It is pretty challenging to work out of my home office when the kids are home. Luckily, I have found a fairly successful coping strategy - the list. The list is generally a quickly jotted down list of chores for each girl to complete before moving on to entertainment items (i.e. watching T.V or movie, playing wii or using the computer). The list has a couple of purposes: 1) chores get completed much quicker. 2) prevents arguments because each girl knows what they need to do. 3) keeps the kids occupied so I can work without interruptions. 4) they love to cross out items they complete.
The list is not without its own problems. Apparently, I have handwriting that is difficult to read. Go figure! The ease of reading my handwriting is directly correlated to the speed in which I composed the list. Take Tuesday (March 10th), for instance, which was an unexpected snow day. I hastily wrote a quick list to keep the kids occupied and left it on the counter for them to see when they ate breakfast. Abby was confused by a couple items on the list. I had written "dust downstairs and up". My shorthand meaning dust both downstairs and upstairs. Abby thought it was only downstairs. After reading it, I could see where the confusion was. I had also written "swiffer mom & dad's bedroom & office." Abby thought that 'swiffer' meant to dust, but I had meant for her to use the swiffer floor duster on the floors. Hum, I could see a theme emerging and the problem all points to me. I guess I know what I mean, but I have failed to note it clearly.
My favorite confusing moment that day came from Kippy. She burst into my office, "Mom, none of the vacuums work! I can't get the big vacuum to work or the little vacuum." This was about the 5th interruption of the morning and I wasn't too happy to know our trusty Dyson (a.k.a. big vacuum) had apparently perished. I already had indications that the little vacuum (a.k.a. cordless Dirt Devil) was acting up because it will randomly turn-on by itself. So... I tramped upstairs right behind Kippy to check things out. As soon as I saw the big vacuum, I burst out laughing. I said, "Kippy, I know exactly what is wrong with the vacuum. You don't have it plugged in!" Kippy started laughing too and exclaimed, "Oh - I forgot!" Crisis averted!! Now, I just have to work on my handwriting and I'll be set.