Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Any Child Will Do A Chore If You Ask Them At Bedtime...

"Take the trash out."
"Clean up your room."
"Put the Lego away."
"Put your bike away."
"Clean up your mess in the washroom.
"Feed your cat."
"Put your laundry in the hamper."
"Get your homework out."
"Put your dishes in the sink."
"Dayton!  What did I ask you to do?"

"Dayton, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..."
Me:  "oh no you didn't!!!"  picture me snapping my fingers, moving my head and shoulders like aunt Jemima.

You get the idea.  It's an every day task, keeping on top of your child's chores and teaching them responsibilities.  It just doesn't seem to end.  At the end of the day, I feel like a broken record.  I wait around for 7:25 pm, when I give my babe his Melatonin and say "mamma loves you baby, have a snack, then brush your teeth, wash your face and go pee following your picture schedule in the bathroom, then get Jack (his cat, who looks a lot like Puss in Boots, pupils dilated, earn pinned back, and if the cat could actually speak, I swear he'd scream 'nnnnooooooooo')...  turn your TV off after Sponge Bob... or no TV tomorrow..."  8pm, the TV is off and Dayton hugs Jack close to him, and closes his eyes to go to sleep...  Ahhhh blissful peace and quiet.  For me, that is.  Not the cat.  The cat glares at me as I tip toe past Dayton's room, look in and turn off his night light.  I think he actually hissed at me last night if I'm not mistaken.  On occasions like this, I gently remind Jack of the role in our little family, that he too needs to earn his keep.  "You get to sleep, eat and poop when ever the urge strikes, in return you get the bedtime job cat.  Don't look at me like that.  We've all got a job to do."

Now before y'all go calling PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals), I need to let you know that no animal is harmed during Dayton's bedtime routine.  While yes, Dayton does hold Jack against his will, it is Jack's job to help him go to sleep.  My hair is damaged enough from Dayton's twirling it around his fingers, and I just can't afford the industrial strength hair conditioner to get the knots out of my hair anymore.  In exchange for his work, he gets treated like a king during Dayton's waking hours.  I sneak him outside while Dayton's in school, so he gets some fresh air, I get him his food (dry food mostly, but once in a while I like to treat him to wet food too, which means I have to change his kitty litter more often), and some kitty treats for doing a good job.  Jack also take cat naps from 8am to 3:10pm when Dayton gets off the bus, and then I allow him to hide where ever he pleases, until 7:30pm.  Then he's a cat at work.  Usually Dayton only has him in a vice grip for about an hour, and then Jack's free again.  I think given his only requirement is one hour of a little strong cuddling session with Dayton at bedtime, Jack's actually getting the better end of the deal.  By a landslide.

No body gives me treats for all the work I do.  Nope.  I've just found out (actually thee doctor's lab just found out on Friday) that while I have no infection in my urine, I do have blood in my urine.  The left side of my flank is in agony, and the pain spreads over my hip and into my abdmomen.  On Friday, I couldn't go pee, so thought I'd best get checked out.  "Looks like kidney stones..."  That's the treat I get for doing all the cleaning, laundry, cooking and let's not forget, cleaning the kitty litter.  I'd trade roles with Jack in a heart beat!  A heart beat I tell you!  Did I mention the cat gets his very own blanket and is the king of the house until Dayton gets home?  Yes he is, and I am Cinderella.  I've even got a sun tanned crown on my forehead, but it looks like a patch of dirt in a shape of a crown.  My skin just won't tan properly...  Just call me Princess Lou from now, OK?

Once in a while, it seems while Dayton strives on routine, routine, routine, he will find a chore we hadn't finished yet, naturally at bedtime...  "Oh, but mamma, we haven't done our home reading yet.  You wanted me to learn how to read, right?"
"You play dirty babe.  You're right, you need to learn how to read, so get the home reading and let's get 'er done buddy."  We finish reading, I tuck him in with Jack, again the cat looks at me with those big, huge pupils and ears pinned back, practically begging me to take him with him...
"Oh mamma...  I forgot to brush my teeth."
"Dayton, you have five minutes to brush your teeth, and after that, you need to stay in bed."  He brushes his teeth, for what seems like an eternity...
"Oh mamma, I'm thirsty..."
"I've had enough!  Get in your bed and stay in your bed!!!"
"But what if I get hungry in the middle of the night?"
"Then wake me up and I'll make you an onion sandwich (He won't touch an onion).

So, I'm thinking of how I can fix this, because the older he gets, the smarter he gets to be to find an excuse how to get out of bedtime.  So I'm thinking this...  Make the bedtime routine start earlier.  I figure if I tell him an hour earlier that it's bedtime, (his chores are on his magnet board in his bedroom.  For every chore he does, he gets a magnet, which is how he earns his things) he just might get some of his chores done to 'prolong bedtime.'

Hmmmmm....  Am I on to something?  I'll give it a try and let you know.  As always, I'd like to know your thoughts.  Email me with some suggestions, cause I'm running out of ideas.  While I'm at it, does anyone have a good handle on disciplining in the home and disciplining for things that happen at school, for example, how long should a child of 9 years of age be grounded?   What are acceptable consequences for a nine year old?  I need help here too people!!!  Help Princess Lou!  For the love of God, help me figure this out!  LOL.  autism.diva.help@gmail.com

Consider yourselves hugged,

Princess Lou

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