I can’t believe that we’ve managed to stick to the rules I came up with for 3 whole days! The difference is unbelievable. Whereas my usual evening routine is chasing the kids out of the kitchen after tea and herding them up to bed, leaving the clearing up ‘for later’, and sweeping all the toys in the sitting room to round behind the sofa, I now have a clean, clear kitchen, and a toy-free sitting room. Woop woop!!
We’ve had a couple of wobbles from E, who likes to refuse to do something before she’s even heard what she’s being asked to do! At the outset when I said 1 person was to clear table, 1 person to lay it, and 1 person to make lunch and tea, both E and H said that I would be making the food, and they would do the other 2 jobs between them. When E has refused to do her part I have in turn said that I would refuse to make the food then! That has done the trick so far!! There have been a couple of times that the table has been cleared from the meal before so well, there has been no clearing to do before the next meal! Or with the extra time I have I’ve cleaned, cleared and laid the table if they’ve been absorbed in something else and I feel guilty to drag them out to do chores!
I expected E to kickback against the new ‘regime’, and also expected H not to really get it. H is generally a bit rubbish at helping out, usually refusing point-blank to do whatever it is we’ve asked her to – well it is a 3 year old’s prerogative!! She has really surprised me in how well she has got involved in the jobs. I didn’t know she knew how to stack plates, or if she actually knew where our food-waste bin was!
The bribery element is on track, and all bribes have been delivered 😉 If they keep it up all week they have a special treat to reward them at the weekend!!
Meanwhile, with the time I have saved, I’m setting a few new challenges for myself. Not only have I managed to keep the kitchen counters clear and cleaned (previously unheard of!), but am also ontop of the dishwasher filling and emptying, the bread-making, and the washing (more or less). Also found time to tidy the play room, clean out the guinea pigs and sort out the clean washing that’s been hanging around for days, and tidied the kids’ rooms.
My new challenges stem from noticing that our food-waste bin was mainly full of stale bread from where I have a complete inability to cut a loaf of bread past a certain point, so always end up with a dried-up chunk left over! I’ve invested in a tin of custard powder, and some large freezer bags, so will be saving these bits up and will make a bread and butter pudding once a week. I have also bought some tinned salmon and am going to try a recipe in E’s cookbook for fish cakes which needs breadcrumbs!
As part of the new and improved, Super Me, not only am I teaching myself how to run a household, but also to cook. I love baking, but hate cooking. I bought some casserole steak a couple of weeks ago and stuck it straight in the freezer. I decided to defrost it a couple of days ago, and have been alternately looking at it and searching recipes, and finally turned it into a beef casserole today. I know all this sounds ridiculously simple to most, but I am well chuffed with myself 😉 I last attempted a casserole a year ago, or maybe even longer ago than that! I didn’t really like it, so have been searching for a different recipe, not that I’m fussy! I have tasted it, and it is good! At least tomorrow night’s dinner is sorted. I am tempted to try making dumplings though…!!
Also – can anyone recommend a source of recipes (either a book or online?) for baking recipes, preferably sweet treats 😉 We’ve exhausted our usual stash of recipes and are on the look out for something that isn’t a cookie, a muffin, a banana cake or a flapjack!! We even tried to make profiteroles the other day. They came out beautifully, unfortunately it turned out I had well over-cooked them and they were crispy to the touch…oops! Crispy profiterole anyone??!