Stay-at-Home Dad: The List

Santa, Schindler and me.

I believe that the most famous list maker of all-time was, and still is, Santa Claus.  His lists of naughty and nice children have helped parents all over the world maintain order in times of chaos.  

I also believe that if you haven’t taken down your Christmas decorations by now, the third week of February, you should immediately be placed on the naughty list.  A guy on my block still has his decorations up, and I’m a little afraid that he may be at the point of no return and just leave them up until the 2011 holiday season. 

Heck, the addition of a red Mylar Valentine’s Day balloon may just be the beginning, but I'm pretty sure that the snowman is going to look  silly holding an American flag on Independence day. 

Maybe my neighbor needs to get a little more organized.  

I usually write down a to-do list every other day.  My lists are very organized, and even have little bubbles so I can fill in the status of progress. If something doesn’t get crossed off, it goes onto the next day's list.  One thing that is at the bottom of EVERY list is the chore:  make a list.

This allows me to strike one item off at inception, and more importantly, makes me feel like I am actually accomplishing something.  

My youngest son has learned this from me, and although his homework assignment book looks like a chimpanzee wrote it with a pencil in its mouth, we can always deduce his homework assignments before making a plan of attack.

Having kids in the school system here demands that you stay organized. They created a six-day school calendar just to keep everyone on their toes. But all the lunch programs and school clubs are still on the archaic five-day calendar.  I have heard whispers that next year the School Board is switching over and we are all going to be using the 2012 Mayan calendar.

It’s not only within the school system.  Just living here demands that you stay organized!  The deadlines to sign up for youth sports sneak up on you, and if you miss them, there is usually a late-registration penalty.  Last year, I made the mistake of signing up a child late for soccer. Before I knew it, all my bank accounts were frozen, and some guys came to my house, roughed me up and then cut off my pinky finger!  I won’t be making that mistake again.  

Being organized is a great way to approach life, and more importantly, can help you navigate through choppy waters when they start to rise.  I use my lists as a coping strategy to help see what’s on my plate, as well as what’s ahead, and then pace myself.

You never know what lies in front of you, but the one thing that I do know for sure is that I will NEVER sign up for youth soccer late again! 


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