Sleeping boys= quiet house! Ezra is somewhat better. Thank goodness for antibiotics. The bacterial infection on his face is tremendously better, but he is still really gunky and coughing a ton. It is getting better every day, but it's still kind of gross.
So in my quiet time I updated my 2009 fiction list. You can tell it's been a "stay at home on the couch" kind of week for us since I finished up Farmer Boy, read all of Chains AND all of Little House on the Prairie in one short week!
It's so strange to read through the Laura Ingalls Wilder books again- particularly Farmer Boy. This reading is the first time I've read it since becoming the mother of boys (and first time in at least 10 years) and the emphasis on how happy Almanzo is to have all that time working with his father and the repeated lessons on the value of hard work and the money that comes from it found me nodding my head. My boys are happier the busier they are; they both like to have tasks to accomplish. They run to the kitchen if I ask them to cook with me and being Daddy's helper is a treasured role, even if it's for something as small as taking out the trash.
I remember being a bit astounded at the idea of having my young boys work alongside me during the day when I started to really consider it about a year ago. All I could think about was the logistics of keeping them close as I cooked and cleaned - won't it take longer? Won't it be harder to have two boys under four trying to work with me?
The "longer" thing is totally true. It *does* take more time. But the "harder" part has been rarely true in my experience the last year. Busy-ness for them equals less fighting over trivial things, fewer toys dumped out for the sheer pleasure of dumping them out (and abandoning them 1.5 seconds later) and actually LESS frustration for me. On the days I've decided to have them play while I do a bit of work I'm constantly interrupted with the "he took that from me/he did something I don't like/I want what he has" complaints. When they are working along with me they have so much fun with the busy-ness that they are rarely in each other's ways.
Their work around the house:
:: Both boys are in love with the spray bottle. Give them a spray bottle of water and a big cloth and they'll wash as many windows as you let them.
:: Ender has a rather particular way that he likes to make his bed. Totally gets that from Superman!
:: Ender is responsible for two jobs- he sorts the silverware for me whenever I empty the dishwasher, and he hunts for stray shoes at the end of the day to put away in the hall closet.
:: Ezra "helps" with dishes frequently. I don't put my pots, pans or cookie sheets in the dishwasher and those make perfect dishes for him to wash- no glass!
:: Ender is ALWAYS willing to sweep the floors in the kitchen and entry. I think he would sweep all day if we had more wood floor to sweep! Ezra tries to sweep, but the broom is just unmanageable for him. I *really* need to get him a broom in his size.
:: Cooking is a big deal. I try to let them mix, stir, and pour as much as I'm able, but nothing on the stove. Ender may be careful enough at this point, but Ezra certainly isn't and he *really* wants to do everything that his brother does. If we could stay in the kitchen making things all day every day I think they would be perfectly content.
On a similar note, I've been hanging around this blog lately and plotting excellent boy adventures.