Well, it has been almost a week now since I began the pom-pom project and so I thought it might be a good time to report on our progress...
There certainly has been a great deal of talk about what each boy plans to get once he fills his container and a good deal of searching through catalogs and circling things. I directed them some in this area so that they would set their sights within my budget and sensibilities. (Did you know Hearth Song carries something called "Bloody Putty?" It's basically red slime that comes in an IV bag. Yuck.)
In the first few days, I had to help the boys see what kinds of actions would merit a pom-pom and which kinds of actions would cost them one. I made suggestions and gave them ideas. Now, I would say, they have less need of my suggestions, though they still need reminders.
I do not know if he has suddenly matured or if the pom-poms are to be thanked, but Simeon seems more able to help me than just a short time ago. When he sees that I have my hands full, he attends to the other children's needs without being asked.
"Could you hand me that nipple?" he asks as he fills a bottle with milk.
"Sure," I say, handing it to him.
"Thanks." he replies.
"Thanks?" I wonder. "Thanks for what? When did your goals become my goals? Now I'm helping you by taking care of the little ones?" That's nice. Very nice.
Alex, also, has been more helpful. He won't find things on his own, but I can now ask him to clean a room, a whole room, and he will. For a pom-pom, he will. This, also, is nice.
And Jacob, sweet Jacob, is trying so hard. I appreciate that.
There has been a lot of back and forth, with pom-poms flying from jar to containers and from containers back to the jar again. But in general, rooms have been cleaner, closets more organized, schedules more followed, activities more calm, and toilets more aimed at. For these, O Lord, and all of your blessings, I am grateful.
Let's do the numbers...
Simeon: 15 pom-poms
Alexander: 11 pom-poms
Jacob, sweet Jacob: 3 pom-poms