When I am on call, I have “stress projects,” things I can pour my nervous energy into so I don’t drive everyone around me absolutely crazy. I have to stay near the house because I have to be able to access the electronic health record in a pinch.*
In the photo above, you see one of my recent projects. I painted the center of the door with chalkboard paint. This area happens to be where my kids spent their time outs when they were little and they took to peeling the paint off of the door in chunks. It was looking pretty rough. This was my fix.
Now that it was done, though, I was wondering what to do with it. Blank chalkboards scream out to be used. Inspirational quotes? Silly drawings? WHAT?!?!!? I was paralyzed with the indecision.
Recently, as my son was reading Harry Potter, he sighed a happy sigh and said, “Mommy, I love words!”
Yes! (Virtual fist pump inserted here.)
“Mommy really loves words, too! Do you want to learn more words?” I was careful not to show too much excitement. I didn’t want to scare him off.
He nodded in the affirmative, eyes sparkling.
So now we have a game. Each week I write a new word on the door. Anytime he or his sister uses it correctly in a sentence (and not in a sentence that has been used before, I had to make that rule very quickly) they get a Jelly Belly jelly bean.
As it turns out, sugar is a huge motivator and I am not ashamed to use it in small doses.
On a side note, I used to do “The Word of the Day” on their school lunch napkins but my son said I cannot do that OR write “I love you!” on his anymore because the other kids make fun of him. Boo! Silly other kids. And BOO for growing up.
*Often, when I talk about my projects, I get comments about how amazing and wonderful I am, how gifted I must be. Let me dispel that myth right now. I am just a spaz with a ton of nervous energy that has to be channeled into creative pursuits. The projects I do are generally easy.