I’m up against a battle of wills, folks. Fairly certain that I’ve already faced what might be the ultimate summer battle of “who’s in charge” with my 5yr old daughter.
It was over one basket of clean, folded laundry. Now don’t let your imagination run away… She isn’t Cinderella.
It wasn’t everyone’s clothes.
She only has three chores a day AND she gets to choose two of them.
Her other choices include things like “pick up the shoes,” “read books for 30 minutes,” and “help clean up after dinner.”
Her task was to take the already folded clothes and sort them into already labeled piles of shirts, dresses, shorts, pants, and undies. The plan was that following her sort, I would be able to pull the winter vs. summer items and the size that she grew out of. Voila! Her drawers would be ready for summer.
20 items – approximately a 10 minute task – that she has done before.
This little spit-fire of mine decided this was officially the hill she was willing to die on.
After offering multiple accommodations, as in putting her bean bag chair in just the right spot, giving words of encouragement and hugs, and even setting a timer to help speed the process up… she sorted two items.
She dug her heels in. Crossing her freckled little arms, she sobbed to me that she wasn’t going to do it. Just WAS NOT going to sort those clothes. I said “Fine, but nothing fun until this is done.”
The timer was set for 30 minutes because that is exactly how long I had before the kids and I headed up to the office. Following an afternoon of work, she was scheduled to have t-ball practice.
30 minutes passed and the project had no progress. Sweet thing lost t-ball practice because this Mama isn’t playing the delay game. At 5:15 that evening, she was still holding out. Sweet thing lost her bike, cartoons, music, and games until the basket was sorted…
Life went on around her. I prepped dinner. Her brother played outside on the patio. 45 more minutes of life.
Approximately six, yes SIX, hours after the request was made, she grumpily sat down and separated her shirts from her pants.
It took eight minutes.
This one set the tone for who was in charge this summer. Goodness help me!!! I’m the mom. I’m in charge of setting boundaries and teaching responsibility. Obedience to her parents and respect for adults is non-negotiable at age 5.
She is welcome to make choices about the smaller things like her wardrobe or which veggie she eats or Candyland instead of Connect4. I don’t care if she puts flowers with polka dots or mixes her favorite red Wonder Woman shirt with pink shorts. I honestly didn’t even flinch when she ate Pizza Combos and mandarin oranges for breakfast last week.
Summer Showdown: MOM-1, M-0
I must not have scarred her too much with the laundry debacle. She painted this picture of us yesterday. Just look at that hair… Ha! Happy summer! Keep your sense of patience and humor! 🙂