seriously embarrassing pictures of them selves and have trust in there mothers that they will not post them on there blog for the whole world to see……..for this you most certainly ow me 50 points at least!

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