One of the things that helps makes my world turn is the assigning of different activities to different days. Which is no doubt why all those crazy biddies of old used to embroider “Monday” and a picture of their laundry on their dishtowels. Unfortunately, if I did that, all of my dishtowels would say laundry. It is what it is. Still, I can’t help but think there is a very useful method behind the madness.
For starters, I wouldn’t know what I would do if I didn’t have what the kids have now dubbed Food Store Day. On Monday I make a point to finish all my errands, grocery shopping, appointments, etc., even if it means I have to make nine stops in one go. We’re getting this business done! It’s just nice to have everything out of the way at the beginning of the week. That way I can stay home the rest of the week. And never ever leave. I still school our important subjects in the morning, but at 11:15 I load everyone in the van to head to piano lessons. Afterwards we grab lunch out, visit the midwife, Winco, Costco, and whatever other random shops we need to hit. It’s a looong day. The nice thing though, is that since the rest of the week is so boring and predictable, the children think our crazy Mondays in the car are great. (Just not as great as never leaving the house Tuesday through Friday. Ahh, now that’s the life.) The other thing is that I’ve got in the habit of writing things down when I want them, instead of worrying about actually going to the store. Then I check my list and buy it all on Monday. For instance, this coming Monday we’re due to find Scotch tape, a copybook, and a gymnastics leotard. But right now, I don’t got to do nothin’.
Another Otto staple is Lego Day. And an otherwise locked tool chest. Legos are a hard thing to exorcise. They just won’t go away. The only thing I could find to do was literally lock them up. But it turns out that not having access to Legos during the week only makes the children enjoy them more on the weekend. That and they are actually more committed to playing with them instead of simply spreading them around. On Saturday morning there is a run on my room for the Lego key. It’s like an instant holiday. The trick is to make sure they are locked up again by Sunday night. Once we lost the key and the Legos were unlocked for two weeks straight. It was excruciating. I don’t know how the average Lego herder survives. Along similar lines, Sunday has become iPod Day. Another national favorite. I got tired of everyone trying to get their grubby little hands on the iPod, asking for turns, fighting, and generally rotting their brains out. Instead, we let the children have the iPod as much as they want on Sunday while it is off limits the rest of the week. Which means on Sunday morning there is a stampede to our room for our geriatric iPod and iPhone. An unforeseen benefit is that it turns them all into complacent little zombies while I try and get them (and their father) ready for church. They can rot their brains out all they want while I’m doing my hair and ironing everyone’s clothes. Really, I don’t mind
We have other “days” as well, but those three are my favorite. Life would not be the same without them. Less important holidays would include Boy Bath Day. Also known as Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday – conveniently coinciding with their soccer practices/games. The girls get Monday, Wednesday, Friday. For some reason it just makes keeping track of who’s dirty easier. Wednesday is Bake Day, since we often host Bible study in the evenings and coffee cake is in order. Friday is Clean House Day. I make a final push to have everything put together by Friday night so I can have Saturdays off. Also, it’s just not safe to let the Legos out on Saturday morning if it’s still messy. Downright bad juju. Friday night has also recently become Game Night. Boy will get out some sadist puzzle or board game and entertain the masses while I finish tidying up. Then we like to end the day by singing the hymn I have been practicing with the children during the week. In turn, Saturdays are our high days. The kids have started keeping a list of things they want to do on the white board and they mean business. Luckily for them, their Daddy is a sucker for saying yes. Saturday concludes with Movie Night, which is the only time our children get to watch TV. Which also means no one ever bothers to ask about watching anything on any other time, because it’s not “Movie Night.” Duh. Sundays we go to church and Sunday morning the boys clean out the van. That way when we get to church and open the van door, half of our earthly possessions don’t actually fall out in the street. Seriously, if I didn’t do this, I’m not sure anyone would ever clean the car. Sunday afternoon is also the time I allow myself a project. I keep a list on the board downstairs and, if possible, I occasionally like to cross something off. Hey, sometimes it happens.
Overall I have found that if I really want to get something done I have to assign it a day or associate it with another event. For instance, I can only consistently remember to put the oatmeal on at night because I do it at the same time that I was my face. How I remember to wash my face remains a mystery. Someday I should embroider my own dish towels. “Saturday, Shave Your Legs.”