Staying true to our goal of raising children who understand that they are contributors to this family, not celebrities in it, we gave the boys a new daily responsibility: making their beds.
Yesterday, we walked through the easy steps of straightening their blanket as best they can, placing their pillow on top of the blanket, and arranging their stuffed animals on the pillow however they want. (I'm going for a very non-Type-A, loose interpretation of bed-making here. We'll work on technique [many] years from now.)
Both boys did really good jobs!
See how he thought he could convince me that I was getting the better end of that deal? Hahaha. Umm, nice try kid. But no dice.
I'm determined to make this a daily task, until it becomes a habit. Lester is understandably worried about the added time this will take in the mornings when we're usually rushing like crazy people to make it out the door. So our compromise is that they don't have to make their beds until after nap, putting the onus on Michelle to see to it that it gets done during the week. If this doesn't work, I'll have to insist that they do it in the morning. Pray for us.
We also started off 2014 by "doing a science," as the kids call it -- planting shamrock seeds in little eggs. This was one of their Christmas gifts from Santa.
About every hour, the boys ask if their plants have grown yet. Sometime next week, I should be able to tell them "yes!"
I'll be glad to have some 4-leaf-clovers growing in our house. We could use the good luck. Which brings me to the "downs" of 2014.
Poor Dean complained that his ear hurt on Monday. I took him to the doctor and sure enough, he had an ear infection. He's on Augmentin now (can we ever be rid of that damn drug??!) and copious amounts of Motrin, because Dr. Bodnar said he had a lot of pressure built up in his ear. He also is on the nebulizer three times a day because, unbeknownst to us, he had a little wheeze going on. (Clair's been wheezing too, so she's also on the nebulizer, although she doesn't make it easy on us like Dean does. Holy refusal-to-sit-still, Batman! That girl is such a warrior.)
Anyway, we figured a little wheeze and some antibiotics weren't too bad to start off the year. After all, last year we were all sick as dogs from late fall 'til Spring broke.
But last night, just after Lester and I got settled in to watch season 1 of "Game of Thrones" -- a Christmas gift from my Dad -- Dean came into our room complaining that he couldn't sleep anymore because his feet hurt. Huh? His feet?
Sure enough -- the soles of his feet and the palms of his hands are covered in red splotches, and he's rashy on the backs of his hands, his lower arms, and his feet and legs. He stayed in our bed, because he was convinced that this made him feel better, and this little boy tossed, turned, kicked and swatted at us LITERALLY every 10 seconds until about 3:30 a.m., when Lester finally saved us all and carried him back to his own bed. It took some convincing, and a lot of crying, to get him to stay there, but finally he fell asleep. Of course, by then, I was wide awake and couldn't drift off until sometime after 4.
And yes, today is my first day back to work. Zzzzzzzzzz.
We called the doctor (again) and he suspects hand, foot and mouth disease (which Lester had surmised) so poor Deanie has to go back to the doctor (again) this morning. Poor baby boy.
So that's one ear infection, two kids on nebulizers, one case of (possible) hand, foot and mouth disease, one sleepless night and two visits to the pediatrician.
But actually I'm not all that bummed. Such is life with kids. Such is life, period. And in fairness, the high of possibly having two kids (somewhat) making their own beds this year is enough to carry me through the lows of stupid illnesses and interrupted sleep.
And when those shamrocks sprout - watch out! I'm predicting nothing but rainbows in our house after that!
UPDATE: Diagnosis is back - It is definitely hand, foot and mouth and Dr. Bodnar says it will likely make its way through all the children. What did I say earlier about rainbows and all that crap? Ugh. Those shamrocks need to GROW, dammit.