Doe Joe on that Beat

I think one of the most important lessons we can teach our kids is responsibility. I have always told my family and friends: my kids are either my problem now or society’s probably later- so I try to teach them how to be right now and do what they’re supposed to do.

The best way to teach kids responsibility at an early age – chores. I actually didn’t mind chores growing up which is probably why I am somewhat of a neat freak now. If my house is in disarray, I can’t function and then everyone is in trouble #workinprogress

According to the Center for Parenting, research indicates that children who have a set of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school.* Walah. Bring it on!

This past week, we started chores in the house. At school, my oldest son gets “doe-joe” points if he is a model student and/or does a good deed. So at home, we decided go with “doe-go” dollars as in “do good,” dollars for chores. It was easy peasy and I was willing to give it whirl with my 4 and 6-year old.

This is how the conversation somewhat went down:

Me: “Ok, we are going to start chores this week for an allowance.”

Kids: “Allowance? What’s that?”

Me: “Money!”

Kids: “Oh, like doe-joe points at school?”

Me: Blank stare…”Ohh, yes.”

Me: “We’ll call them doe-go dollars, like do-good dollars, ok?”

Kids: “Ok!”

And then. . . the skies opened up (insert hallelujah music here)

  1. The playroom was immediately cleaned and vacuumed (with little assistance mind you) and I didn’t have to ask twice.
  2. The family room was dusted (with some of my help) without any fighting over who was going to do it.
  3. The beds were made with no issues like whining that tends to drive me KRAZY.
  4. Socks were put on without “I can’t” or “I don’t want to.” Is this a joke?
  5. Shoes were put away BEFORE I broke my ankle and tripped over them.
  6. And most important, they learned to work together – for now at least.

I should have started this when they were 1 and 3 years-old. Now, I’m broke.

In any event, I am glad the kids want to help and can appreciate earning (and saving) money. The best thing about having three kids: I will not be cleaning as much (live in housekeepers); the yard will always be done (yes, work needs be done outside too darlings!); and the laundry service will come to a halt soon (they’ll be washing their own darn clothes) because I am about tired of all these socks.

I can’t wait . . . because the sun always comes out after the rain when your KIDS clean your house. Off to the nail salon!

Sun Taylor

*Center for Parenting Education website

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A change in flight

You plan your trip, pack your bags, and head to the airport. You are so excited to get to Rome and can’t wait to see all the sites. They call your flight and you board the plane. As you get comfortable in your seat, the captain announces right before you take off:

“There’s been a change in plans. We are heading to Rome, GEORGIA. Enjoy your flight.” First you blink then you sink. What is happening here???

This is the best way I can describe having premature babies. You make plans for one destination and end up at another. Rome, Italy was not where we were going.

It’s National Prematurity Awareness Month and this is my story of a “change in flight.”

The prognosis was not good. The doctors told us all the complications and the possible demise of our first baby while in the womb. But we took the risk, or shall I say God told us we would take the risk, because he had other plans.

Our first son, “Mr. President” had some pretty daunting stats:

  • Born 10 weeks early because the placenta failed and he wasn’t growing
  • Weight: 1 lb 13 oz with a hole in his heart (later fixed)
  • In the NICU for 93 days with all types of things going on
  • Came home on 12 medications, a pulse ox machine, oxygen tank, and feeding tube
  • Had every doctor you could name with “gist” at the end – cardioloGIST, endocrinoloGIST, gastroloGIST . . . you get the point
  • Two surgeries by the age of one – heart and hernia

Mr. President met a lot of people by the age of one and will talk to anyone now. I’m sure it had something to do with his introduction to the world.

Then there was the second born son, “Secret Service” whose stats weren’t as serious but nonetheless, it wasn’t easy for him either.

  • Born 6 weeks early due to preeclampsia
  • Weight: 4lbs 3 oz
  • In the NICU for 34 days; meds, pokes, and prods
  • Developed hydrocephalus that led to surgery after he turned one.

Secret Service is a tough cookie which I know in my heart started early. Homie don’t play that. . . and his mamma is tough too (wink!).

But there were plenty of tears and sleepless nights. All I can say is where would we all be without family and prayer? And the doctors and nurses at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta –they were phenomenal.

We were also surrounded by friends who could offer encouragement. But in some instances, people didn’t know what to say, or in my mind, said the wrong thing. Thus, I became cautious about who I told.

Now I am open and it’s my intent to help someone who may be going through this or went through it in the past. You will make it and you will stand tall.

There were so many lesson; but the most important was to keep the faith no matter what. I always thought about the beauty of the end destination. It wasn’t easy but I knew I was going to make it there and that our kids would be fine.

The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, or the Vatican City are all splendid I imagine. But I am so thankful for that change in flight. We made it to Rome, Georgia and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor