It is raining outside. We have had a fair share of rain this winter. There is barely any snow, just a few piles here and there. The last two winters have been a different story–we had to dig tunnels to access the side door of our garage. It would snow so often and accumulate so quickly that Trent would wake up every few hours throughout the night to check how much snow was on the ground so he could determine when to get out and start plowing the driveway so it didn't get too deep and unmanageable with the plow on his four-wheeler. A few nights this meant that he was out plowing around 3 AM!
This winter the kids have needed their rain boots more than their snow boots. Somehow Hunter has forgotten four times in a row that he needs to wear rain boots outside when playing in the large puddles. He comes in soaked from the knees down and when I ask about his rain boots he replies emphatically "Oh I forgot!!!!" Needless to say I am doing a bit of laundry. I have gotten into the routine of starting one load of laundry each morning. This gives me all day to get it finished and folded and put away and I don't feel totally swamped by doing several loads at a time.
Hunter's personality craves doing things in a systematic way. He wears a uniform to school so when he gets home I ask him to change out of his school clothes and into "comfy clothes". Somehow he got into the habit of first undressing (all the way), then announcing to us "don't look, I am coming out" and running stark naked as fast as he could out of his bedroom, across the living room, into our bedroom closet and dropping his clothes down the laundry shoot and then running back to his room where he would THEN change into his comfy clothes. In the back of my mind I knew this wasn't the best routine but I just hadn't made the effort to change it (knowing that it takes a bit of focused effort to elicit solid routine changes with Hunter). I was reminded recently why we needed to change this daily peep show.
This last week we had our living room painted. When we moved to this home a few years ago the wall paint was flat and we discovered over time that innocent things like fingerprints and Sharpee markers won't wash off without also taking the paint with it. Although we have always done our own painting, we
decided that for the living room (that has a few areas that are quite tall) it would be most ideal to leave it up to
someone with all the right ladders, experience and good insurance;).
So let me set the scene: It was in the afternoon. The painter was up on one of his very tall ladders. I am in the kitchen making lunch for the kids. Hunter comes upstairs and although I can hear him talking to the painter, I can't quite make out what he is saying. Hunter then proceeds into his bedroom. Suddenly I realize what is coming next. I abandon the sandwiches and bolt to Hunter's room hoping to catch him before he appears in his skivvies. When I enter his room, Hunter is commencing the comfy clothes routine. I begin to logically make my point about why today would be a great day to begin a NEW routine where he FIRST changes into his clothes and THEN takes his school clothes to the laundry. My idea is quickly brushed aside while Hunter calmly and logically explains that he has already spoken with the painter and explained that in a few minutes he would be emerging from his room naked and could he please not look while he runs across the room. He assures me that the painter is planning to turn his head and not look so everything is good. Again, I explain that we need to adopt a new routine. I logically point out the merits of my new idea and detail that it will only be new once and that every day following will then be like the "old routine". My brilliant idea is met with teary eyes as he explains "But mom, the painter expects me to come out of my room naked!" It is all I can do to maintain a straight face.
Suddenly I am struck with a new idea. "Hunter" I exclaim, "when you come out of my closet fully clothed after putting your school clothes down the laundry shoot you will be ready for the piece of cake that will be awaiting you at the table!" In an instant mom's idea suddenly is worth considering. "Ok I'll do it" he announces with a smile. . . and he does:).
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