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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book-on-the-Floor Alert!

Because I'm pregnant, bending over has become harder and harder as 2017 as gone on.

May 2017

August 2017
Sometime near the beginning of the summer I had a day when I was tired of telling the kids to pick up the floor and I just did it myself (with accompanying quote from Sebastian of Disney's The Little Mermaid playing in my head: "If you want somet'ing done, you gotta do it yourself!").

While the result was a clean floor, it came along with pain and lots of crabbiness on my part.

When I realized I had overdone it, I began my campaign to get the kids to pick up after themselves more often. As every parent knows, it's not easy to raise the bar on your kids. They're like, "Whaaaat?"

via GIPHY

Over time this campaign has worked out pretty well, though, and my favorite story from it was when I told Jubilee to clean her room. She was despairing and saying it would take forever, so I said, "Don't worry, I'll help you!"

She looked at me and said, "But mom! You can't pick things up!"

Muahaha!

"Well," I said, "I'll sit with you while you work."

But here's the thing. Much of what gets left on the floor around our house is books. And those books were getting stepped on and bent up and abused and that made me sad.

So one day I gathered all the kids together and told them about our new family rule:

No Books Allowed on the Floor!

I explained about all the books that were getting damaged and worn from our bad habits, and I outlined the plan:

"Any time anyone sees a book on the floor, they should pick it up and put it on the not-floor. Preferably on one of the many, many bookshelves, but anywhere is better than the floor.

"It doesn't matter who left it on the floor or who saw it first or anything like that. We're all going to work together to keep books off of the floor."

The kids saw the sense in this and have done much better about getting books up off the floor. Are they still leaving them there in the first place? Yes. But we're getting better.

And, the best part is that somehow this new rule has translated into a family culture of shouting "Book-on-the-Floor Alert!" before picking up a book (or, in my case, pointing to a book that needs to be picked up).

It's kind of fun. It's our thing.

What rules do you have around books in your house?



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