Thursday, April 3, 2014

Housemaid

My twins are six, and it is just occurring to me that I don't have to wait on them hand and foot.

I'm not generally a person who would say, if asked, that children should be treated like monarchs and parents should take the role of court jester, cook and galley maid. It's just that somewhere between the twins leaving infancy and now, I totally forgot I didn't need to keep doing everything.

My father reminded me. I had just set a plate of buttered toast - a snack - in front of my son, and I was chatting on the phone with my dad. Then this happened....

Son: Mom! Mommy! I don't want the crust!

Me: Hang on, Dad.... you didn't tell me you wanted the crust cut off.

Son: I forgot! I don't want the crust!

My Dad: What? He is six years old. He has two hands. He can take off the crust himself.

Me (sunshine breaking through the clouds and beaming on my face): Oh, my gosh. You're so right! Why didn't I think of that before?

Don't get me wrong. He's only six. Mommy cutting off the crusts of sandwiches is still an understandable favor, but he didn't say please. He barked an order at me. And who can blame him? My husband and I have been working on getting the kids to ask for things politely, and often, they do. But really - it's hard to remember to ask for things politely if you are six and your mother still delivers on your every request even if all you're doing is watching a cartoon and she is knee deep in laundry.

This week, I've been practicing. Thirsty? Cups are on the counter. Have at it. My children have responded with complaints about tired legs and having to do everything themselves all the time (not even remotely true).

Clearly I have my work cut out for me. But it's okay. I am obviously very patient and will persevere.

1 comment:

Katie Olthoff said...

Le Sigh. "Do not for your children what they can do for themselves."

Unless you're in a hurry. Or on the phone and want them to be quiet. Or just want them to be content as quickly as possible, or when they might make a big mess that you don't have the energy to clean up. Or all of the above.