Monday, April 12, 2010

PD Tool Card: Family CONFERENCE Update!

(Originally posted at Rational Jenn)

We had our fourth Family Conference yesterday morning and it went swimmingly. This is really turning into a good tool/experience for our family.

As you are no doubt aware, Ryan was King of this week's Meeting, I mean, Conference. It was evident from the very start that he'd been doing quite a lot of planning for the Conference. He was pestering us about it from the very second we arrived downstairs. I reminded him of my powerful need for morning coffee and got him to agree to put off the conference so that I might be properly caffeinated. What an accommodating King. Merciful and benevolent.

The King called our Conference to order with a smart bell-ringing and then jumped right in. He began the round of compliments, but this week's love-fest was shorter than in previous weeks, mostly because we had Serious Business to Get Done. (God he is just like me! I used to have to remind myself to go around and greet my employees at the beginning of each day, fighting the urge to go and do some work already, but knowing that this face-time was also important.)

Before we could get on to the Family Calendar, he introduced some proposed changes. I can't quite remember the order in which these proposals were discussed, but here they were:


Changing the name of King or Queen of the Meeting Conference


Ryan felt this was an important change. Because we believe in Freedom in our family (and in our country), he thought we should have a President of the Conference, instead of traditional monarchical-derived nomenclature (no, not his words). You know, those Kings and Queens pretty much want people to obey them and that's not how Freedom works (his words, more or less). Also, Presidents are elected, and we elect the next person at the end of each meeting. As monarchs are not typically elected to their positions of power, the use of the title King/Queen seems somewhat ill-suited to our purposes (my summation).

Brendan and I thought President made a lot of sense, considering the values we espouse here in this family. Morgan wasn't so sure and really enjoyed the idea of being a Queen. Brendan proposed that whoever runs the Conference can decide what they choose to be called, and there was a vote and it passed.


Be it hereby proclaimed and understood that the person who is running the Family Conference can decide upon his/her own title for the meeting, but that also if that person chooses to be referred to as King/Queen, that doesn't mean he/she can dissolve our democratic process.


The President/King/Queen holds the allowance during the Meeting Conference, and is in charge of dispensing said allowance at the end of the Meeting Conference.


Brendan immediately agreed, and wondered aloud how much allowance Ryan was prepared to give to him. :o) It was clear that Ryan had not anticipated this development and was momentarily stunned into silence. (This is really rare!) He then clarified that he was talking about KID allowance, since Brendan had a job and all. The proposal was agreed upon and passed unanimously.


The President/King/Queen/Imperial Majesty will now hold the total amount of KID allowance for distribution to all KID allowance recipients at the end of the meeting. I went and got $4 from my wallet (three for him, one for Morgan, who doesn't officially gets an allowance but likes to feel included. Later, I will find her dollar on the floor and put it back in my wallet) and handed it to him. He fondled the money lovingly throughout the rest of the Meeting Conference.

Next, we had a short interlude while we discussed what the word unanimous means, and we all practiced pronouncing it. Then, on to the next . . .


The President/King/Queen/Runner of Meetings Conferences Peopleguy will ring the bell once at the beginning of the Meeting Conference, and two times at the end.


Uh, sure. Why not?


It was unanimously decided that ONCE shall be the ringing of the bell (bell bell bell bell) at the beginning of the Meeting Conference and TWICE shall be the ringing at the end. Although I'm pretty sure we'll forget to do this. Not to worry--our fearless (now-ex-) President will remind us.

Next: more practicing the word unanimous.

At some point we actually got to the Family Calendar which is chock full this week, since we had the Messy Party and sleepover yesterday, have our regularly scheduled kid activities, and roofing peopleguys coming (long story), plus Brendan's family arriving on Friday to celebrate Ryan's birthday (which is next Sunday). We'll be heading up to the cabin on Saturday, and having fun exciting adventures, too. (Ed. Note: If I disappear from the blog/Twitter toward the end of the week, now you'll understand why!)

We also discussed the semi-annual neighborhood garage sale coming up in a couple of weeks. It seems that I will have eager helpers. :o)

Finally we voted on the next President/King/Queen/Maharajah of the Conference. I think our current King President was hoping he'd be elected again, since he'd done such a fine job. And he had done a fine job! But Brendan, Morgan, and I voted for Morgan (who wants to be Queen). Ryan changed his vote at the last minute, saying that he didn't want his lone vote to be a losing vote, so even though he didn't really want Morgan to be Queen of the next Conference, he didn't mind changing his vote so that he'd be on the winning side of the vote. How thoughtful!

He doled out allowance, rang the bell twice, and we were free to go about our business!

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