Combine that with my suspicion that the girls could handle more daily chores than they currently perform (and my problem that I have more daily chores to perform than I can currently handle), and I've been playing with creating a workable daily schedule. It currently looks something like this:
- Morning chores (to be done after breakfast-ish and breakfast table clean-up)
- Give cats fresh food and clean water in a clean water dish.
- Clean your bedroom, including making the bed.
- Brush your teeth and hair.
- Morning project. If we need to get something done, I'll assign it, or if we have an outing planned I'll call that our morning project, but otherwise the kids can pick a project or I'll offer suggestions.
- Extra chores. I give out extra chores as punishments, or if there's just something else that the kids need to do in a particular morning, then that's how life works sometimes.
- Afternoon chore. The girls don't have regular afternoon chores, so I assign, or they pick, something else that needs to be done, from sweeping the back deck to scrubbing the toilet (a task that Willow, inexplicably, loves).
- Afternoon project.
- Extras. Extras consist of anything else the girls would like to work into the day (such as buying ice cream!) to a scheduled playdate, or last-minute errand, or whatever, really.
There's no real timetable to the day, although this does need some improvement. If I need the girls to do a chore that they don't want to do, or if Willow is engrossed in a book or the computer, then getting the work done can be a big struggle, the struggle part being what I was trying to avoid by laying out the schedule in the first place.
Anyway, that gigantic preamble was all just to lead to what I wanted to tell you about, which is that Willow recently chose to make oobleck for her afternoon project, and once again I was reminded both of how much I absolutely love oobleck--
--and always, ever more clearly every single minute, how much I absolutely love that little kid: