Now yesterday I stopped by a garage sale and found THIS:
Or maybe I should say Grant found it. He is totally crazy about lawnmowers and I knew it would be an awesome gift for him - then to top it off - the lady said "It blows bubbles." My head almost exploded. Did she realize what she just said? Seeing the realization of all your two year old's dreams coming true generates at least as much happiness for me as for him. I could have shouted for joy. Now, give me some credit, I knew these existed, but I hadn't thought about them in a while or seen them in a store. And now, she just offered me all that happiness for only $5? Too much, I say! If I could have imagined a perfect gift for Grant, it would include: a) bubbles (what toddler doesn't love bubbles?), b) wheels (lawnmower, tractor, bicycle, etc), and c) a handle so that he could push it, or a seat so he could ride it.
I was really excited but I had to run it past Trevor first, and his response was, "You HAVE to get it!" I went back to the garage sale later. I know it seems crazy that after my little rant I would take the chance of someone else buying it, but Grant was good about leaving it at the garage sale, he's not a brat, so it would have been no big deal if someone else had already bought it. I don't want to give him everything he wants... BUT seeing as how the garage sale was way down a side street, and on a tuesday (who does that?), it was still there when I went back after a Costco run.
Grant is not yet allowed to play with it, because I told him that he can have his new toy if he is reverent and folds his arms for family prayer for FIVE DAYS. Usually it's a bit of a power struggle at bedtime to get him to sit still and fold his arms - but when I reminded him about the deal last night and this morning - WOW! He's a whole new kid. He sat there for the entire prayer with BOTH arms folded, said Amen at the end, and then said "Lawnmower." Cheeky kid. So on Saturday, if he's been good every day, then he will have his reward!
And on another, mostly related note, Grant has chores. He doesn't earn anything for doing them (I didn't want him to earn the lawnmower for doing his regular chores, I want his chores to get done just because they are there and they are his), but he knows what is expected. I plan to make little cards with pictures and words on them to remind both him and me of what his chores are, but I haven't as of yet - here's where I got the idea.
I want to get them laminated, which might actually make it cheaper to buy them from that website, but they can't seem to provide me with a shipping quote so I'll have to wait to hear back from them.
Grant's chores right now include:
1. Making his bed in the morning
2. Getting dressed, putting dirty clothes in the hamper
3. Combing hair (I always forget this one)
4. Say family prayer (is this a chore? I don't know.)
5. Put toys away
6. Put on pajamas and put dirty clothes in hamper
7. Say family prayer
8. Say personal prayer
9. Read scriptures
10. Get hug and kiss
Ten might sound like a lot, but it seems to me that Grant appreciates being given the chance to be responsible and loves being expected to do things like this. He does lots of other things too that maybe I should add to his list, such as sweeping, vacuuming (he pretends by moving the vacuum around the house, but it'll be a while before he can actually do that one), setting the table, etc.
And one last thing, the whole chore thing was inspired by a book (the website is by the same people) called The Children You Want with the Kids You Have. I've only read the first chapter and I feel as though it's already changed my life; it provides ideas and charts and guides for different ages and so far I love it. Grant has responded so well to doing chores that I highly recommend starting some chore routines for your kids, especially if you've been thinking about it! As soon as my other kid(s) turn two, that's when I will start them on the program, they just eat it up at this age. I will post again once I've made the little chore cards! =)