Looking For Structure While Adding Responsibilities To The Children? See How Our School-Year Started!
All things we want our children to have, when they’re older, so they are able to lead fulfilling lives and, to be honest, so we don’t have to do everything for them. But when is it the right time?
How about now!
A week before school started for my children – ages ranging from 9 to 4 – I started modeling the morning routine, while my wife and I continued to follow the exact same evening and bedtime routine she set in place when we had one child and he was still drooling and in diapers. That consistency has clearly displayed our expectations of the children and it makes the time we have with them after school more organized and enjoyable.
(Nothing screams routine than the summer when for one week the kids had no programs, no camp, and were going crazy looking for things to do. “I’m bored” was a common expression of frustration from the kids many times during each and every day.)
With all that being said, here is the schedule I presented to the children on Labour Day, and we worked through today, their first day of school. I’m sure there will be some tweaking done, but I can say that this morning’s routine was the smoothest it has been in a long time – for them and for me!
Children’s Schedule for the 2014 / 2015 School Year.
Before you come downstairs in the morning, please:
• Make Your Bed
• Get Dressed
• Clean Room / Tidy the floor
• Say good morning to your father and to each other
• Drink a glass / cup of water
• Have a piece of fruit
• Help with, or make your own, breakfast
• Eat it
When You Have Finished Breakfast:
• Rinse off your dishes
• Place them in the dishwasher, or
• Wash them, dry them and put them away
• Make sure your place is clean (no food on your chair or the floor)
Help with Lunches:
• Make sure your lunch box is out, and put in it;
• Apples sauce with a spoon
• Fill your water bottle
Go Upstairs To Your Bathroom:
• Wash your face
• Brush your hair
• Wait for Daddy to help you brush your teeth
*Hug and Kiss Mummy
• Sunscreen on / Snowpants on
• Make sure your glasses are in your bag
• Place your lunch and water bottle in your bag
8am – LEAVING the house to walk to school.
Home from school:
• Wash your hands
• Bring your lunch box to the kitchen and empty it
• Put dishes in dishwasher
• Put lunchbox on the counter
• Empty your water bottle
• Put water bottle on the counter
• Play / read / relax / enjoy.
• NO electronics during the week
• NO TV during the week
• Come to the kitchen to see what you can do to help with dinner
• Set the kitchen table – plates, cutlery, glasses, napkins, water, and the mats in the middle of the table
• Practice piano
• Spirit of Math
• Regular homework
• When You Are Finished, Ask to be Excused
• Thank Mummy for making you another amazing dinner
• After dinner take your plate, cutlery and glass to the counter. Put your napkin in the recycling under the sink
• Rinse plate and cutlery and place in the dishwasher
• Place glass in the dishwasher
• Put everything in your bag for tomorrow and place it at the front door.
• If you are having a snack, make sure you clean up properly afterwards
• Put your dirty clothes into your hamper
• Brush your teeth
• Hugs and Kisses
• NO coming out of bed! Get a good night’s sleep for another amazing day tomorrow.
Good night and sleep tight!
We love you!
The kids love the schedule, although my boys prefer a much simpler routine based on the current WWE Champion Brock Lesner;
If you have not already “liked” The Urban Daddy on Facebook, then you really should run and do it right now. I’ll wait.
http://www.facebook.com/TheUrbanDaddy in case you need help.
Done? Smart choice, because I post things there which never make it to the blog because they are too small (in my opinion), too random or too silly.
But on the weekend we had some great conversations, the kids and I which I posted there, and I had to get them in here for everyone to enjoy. The discussions my kids had on Saturday and both are them are about the “Vagina”, or “Bagina” as my daughter calls it, and it all stated with “Regina”.
1) 7-year-old Linus is learning the provinces of Canada at school. He has just finished his oatmeal for breakfast this morning and he had taken his 6-year-old brother over to the couch so he could practice and teach his brother too.
Stewie; “Where is Saskatchewan?”
Linus; “Right here…”
Giggling (I knew where this was going)
Linus; “But where is Regina? Daddy… Where is Regina?”
Boo (who is sitting at the table eating her oatmeal) “Bagina? My Bagina is right here!”
Me; “No, not your bagina… Regina.”
Boo; “Oh. I’m so silly (giggling).”
Stewie is completely oblivious to the reference but laughs at the Bagina comment.
