Matt was awarded a trip to Cancun by his employer for meeting his sales goal in the past year. He and Dawn spent three days in Cancun, plus two days traveling there and back. And I watched Brandon and Sophia while they were gone. I'll admit it: I was unsure of my ability to oversee them for five days. If they listened, if they obeyed, it would be no problem for me. If our views of how things should be done conflicted, the days would seem to be unending.
Matt had given each of the kids a gift card and their choice of activity Sunday was to go shopping! They wanted to end up at the mall, but had stops to be made on the way. We alternated: a stop here for Brandon, the next stop for Sophia. They were good shoppers. If they couldn't find what they wanted, we moved on. Eventually both were satisfied. Sophia found nail polish, fake nails and bear-faced cushy slippers. Brandon added to his football card collection. I guess one can never have too many.
Dawn and Matt were hosting a Halloween party when they returned, so I thought I'd help get ready by vacuuming. However, I couldn't get into Brandon's and Sophia's bedrooms because of all their toys scattered about. While I helped Sophia move things to their proper places, I asked Brandon to move his to his bed. I expected an argument but for some reason, both regarded this chore as more of a game. Once Sophia's floor was clear and she was free to go play, I moved to Brandon's room.
He was still working diligently. He'd begun to fill the waste basket beside him with broken crayons, old school papers, and other trash. Before the session was completed, he'd filled and emptied the container three times. And he was still on a roll.
I had dusted the bedside table and chest and said I was too tired to do more but would finish in the morning. He wanted it done now, and went to find the step stool and then climbed it so he could dust and rearrange the items on his highboy. Next he moved to the closet where he straightened his shoes and hanging clothes. Finally the sports card notebooks and boxes containing those that hadn't been assigned a place were neatly stacked in the closet. He'd worked steadily for over two hours and was pleased by his accomplishment. I was flabbergasted that he'd stayed with the task and done it right! He was so proud and said that he intended to keep his room tidy.
It turned out to be a great week. They ate what I fixed (and asked for the leftovers the next night!). We also went out to eat at their favorite restaurant and brought home ice cream to eat while relaxing before bedtime. And they kept their rooms neat, although Sophia doesn't seem to be bothered by clutter and had to be encouraged to put toys away rather than just toss them into the room!
Happily, I'm looking forward to doing it again. But there's no need to rush to it.