Monday, August 31, 2009

Check that off

Sean’s work schedule recently changed from five days a week to four days a week. Of course, they still have to build as many cars in four days as they did in five so the four days are longer work hours. It’s billed as 4 days a week/10 hours a day (4/10s). Which means Sean’s new schedule is 4/12s. Since he used to work 5/12s this new four day work week is an improvement. Of course, he still checks in on Fridays because not everyone’s on the four day a week thing – I don’t know why. Heck, when people ask me what he does I still say, “He builds cars,” because I honestly have no idea what he does. Something about maintaining the equipment or systems that put the car together… see why I just say, “He builds cars.”

Anyway, the last three weeks he’s had Fridays at home with us, which means he’s seen how life really works around here. Actually, he has seen the last two Fridays of summer and the first Friday of our new school year, so nothing has been terribly routine. But he’s seen enough and has made a suggestion. And the suggestion involved Excel.

Excel. We are in a world of hurt.

I don’t use Excel. It’s for math-y people. I’m a writer. I use Word. I use letters to make words. I do not use anything that requires me to know how to put cells together to make formulas work. Ugh, just writing about that makes my head hurt a little.

Anyway, I came downstairs Sunday afternoon to find he’d come up with a new chore chart. The chore chart I had on the fridge was apparently inadequate. It simply stated the week and who was responsible for what. It worked for the kids and me. Chores got done with little to no nagging on my part. None of the four of us was having a problem with the chore chart.

Sean, however, felt there should be a way for the kids to check off the chore they finished so everyone would know if the chore was completed.

I am not a list-maker. I probably should be since I forget so much stuff these days (need baggies – don’t forget baggies) but I’ve never been big on lists. My dear husband, on the other hand, loves lists. He’ll write a list of stuff he’s already done just so he has the pleasure of checking something off.

We are nothing if not living proof that opposites attract.

So he made a new list (titled Chore Tracking) with circles next to everyone’s name and the chore listed with dates. Sean’s convinced this will be a visual cue to the kids to make sure their chores are completed. Plus, they get the added bonus of checking something off! He was giddy with joy.

The kids looked past him at me with eyes that said, “You’re not going to make us do that chart, are you?!”

Well, yes, kids, I am. Dad’s come up with a method he thinks will be helpful so we’ll give it a try.

There’s just one flaw: I’m going to have to remember the checklist…

(Even though I'm not enamored with check-off lists I do have to admit it's a pretty cool looking chart...)