Scenes from Saturday + Chores & Candlepins

After spoiling the kids in NYC last weekend, I had survivor’s guilt and started worrying that they have no idea how to be grateful. Not to me or Michelle. We are legally required to keep them alive so whether they are grateful or not toward us doesn’t hold much water. But just grateful in general, for pretty much everything. It might not always feel like it minute-to-minute or day-to-day but it is a great time to be alive. And scientifically speaking (we did go to the Natural History Museum last week) it is incredible we are here at all. The odds are so small. So why not rejoice? Well, it can be tough when the day is long and there are fractions to divide, piano to practice, and dishwashers to empty.

But how do you actual teach kids to be grateful? Force feeding it seems like it would backfire. If I made the kids start a gratitude journal I’m sure one of the first things they would write in it (after being thankful for the gloriousness of sparkle slime) is they would be grateful if I stopped making them write in it. Do you just model the behavior and hope it soaks in (my typical approach)? Do you make it a once a week dinner conversation? Do you seek out opportunities?

Anyone have any good routines for instilling gratitude in the tiny consumable monsters we call (per legal mandate) our children?

Back home this Saturday, and without much on the agenda, meant I was able to indulge in a Soles run. A very, very frosty Soles run. I contemplated turning around when I still couldn’t feel my hands after 3 miles but managed to finish the run with all my fingers and toes. This picture lies. The sun only mocked up with her rays.

I’m not exactly sure what Cecilia’s teacher said to them on Friday but she was very motivated to do some typing lessons. Who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? I still have mild PTSD symptoms when I think back on being forced to learn touch typing but I will admit it is a very useful skill. I definitely get more regular use out of it than say multiplying or dividing fractions. I didn’t put it exactly that way to Ce.

Michelle, of course, was much smarter than me and opted for the treadmill. She refused to smile or wave proving once again that no joy is ever possible on a treadmill.

Being away last weekend and not having any definitive obligations meant Michelle was free to aggressively pursue her to-do list. First thing? Getting the kids to clean and straighten the basement.

I fled the premises but after some initial bellyaching I didn’t hear too many sounds of distress coming from downstairs and they were smiling at the end.

Ally was especially proud during the mandatory post-cleaning parental tour to tell me she had tested every single marker.

The good vibes continued even through morning piano practice.

Though I’ll admit the smiles were looking a little fragile by the time we made it to reading practice. Especially on the first day of vacation.

On to lunch and Ally carefully examining each bite. I told her this might not be a great idea when dealing with commercial chicken nuggets or pork products.

After lunch it was some bowling or however you want to categorize the Devil’s parlor game that is candlepin bowling.

We also had the same conversation about why bowling shoes are ugly and not offered in pink or purple glitter options.

They lasted one game before we moved to the arcade. The arcade portion of the afternoon was more successful.

Hit up the library for some school vacation week museum passes and was delighted to find the ‘unusual objects’ collection had expanded to include an air fryer. Vacation week will definitely bring the return of donuts and crispy chickpeas.

The evening was back in front of the couch. You’ll notice Michelle still hacking away at the to-do list and our never ending pile of laundry. Not pictured, a well-earned glass of wine on the side table.

We made the girls watch a PBS Da Vinci documentary before taking pity on them (we aren’t complete monsters) and letting them watch Lego Masters.

I’m grateful for a wife who will still fold my clothes after fifteen years. Not the workout clothes, we’ve come to a consensus on that, but definitely my delicates. I appreciate that.