Daily Truth: “Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter.” Proverbs 30:33
This past week I had to “churn the butter” a little bit more than usual to help the kids achieve good behavior.
You see, Dan was on a business trip.
Whenever Dan goes on a business trip, I always brace myself for a long week of single parenting! Inevitably, something happens within the first 48 hours that Dan just shakes his head and says, “Why am I not surprised?”
Never mind I don’t sleep well at all when Dan is gone. Dan left on a Sunday afternoon. I knew that this could be a humdinger of a week when Sunday morning at breakfast the kids started crying that they were going to miss dad and he was still here!
My youngest even went into Sunday School all mopey and told his teacher, “You know why I am so sad, because my dad is leaving on a trip all week.”
My kids thrive on surprises. I thrive on good behavior from the kids which makes life more enjoyable for all.
So, I had to concoct a plan that would cause the kids to desire to have good behavior thus allowing me to reward that good behavior. (Hence, Proverbs 30:33)
Here is what I came up with. Dan was gone for five LONG days. I numbered five 3×5 cards 1-5 and put holes in the top of each. On the back of the cards I put a different fun activity for each day.
My kids also like to sleep in my bed with me while Dan is gone. (This equals very poor sleeping for mom!) However, desperate times call for desperate measures.
So, on the back of each card I also wrote a child’s name. I didn’t go in order by age but all random.
One day there was no name and that meant that night mom was guaranteed a restful night (or at least a night with no little appendages on my head or in my back).
In order for each child to participate in the fun activity, they had to have beyond good behavior for that day. If your name was on the back of the card to sleep in mommy’s bed, that child’s had to have light years beyond good behavior.
At lunch, I explained the game plan for the week, told them what I expected as good behavior, and set my plan into motion.
Here is what we did.
Sunday night: The kids love to go to a particular restaurant after church and get pizza. This is a rare treat! Thus, it made the cut for the first night of surprises.
Thankfully, they all made the grade (I really didn’t want to cook that night anyway) and one of my kiddos was the lucky recipient of Pj’s with mom.
Monday night: Well, Monday was a little more dramatic of a day. I had to get a foot x-ray (all’s fine), another child had to go to the dentist and get his tooth pulled (laughing gas and a 6 year old boy don’t mix very well), and we discovered an unexpected little visitor in our house.
That night went much better. The kids love grandma doing “Green Eggs, and Ham” with them. So, guess what we had for dinner? Love eggs, green eggs not so much. However, the kids had a ball making them with grandma and we had no dinner ummm…. issues (shall we say) that night.
Another child made the cut of Pj’s with mom.
Tuesday night: Movies are usually reserved for Friday night Family night at our house. Like I said earlier, desperate times call for desperate measures.
To insure no dinner time issues, I reminded them that we still had a surprise coming.
Score for mom.
Popcorn and a movie was greeted with ecstatic cheers, bean bags were gathered, and children nestled down for a fun night.
Mom slept by herself. BLISS!
Wednesday night: Our church does Wednesday night dinners for those who purchase a ticket. I figured tacos was a relatively good choice (health wise and good behavior wise). Taco night at church made the cut.
Another child made the Pj’s with mom cut.
Thursday night: I did backwards night with them. Basically, the table was set backwards with name cards made with the kids names spelled backwards. Dinner was served backwards – dessert to main course. (Don’t worry – dessert was a tablespoon of ice cream.)
Since, they didn’t know what was going to be next, the kids were amazing during dinner. I ended with making cone head sundaes for the kids (upside down sundaes).
Friday!!!!! One of my kids had a birthday and all were excited because that night dad was coming home!!!
I think the opening picture says it all.
Overall, a great week. Good behavior was at a premium, fighting was at a minimum, and fun was had by all.
Just may have to do this again. Only this time, dad does it with us!
Until next week,