I'm actually a list person. I make lists mostly of things I need to do. Sometimes I number the entries and list them in order of importance, especially if I feel that I have limited time to accomplish the tasks (which is most of the time). I triage what takes precedence like paying that pesky electric bill before the lights get turned off and baking cookies for a school party tomorrow that my daughter just now told me about.
Val has always had a list. She writes them on small white scratch pads, the kind you purchase in a pack of six at the grocery store. Hers are very neat and are made of up of just a few one word entries like "manure" and "dust". They are written in her meticulous handwriting, using a fine point Bic pen in either black or blue. I write mine on any scrap that is lying around. I often resort to using one of the kids' dull pencils. There are cross outs and descriptions with my entries. Sometimes, I can't read my own handwriting.
Every Saturday morning and some days after school, there was a list by the phone for each one of us kids. (Although Ethan's always had b.s chores like, "rest" and "eat". Every Saturday he had a hockey game or practice not to mention he was completely unreliable when it came to real jobs like vacuuming. But he got what was coming when he became a teenager and his job was to de-tick the dog every night after our beloved "Spock" spent the day running through the woods in the backyard.) There were separate lists for each of us each labeled with the first letter of our name. For instance, mine began with an underlined capital "A" , below that she wrote things like "pick raspberries" and "sweep porch". Sometimes she needed to elaborate or show us how to do a new task. To indicate this, Val added "-see me" after the entry. The dreaded "see me". This meant we had to endure a lecture of sorts. Something as benign as "bathroom- see me" became a dissertation on wiping the toothpaste out of the sink and a demonstration of the proper way to hang a wet towel after bathing. We hated "see me". It always meant dragging out the process of doing chores and possibly missing the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.
I don't add that loaded phrase to my to-do list. I don't want anyone to interrupt me while I'm paying the bills or writing a blog entry but I do make a separate entry for Rob, labeled with his name, underlined. Instead, I insist on explaining every entry before he begins which I am sure is annoying in its own way. He puts up with it. Probably because he can now record his favorite show to watch later instead of missing it and I must admit that I am quite generous for allowing him to fold the laundry while watching the Red Sox game.