2) I was trying to get Stewie to take a bath with his sister and I told her that he was dirty.
He said; “I’m not dirty!”
“Yes you are”, I said. “You were born dirty!”
“Of course I was born dirty” he replied. “Everybody is born dirty.”
“Yes, they are.” I nodded in his direction.
“They are born dirty because they are born out of their mother’s bums.”
“Excuse me?” I said. “So you’re telling me that all 8lbs of you came out of your mother’s bum?”
“Yes”, he said. That is how they get the baby out of their stomach. Out through the bum.”
Before I could say anything, Boo piped in to educate her big brother, “Nooooo. Babies come from the Bagina, not from the Bum.”
I’m not sure how she knew that, but I’m more surprised that he didn’t know that.
- Thursday Thirteen: 13 Weird Eating Habits (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
- My Oldest Son Doesn’t Like His Name! (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
- Guest Blogger: Stewie writes! (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
- Does this sound foreign to you too: “If The Big Show came to our house, would he fit through the door?” (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
- Family Movie Night: We saw ET. Movie reviewed by my kids. (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
- Thursday Thirteen – My 13 Most Memorable Posts of my first 900 Posts. (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
We had the pleasure this past weekend to be in the car with our two boys as they decided to have a conversation about death.
Linus is 7-years-old.
Stewie is 5-years-old.
Berry is 2 1/2 years old.
Stewie; “You’re going to die two years before me because you’re two years older than me.”
Linus; “That’s not true. I’m so going to live longer than you, I’m healthier than you.”
Stewie; ” That’s not true. You’re a poo”.
Linus; “I didn’t have any treats yesterday so I’m healthier than you and I’m going to live longer than you”.
Stewie; “You’re still going to die before me.”
Us: “Stop! No more talk about death, okay!!!”
Stewie on his way to school to his mummy; “Mummy, it would not be fun to be an ant”.
Us to Stewie; “Stewie, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
A sign your children watch too much wrestling on TV…
Berry to Linus; “I’m going to chokeslam you. Go away!!!”
Stewie to me; “Daddy, can you lift the world?”
Me; “No, not today son.”
Him; “Mark Henry can (wrestler formerly the “World’s Strongest Man”)
Stewie to his mummy; “Mummy you can buy a dreydl out of water for Berry cause she’s your daughter. See, it rhymes… Water. Daughter”.
Me; “But a dreydl out of water?!? Really?”
Him; “Oh yeah”.
- Ah, those kids and the things they say… Was I this clever / funny as a kid? I doubt it. (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
- Stuff Stewie Said This Weekend: Random Comments of a 5-Year-Old Boy (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
I feel like I could remove myself from the family and be replaced with a giant robot with my voice to repeat over and over gain the same statements / rhetorical questions as I did this weekend, and probably have every other weekend. As a parent, you get it.
How many did you use this weekend?
1) “Stop fighting!” when breaking up a 3-way fights between the 2 boys and the girl when the girl is kicking their asses with her shrieking and bossyness.
2) “Get your finger out of your nose” or “get your fingers out of your mouth” followed by “Go wash your hands… again”, over and over again
3) “We’re in a restaurant / store and you have to behave.” But behave like you have to in one of these locations where others will look at me and I will be ambarrassed by your behaviour. Shouldn’t this just be common sense now?
4) First the story: Friday was Urban Mummy’s birthday and the kids and I bought her this magnificant glass necklace from the Petroff Gallery on Eglinton Avenue (www.petroffgallery.com) and a glass wine stopper. The Gallery had a lot of beautiful stuff there. After that purchase, we went to our favourite Indian restaurant, Indus Tavern, to pick up Indian food for dinner, over to Pharma Plus for chocolate and then on to Pizza Pizza for the kids dinner before heading over to Baskin Robbins for an ice cream cake. The cake was all the kids wanted. As a result, I must have said 40 times this weekend; “No, you cannot have cake”.
5) “Don’t hit your brother”
6) “Don’t hit your sister”
7) “No, you cannot stay up until the morning comes.”
8) “What do you say?” (after you have burped or farted – and the answer is “excuse me” sans giggles)
9) “Can you please stop banging your spoon on the table… You’re going to be a bad influence on your sister”
10) “Now go wash your hands again.”
