My 8-year-old daughter Zoe is a list maker. She comes by this habit naturally. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t enumerate or bullet point something on a scrap of paper. I have three different notebooks in case I’m out and about and need to make a list – one for groceries and meal plans, one for blog ideas, and one for any non-blog-or-food-related lists. That might seem a bit excessive, but you can’t mix the lists. How would you know where to find which list if they were all mixed up in the same notebook?
Zoe has a notebook, too. Here’s her list for today:
1. Get ready for the day.
2. Drop off Amelia.
3. Play with Hally (her doll).
5. Practice piano.
6. Write a book.
7. Write a song.
8. Make a hard cover for the book.
9. Dance party.
10. Play more with Hally
11. Rubber band loom.
1. Go the the beach.
She even made little boxes next to each of them so she can check each item off. Isn’t that sweet?
Here is my list for the day:
1. Get ready for the day. Spend 15 minutes gently poking at my children, kissing their cheeks and telling them to “rise and shine” in a sing-songy voice like I’m Mary Poppins. They ignore me and don’t get up. I finally break down and holler at them to get their rears out of bed or they won’t have time to eat breakfast and then child services will come and take them away because I’m a negligent mother. They start to cry and complain that I’m “always” yelling at them.
2. Shuffle both children into the car to drop my oldest daughter off at camp. Deal with morning traffic while Zoe sits in the backseat happily singing along to the radio and thinking about all the fun stuff on her to-do list.
5. Take Zoe to swim lessons where she gets to frolick around in the water and I get to sit in awkward silence with the rest of the parents.
6. Tell Zoe to pick up her crayons.
7. Coerce Zoe into practicing the piano.
8. Stare blankly at my computer trying to come up with a single blog post. Consider stealing Zoe’s book idea about Billy the Dinosaur. Scrap that idea. It’s wrong to steal from children.
9. Google “singing lessons” for my budding songwriter who also happens to be tone deaf.
10. Add “tape” to my Target list since Zoe has used up the last roll making a hard cover for completed book. Then stare forelornly at my empty notebook entitled “book ideas.”
11. Curse myself for buying Zoe “Now That’s What I Call Music 51!” and pray she doesn’t break her bed while jumping on it during her dance party.
12. Spend 20 minutes picking up stray rubber bands before getting the vacuum and just sucking the damn things up.
Zoe’s list sounds like a lot more fun, but I think maybe we should throw out both lists and just go the beach.