Calling First


The other day, my kids did something for like the hundredth time and it about sent my husband and I over the edge.

Lately they’ve been so consumed with getting something “first” so from the moment they get picked up from school they are vying for first with everything: practicing piano, watching a TV show, being on the computer, whatever it is…first.

Did you ever do this growing up? I know my brother, sister and I did for a while. It was like this huge competition. We especially did it when we were getting up from our seat when we were watching TV. If we felt we had a prime position on the couch we’d call out “I call my spot back!” and then no one could take it while we were out of the room. Like shouting out those words put an invisible bear trap on our seat that would entrap anyone who tried to steal it.  Amazingly we always honored this phrase. It was like an unspoken code of honor.

When all three of us were piano practicing fools in our prepubescent years we would call first, second and third on that as well. I can only imagine how trying this became for my own mother….oh wait, no I can’t. I don’t have to imagine it anymore. I know exactly how this felt for my own mother because I’m living it right now with my four. We are in that stage and it is tiring. And annoying.

It finally hit me the other day…no wonder my mom made up a schedule for things like dishwashing. One day it was my turn to wash, the next to dry and the next to put away and then the rotation started all over again. She had to have been so sick of us calling “I call washing!” It’s a wonder she didn’t strangle one of us.

So, while we were at my daughters OT appointment today we were talking about some of this and the therapist said what I’m slowly learning myself as I get older and wiser…my mom knew a thing or two. The therapist said, I’d get on that schedule thing if I were you. First of all, it will totally benefit our Aspie girl. And quite frankly, after so many kids you kind of need schedules for everything if you want your house to be run smoothly.

Which if you know anything about me, I do. I kind of love schedules and anything that other “normal” people would consider OCD. So, starting Monday we are putting the ka-bosh on calling first. The schedule is being typed up, printed, and posted for all to see.. and groan about.

Then our house will be perfect. And no one will ever do or say anything ever again that is tiring, annoying or strangle worthy. Even as I’m typing that I don’t believe it…

But it is worth a shot right?

If it worked for my mom and it worked for my daughters OT surely we can make it work too. 

Okay, I’m off to make my pretty schedule…oh shoot, there’s already someone on the laptop…

“I call next!”


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