11) “We don’t use those words.” (Used by 5-year-old Stewie to describe 7-year-old Linus. “He’s an ASS”.)
12) “Go to your room until you have clamed down, please.”
13) “Can you keep it down, please”
14) “Turn down the music.”
15) “Can you please put the food back in the fridge”
16) “Where do your dirty dishes go?”
17) “He’s not trying to “kill you”
18) “For the last time, can you please clean up your toys”
19) “Are you sure there is no laundry under your bed?”
20) “Did you pick up all the Cheerios off the floor?”
21) “Please stop clucking in my house!”
22) “Do you really think you should be making that noise at 7 in the morning?”
23) “Please go back to your room until I come get you!” (It’s only 5:30 in the morning!!!)
24) “No, we cannot go to the park now.” (It’s 6am or it’s 7pm or it’s pouring outside)
25) “No, you cannot watch TV”
26) “No you cannot have your iPad.”
27) “No, you cannot use the treadmill.”
28) “Please stop bouncing on the couches.”
29) “Is that a ball in your light fixture?”
30) Did you empty that entire bottle of organic shampoo into the bathtub? That is a $15 bottle!”
My personal favourites:
“Please start acting your age!”
“Don’t make me get up!”
“You want something to cry over!!”
OMG. I’ve become my parents!!!
I’m telling you this list could have gone on for 300 more.
Which are in your most popular list?
I am totally serious here, folks. I went to school for 12 years (didn’t need grade 13), I went to University for 5 years, and then after taking a bunch of courses here and there, I did a 3 year graduate degree. By my math, that puts me at 20 years of school. Today, I am turning 41-years-old, so that means I have been in school for almost half my life and still, my kids say, do and know things that blow me away.
A few examples are below.
This past weekend I realized that I watch a lot of wrestling on TV, when Mark Henry came on the TV and Linus blurted out, “Hey Stewie! It’s the World’s strongest man, Mark Henry”. Then of course came the questions from Stewie as to whether Mark Henry could have helped me take the treadmill downstairs instead of coach Eric, and if he would have needed just one pinkie or if he could tuck it under his arm and go.
Later in the day I was singing the theme song from new WWE star Brodus Clay and I blurted out, “Gonna call my doctor…” when Berry corrected me and said; “NO, daddy. Gonna call my Momma”… and so she sang, Should she know this???
Later that day, I sang “Gonna call my Momma” when she stopped me and said, “I don’t want to call my momma. I want to call my doctor”, and so she sang.
Another interesting thought from Stewie occurred when he asked the urban mummy if she still had her sweet tooth. Laughing, she said that she did, to which he replied, “Good! Otherwise all food would taste like dirt!”
I love listening to Berry call her brothers. She yells, “Brothers? Where are you brothers?”
Tonight, during dinner, Berry wanted to pee, and I wanted one of her brothers to take her, but she wanted me to take her. I was in the middle of making a batch of homemade pancakes. and really didn’t want to take her. I tried rationalizing with her – a no no, I know – and I explained to her, but when I was about to give up, Stewie blurted out; “Berry! You want ice cream? There is an ice cream truck in the bathroom. Go with Linus.” In a second she was gone to the bathroom with Linus so I could finish making dinner.
Also, we have a rule in the house that the kids are not allowed to climb over the couches. They do anyways, but we try to keep them from using it as a jungle gym. Today, after telling Stewie to stop climbing over the couch for the 7th time, I resorted to some good old fashion attention getting and when he jumped up I took the spatula and whacked him on his little behind. He spun, squinted his eyes at me, frowned disapprovingly at me, then said, “Don’t smack me with that spatula Daddy”. I replied to him, “But I’ve asked you 6 other times not to climb over the couch and I even told you if you did, I would remind you not to, even if it meant smacking your behind – not to hurt, but to help you remember”. At which point, he looked me right in the eyes and said, I’m telling mummy” and on came the tears.
He played me.
Linus got me today too, when someone asked me what 126 + 38 was and as I was calculating it in my head, Linus had already said 164 3 times. Oy.
So after these few examples, I ask you all, parents, have you found your kids do or say things which are way beyond their years? Like when you need your kids to program your iPad, much in the same way your parents needed you to program the VCR.
I’d love to hear your stories too.
- It’s been a while… How are you? (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
This is also my 800th post. Whew.