Primarily written by Adrienne, a homeschooling mother of seven, ages 10 and under. She chronicles life, laughs, struggles, and lessons learned as she raises a larger-than-most sized family and tries to figure out what she's doing day by day.

With occasional posts, Alexandra, Adrienne's older sister, writes of her ranch life in Nevada and raising four sons, ages 5 and under. Life is never dull and her boys have given her some pretty awesome stories to tell.

Stick around awhile, and you're sure to laugh, nod, smile, be encouraged, and see what life is like with a big (little) family.

7.28.2011

They don’t write manuals for this.

They don’t write manuals for this.

We went to a rummage sale down the street (ok, the next farm road down, about 2.5 miles away, but it counts, right?) this afternoon. The kids all took their wallets, excited for the treasure they might find. Liberty bought, wait for it… zipper pj’s. You know, the really fuzzy footed ones. In a 10/12. Liberty is not a 10/12. But she’s excited – she can wear them when she’s, oh, 15. But in the 105 degree heat, they looked quite ugly to me. Quite. She tried them on at home… that’s a picture that would be worth a thousand words. I’ll take one… after I wash them. They smell a bit like someone smoked a whole lot of cigarettes in their near vicinity. Eww.

So, to get back to the manual I don’t have, Ruby found straw bowls. She’s always wanted one. You know, the plastic cereal bowls with the straw down the side. The ones I’ve never bought because, really? Why do we need bowls with straws attached? There was a blue one and a green one, marked $0.25 and Ruby was thrilled. She picked the blue one, Sterling decided he needed a green one, and off they went. 10 minutes later, when we were headed to pay for our $1.10 in merchandise and Sterling decided he did not want to green bowl. Ok… Ruby said she’d buy both. They charged her $0.25 for both.

So we get home and Ruby has two bowls. Sterling grabbed the green bowl, starting to scrub it and was really upset when I told him it was not his bowl. He exclaimed, “But I want it! I just wanted Ruby to pay for it!” Umm, yeah, but no. Ruby bought it, Ruby gets it. Sterling is moping, Ruby’s ready to give him the bowl – because when Sterling is sad, anyone who sees that face will want to cry with him. But that’s not the point. I told him if he wanted the bowl, he had to ask Ruby if he can buy it. Much moping later, Sterling asked if he could buy the bowl, the price was set at $0.15 and he gave her the money. And wailed. And wailed and wailed and wailed. He couldn’t part with his coins. In the end, he took back his nickel and dime, gave the bowl back, and declared “I really don’t like goat’s milk anyway, so I don’t want to drink it out of my cereal.” To which Ruby replied, “But I don’t need two bowls.” So now… nobody is happy. Perfect.

With the amount of fighting going on between Sterling and Ruby in my house these days, you’d think I’d get better at mediating. But I’m horrible at it. I will never, ever run for judge. Solomon’s wisdom, I have not.

4 comments:

lcarp51 said...

Ugh. I know the feeling.
How old is Sterling? When did you start the money thing with your kids?

Adrienne said...

Sterling turned four in May. We've offered jobs - outside of their normal chores - that are available to any and all for a set price for a job well done. They also sell eggs and when they do the chicken chores, the egg sales for that day are theirs. Ruby's two and participates in both chicken chores and extra jobs.

lcarp51 said...

What normal chores do you have for the younger ones?

Adrienne said...

Sterling and Ruby help to load and unload all the dishes they can reach to put away out of the dishwasher, make their beds, put laundry in the laundry room, help fold and put away clothes and each help an older child with kitchen clean up and cleaning the bathroom sink and floor. They both must work together to pick up all the toys in the living room and fireplace room - our two rooms that have toys in them. Sterling lines up the outdoor trikes, etc. A lot of their jobs are a younger paired with an older - I like that dynamic and a better job gets done and patience and empathy is learned on the part of the older child.