If you recall, I have back trouble every now and then. I try to be careful, but you would be surprised what can throw your back out. It could be bending over to grab a sock off the floor. Perhaps it is leaning over to spit in the sink after brushing my teeth. The last time it was simply putting on a skirt. (Fashion can be dangerous...no lie.) The real trick is keeping my back strong enough, so that when I decide my five year old is too adorable not to hold, I can pick her up without having to spend the next day or so in bed.
I have the back exercises, and I try to do them. Well, I try to do them more often right after I have hurt my back and the memory is still fresh. Realistically, time passes and I forget how tenuous this relationship is between a life without pain and being careless with my posture. Posture! This is the worst one. I believe it is actually the cause of much more pain than I give it credit for. My back is okay if I bend over and pick up the occasional box. But if I have been hunched over at a computer for an hour beforehand causing undue amounts of stress to that lower lumbar region, it is less likely to go well.
The chiropractor mentioned as much to me last time I went in to have everything adjusted. To give a little history, I don't usually go to a chiropractor. It was just so painful the last time I threw my back out at the end of September, that I was willing to try anything. That makes me sound like I don't believe in chiropractors. I think they can be fantastic...I just wasn't sure they could fix my particular problem. I would say that it helped the healing process considerably, but was no miracle cure.
I am very aware of my posture issues. You would think that being a short person, I would stretch my height to its full advantage, but sadly, that is not the case. When I eat, I tend to slump. When I am on the computer, I catch myself hunched over sometimes. I need to work on getting my shoulders back. But it is hard to retrain very bad habits.
So I thought of something to give myself a little incentive. I told the kids that if they caught me with bad posture, I would owe a quarter. That quarter would go in a jar and when we built up enough money, we would do something together as a family. They were all for it. You have some like Ivory who call out my posture at every opportunity. Sometimes I am sitting or standing just fine and there is no quarter for her, but plenty of times I have straightened up and begrudgingly added my twenty-five cents to the jar.
Now...if it were just quarters for my bad posture, that jar would take forever to be filled, but I added another caveat.
It is possible that our house of little ladies is not always full of lady-like manners. In fact, there is sometimes quite a problem with tooting. (We use the 'T' word instead of 'F' word around here.) Some children are bigger offenders than others. I get that it is a natural bodily function, but I have to draw the line somewhere. And that somewhere is at the table when we are eating. I think it is just rude to let one rip while everyone is enjoying their meal. And so began the quarter for toots.
I think that has helped the jar fill up faster than anything. Amazingly, one of the worst offenders in general, is very good at controlling his expulsions at the table. (I'm not sure we have had any quarters from Dad.) The rest of us have all contributed here and there. And I would say that the manners at the table have improved tremendously.
The quarter rule has been so popular, I have added other addendum on here and there. For example, the littles owe a quarter if they ignore the food on their plates. They know they have to try one bite, but that particular bite is often left in a corner until it has become cold and unappetizing. How will they ever know if they like something if they only try it after it is unpalatable? Also, we are trying to teach the children that when someone cooks for you, it is polite to sample their dish...in a timely manner. So, I sometimes set a timer and if they haven't mustered their courage in time to try the vexing vegetable, etc....in goes a quarter.
We have a pretty good stash considering we started the jar in October. Tonight, I thought we should cash in some of our rewards. I feel bad that Tyler couldn't join us, but he didn't contribute much to the jar anyway. We went out for ice cream at Macey's, since that is a frugal choice that leaves us more quarters for another day. Most of the cones were so big, we flipped them over into cups so they wouldn't melt faster than we could eat them.
Love my girls. We came home and watched Little Women afterward. I have my own band of little women. They are just right for me. Now if only I could steal some of that patience and understanding from Marmee. I don't think she ever had to resort to a quarter jar.