We got up and I moved some laundry around, got him some cereal, washed some dishes, and filled out the whiteboard. We have a whiteboard that I fill out every day with things like when dad will get home from work, what flavor KoolAid is in the pitcher, if we have upcoming appointments or events, and what chore each child is expected to do that day (typically small things like wash a load of dishes, scoop the litter box, fold a basket of laundry and put it away, clean your room, or help make dinner). It helps to avoid unexpected changes and to let everyone know what's going on. For families with Autism, I highly suggest a white board with daily information!
Anyway, today I tried something different. Usually I assign one or two tasks per child. This time I put up a few different things that needed to get done (mostly because I slept all day), and gave them each a point value. Three points for cleaning the kitchen, two points for straightening the living room, one point for each basket of laundry folded and put away, one point for a load of dishes washed and put away, one point each for feeding and watering out in the barn, one point for taking the compost out. Then I added that if they work together to complete a task, they both get the full points, to encourage working together. The prize? Five points will earn you electronics for the rest of the day until bedtime.
Wouldn't you know, my kitchen looks wonderful, I didn't have to go do the barn chores, my dishes are all washed, my laundry is all folded and put away, and the compost went out! The only thing they seemed to avoid was the living room, but I still got #4 and #5 to put the dolls and Ninja Turtle toys that they'd been playing with yesterday away, and the three laundry baskets are empty now, so it's looking nice anyway. It just needs to be straightened up a bit and vacuumed. I can do that tomorrow. I love it when we can all come together and be productive! Of course it's not without conflict. Working together can be a real challenge for them but they got the work done and I am so proud of them! Tonight when #5 came down for a bathroom break (a stall technique to avoid bedtime) he asked if we could do a points chore list for electronics again.
We got four eggs from the barn today. With above-freezing temperatures in the forecast, I'm hoping their production will start to pick up. With 28 chickens (three are roosters), I expected more than four eggs per day. I think once the snow melts and the grass and bugs come back so they can free-range again, perhaps happy chickens will be more productive.
For those of you still waiting for winter sowing updates... bear with me. I am desperate to get my hands in soil, but life keeps getting in the way. It will happen... My collection of jugs is growing, so I need to start getting them out the door soon.
Tomorrow Tony wants to take the kids to see a movie. The theater in Brainerd does discounted tickets on Tuesdays, so we can actually afford it sometimes as a reward for something. I think their work straightening the house today deserves such a reward. He wants to bring them to Captain Marvel. Meh, another superhero film. Not really my cup of tea, but the theater has a claw machine for little rubber duckies that is $1 per play and play til you win... And every time we go to a movie, I get a new duck. That's an exciting prospect. Though really, I'm almost hoping that there will be some way for me to back out of going so I can stay home and have some quiet time. Maybe get some winter sowing done while everyone else is off having a movie reward. But I don't want the kids to think I don't want to spend time with them, and heaven knows my dear husband works long hours and is rarely home, so he'll probably be offended if I told him I'd rather stay home. Alas, my winter sowing may have to wait yet another day.