The Age of Lazy

Remember way back in the day when the kids were young and thought imitating mommy was the best thing ever? (If you're still in the stage, enjoy it, please.) If mommy was vacuuming, they wanted a turn because vacuuming was cool. They wanted a hand at unloading the dishwasher, and mopping the floor, and chopping onions...

I remember being frustrated most of the time, knowing that any job they did would be far inferior to anything that needed to be done, and I would have to re-do. A re-do was a tricky thing to navigate, mind you. I could play the Lets Take Turns card and have them sweep for a bit, then I'd take over, but the downfall of that was my smart kids. "Mom, I already did that part." *Busted* Or I could wait until they weren't in the room and do it over, but by then I just wanted the job done so that I could move on to other things. Nothing like having to do the same dishes twice. And then you have the dirty dishes stacked with the clean and have to re-wash ALL of them.

And the dilemma came in because while I could clearly say, "No, I'll do it" and send the kids on their way, it was training skills that they would need later in life. Teaching while they're willing to learn is always a bonus. And I played that card well. Chores were a privilege earned only by the best of kids. (Yeh, I'm evil.) I'd build up the hype. "Do you think you can handle the vacuum? Maybe you're just not big enough yet." Or "I don't know, this is such a big kid job. Maybe you should wait until next week to try." That, of course, made them want to work even more.

That. That desire to work. Where does it go? At what age do kids realize that it's work and they want nothing to do with it?

This morning I was sorting clean laundry into piles to be put away. Micah was taking the empty baskets and filling them with dirty laundry as fast as I was unloading them. He even turned the laundry hamper upside down to get the last sock out of the bottom. He stacked the empty hampers neatly together, and saw that the floor needed swept where they were sitting. A broom would not be my first choice to sweep a carpet, but that was his choice and he did a good job with it, too. He then tried carrying full hampers downstairs to the laundry room, but navigating steps is difficult enough for him without bearing a load like that. I instructed him to just set them at the top of the steps for me. That was the only thing I asked him to do, and he was none too happy about it. Clearly, I was holding him back from completing a task.

Can I bottle this enthusiasm somehow?


1 comment:

The Sports Mama said...

Okay.... I know it's late, but when I first saw this line:

when the kids were young and thought imitating mommy was the best thing ever?

I really read it as: IRRITATING mommy...

*sigh* And realized that my kids? Still think that is the best thing ever.