An interesting post on Blogher caught my eye this evening and even though I'm tired beyond imagination I wanted to put this down "in writing" so that I couldn't reneg on it later. At almost ten years old, Jay doesn't have that much independence. But it's definitely time to start letting him make some decisions so that we can reinforce what works and what try to cut out what doesn't.
Right now, he's pretty scheduled, but not overly so. He wakes up in the morning, gets himself ready for camp with too much assistance from me, walks Chewy, and then comes in for a hot breakfast. Then it's off to camp, he walks down the street to his sitter (because I'm still at work) and I wanted to encourage some degree of independence. (It's really a safe neighborhood and not a busy street and I feel comfortable that he can handle it especially because Ben is all about kids walking to and from school in safe zones.) Initially, I wanted him to spend some time post camp doing academic enrichment but I've just decided to not fight that battle, so he has three hours of pure free time. He's free to read (which I doubt he ever does) play Wii or watch kids programs on Netflix. Then we have dinner, which I usually decide based on what's in the frig or what Moll's is cooking, and I try to get in some "schoolwork" but I'm more often than not just beat from a long day of dealing with other people's kids and so whatever lessons he receives aren't that structured.
I do wonder though, what he'd do if he made every single decision for one day. So he gets to decide. Saturday or Sunday. I'll break the news to him tomorrow afternoon after our riverboat cruise. I think he'd suggest going to the beach, cooking dinner, not walking Chewy or washing dishes or taking out the trash, not doing any academic enrichment, watching WWE online for at least 4 hours, eating whatever he wants and not having a single drop of water all day long.
Hopefully, he'll learn without hearing one of my half a dozen lectures he rolls his eyes through on any given day that having seconds at dinner almost always gives him a stomachache. That not drinking water makes him feel yucky. Not walking Chewy means cleaning up his mess in the house (I really hope he thinks to walk that dog). And leaving dishes for the next day means spending twice as much time on the next day.
I say it at least three or four times a day. I'm so glad Jay is here. We are so much more active around here now that there's a tween in our midst. I have a free dishwasher and dogwalker. What's not to love about that? And taking care of him creates the space for me to see the ways that I need to take care of myself. He's so considerate and giving and caring and loving. And he's also a nine year old boy, so I find myself being extremely repetitive and uptight because raising boys (or girls) isn't easy. He's a little person with feelings and frustrations and fears and ideas about how he wants things to happen and I need to balance that with what I think is best and ease up a bit.
Tomorrow we're going on an hour long riverboat cruise, writing at least two blog entries (he's really behind because I've really enjoyed the good behavior and I'm not interested in battling him every single day.), and visiting the MIT Natural History Museum. He also suggested we do some science projects from a workbook I picked up at Target and I'd like to hit up to beach and search for seaglass so we can do a project over the weekend. Well, you know...if he chooses to do so.