Friday, February 4, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Sitting Up Straight, a Weeklong Experiment, and Maps You Probably Don't Want to Follow

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


My posture has been really terrible lately. Almost every time I notice how I'm sitting, I'm slouched forward and inward. That's not typical for me and I was wondering what had changed, but then I figured it out: it's the weather. I'm always hunched over now because I'm cold and trying to subconsciously trying to conserve my body heat. 

In a related story, my nose hairs froze when I got out of the car to pump gas the other day. So.


Big changes in our family, for this week at least. Over the weekend we announced our crazy idea of a family "dopamine fast" to the kids. Basically, we're cutting out screens and added sugar for the week, and the kids are such good sports about it.

The girls aren't using their phones for anything but schoolwork and I don't think they're even cheating when I'm not paying attention. The 15-year-old was offered a donut at 6:30 AM on the first day, and has turned down a sugary treat every day ever since. They're all such good sports to go along with this, especially since it wasn't their idea in the first place.

I'll share details next week, but let's just say that for now, I'm loving it. Instead of watching the kids standing zombified around the computer playing or watching someone play Minecraft, they're zombified on the couch over books like in the old days.


While we're already shaking things up this week, I thought it was as good a time as any to change our chore system. We've had a chore chart hanging on the wall forever, but after reading about chores in Hunt, Gather, Parent (an excellent read so far) I may have changed my mind about it.

My kids are hard workers and willing helpers most of the time, but they could use improvement in the area of identifying what needs to be done in the absence of specific orders, and I think the chore chart is part of the problem.

So I introduced some new ground rules to the kids:
  1. No more assigned chores. Instead, the kids have to spend 10 minutes per day cleaning or straightening up something around the house that needs it. (I give the younger kids ideas if they don't have any.)
  2. Dishwasher and trash cans are emptied as needed. If you throw something away and it falls out, or if you have a dirty dish and the dishwasher is full, you know what to do.
  3. After dinner, no one leaves until kitchen and dining room are clean. Each kid used to do his/her assigned kitchen cleaning job and bolt, leaving Phillip or I to tie up all the loose ends for another half-hour.
After I explained the new rules, the 10-year-old cocked her head, took a minute to absorb this new information and asked "So... we don't need the chore chart anymore??" 

I've never seen anyone rip a chore chart off the wall and tear it up so fast in my life.


At the waiting room of the doctor's office, my 15-year-old noticed an advertisement for Botox.
 It proclaimed "Own Your Look!"

"Isn't getting Botox the opposite of 'owning your look'?" she asked.

I agreed, it was more like disowning your look. But complete honesty is probably bad for companies that make a living out of feeding on our insecurities.


The reason we were at the doctor is because my daughter's wrist problem is back. Cue internal screaming. 

It wouldn't be a big deal if she hadn't been set on becoming a violinist since she was 5 years old, or if she didn't need to start preparing for college auditions soon if she's serious about getting accepted into a music performance school. 

But as it is, not being able to play the violin without pain is less than ideal.

Our previous physical therapist only helped temporarily, so this time I really rolled up my sleeves and did some Internet scouring. After a ton of searching I found an occupational therapist who not only specializes in hands and wrists, but has a masters in violin performance. 

It was perfect, but first we had to convince the doctor in charge of the practice to refer us to her. As I explained why we needed to see her specifically as opposed to any old therapist in his practice, the doctor's eyes widened a little and he asked, "How do you know she plays the violin?"

Because, silly doctor, it's like they say: a worried mother does better research than the FBI.


I'm making a slideshow for my 8-year-old's upcoming baptismal service (in our church, the minimum age of eligibility for baptism is 8) and I noticed something interesting as I was going through our photo library.

I was knee-deep in photos of our smiling kids from 2016 and found myself thinking, "Look at those happy kids! Look at all the fun places they went. We should definitely go out more. We never do anything fun with the kids now. When was the last time we went to the zoo? Wait a minute, has the 5-year-old ever even been to the zoo?"

And then I realized I was doing that thing where you compare yourself to everyone else's social media highlight reel and feel bad, except that I was comparing myself unfavorably to... myself. How dumb is that?


I found this scary map courtesy of my kindergartner. Start at "home" in the top left corner and buckle up, it's a wild ride. 

There's a a "land of candy monsters," a "creeceey bridge" (creaky bridge), and an "oshin of deth" (ocean of death). One place is so horrifying it's just the mashed-up name of every scary thing a 5-year-old brain could think of: it's called "the land of deth zombie zombie deth fire skeletons."

And if you can brave all those obstacles  watch out for the "chrap" (trap)  you end up at the scariest place of all: THE LAND OF MATH.

I have no idea what they're doing to this kid in school but apparently he doesn't like it.

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1 comment:

me said...

Your number 3 seems a little like how you changed your kids' music practice schedules. It gives them some choice in what they do and they hopefully will develop the habit of looking around for what needs to be fix/clean/tidy.
I hope it works!