Sunday, July 4, 2010

Jake's Summer Fun Box

When I was babysitting we created a "Jake's summer fun box". We got a rubber maid and used Sharpies to decorate summer pictures on it. I filled it up with things like a new box of crayons, sidewalk chalk, small toys I found on sale through out the year or a new book. Basically lots of little cheap things that are treats you don't get every day! One day a week he could pick out something from the box. It was my way of making up for the guilt I felt for not being able to do all the fun stuff we wanted to do because we had to work around multiple naps (it is okay to let your own child miss a nap, but I felt guilty having the girls I watched miss a nap and then sending them home tired and cranky to their parents who had missed them all day...). This summer I didn't really prepare anything because if I am not home, Aaron is. Then one day Aaron mentioned he was feeling guilty (that doesn't happen as much to Dad's as it does to Mom's) that when I was at work Jake spent most of the time watching TV or playing the Wii (he does have to read for one hour while I am gone) because Aaron had to do his homework. The summer semesters are short so they cram a lot into 5 weeks, which means lots of homework. So, the box was reborn...sort of. It is still in his closet holding his winter clothes but we are making it work with another basket...Any way long story short I write some things on pieces of paper like: read for one hour, watch one show, see what you can build with legos in 20 minutes, Daddy's choice, draw a picture to send to Nee and Papa (still haven't mailed it yet but it will be on its way soon!), do one of your daily chores, read my favorite scripture story and draw me a picture to carry in my scriptures of it...etc. Jake draws one of the papers out of a bowl and has to do what ever is on the paper. Daddy is the keeper of the basket of things that Jake will need to accomplish the task. He was so excited to start it the first day when I was getting ready to leave for work (not last week but the week before that...why am I always playing catch up?). He was even more excited that the first one he drew was watch a show for 30 minutes while you eat popcorn and M&M's. I was lucky enough to catch a picture of the moment he read what it said....
When I called them during my break to see how they were doing Jake was so excited to tell me all he had done already. He had already drawn the picture for Nee and Papa, made several cool lego vehicles, done 2 chores, and Daddy's choice (which was to let him play the Wii for 30 minutes-what a nice Daddy). Now neither of us have to feel guilty and Jake is having a ball!