Last week with a snow day looming, I thought of all the To Dos we could accomplish while home all day. Make all the Valentines (two classes) for Friday! Write overdue Thank you notes from Son’s birthday party! Practice karate combinations! Watch a movie! Watch another movie! And so on.
When we woke up to fluffy flakes falling from the sky, I thought of the long hours of indoor activities stretched out before us. Maybe some structure would help ward off the whining and fights I knew would come by midday.
“Let’s make a list for our day!” I suggested as if this was an activity in itself.
“Okay!” Son jumped on my bandwagon.
We found chalk and erased the year old list of weekly dinner ideas from the kitchen chalkboard. On it we wrote:
Thank you notes
Friends (invite neighbors over to sled and drink hot cocoa)
For those of you aghast at the lengths of my Type A personality (yes, I’m a list person) on what should be a lazing-around-the-house-in-your-PJs-all-day kinda day, feel free to stop here and click back to TMZ for some celebrity surfing.
For the rest of you – dreading the next snow day due – ah, Tuesday – here’s what happened.
At about 9:05, Son said, “Mommy, check off Breakfast.”
Here we go.
“Check off movie.” He noted at 11.
We didn’t actually consult the list on what to do throughout the day but by 6 pm, we checked them all off. By writing them down, they were in our heads (well, my head) and we didn’t find ourselves in those blank spaces of time where chaos ensues. The structure helped.
After dinner, Son checked off the remaining items then announced, “Mommy, let’s make a list for tomorrow.”
Huh? What have I started?
“Well, why don’t we find you a notebook,” I suggested. “And you can make lists for yourself. This way, you can keep track of what you need to do, like, get dressed and get ready for school in the morning, pack your backpack, you know…”
We found an old journal I had started to keep his health history in when he was an infant but gave up when he was two. He had fun writing out the lists and learning to spell new words.
Then I went to sleep with a secret smile that we had another Type A in the family. And I’d be in Florida for the next snow day.