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You should really do this yourself.

I had one of those conversations with my kids this evening that makes me question what kind of job I’m doing as a mom.

I’ll be honest.  I don’t have those moments every day.  Generally, I think that we are doing a pretty good job of raising good, polite, responsible kids.  Tonight, though, the boys conspired to head downstairs just as I was putting the finishing touches on dinner.  I asked them to come back, and when they looked confused by my request, I told them that “I’m not a waitress, and it’s not my job to serve you.”  One actually replied, “But it is.  You’re the mom.”

I’m embarrassed to even admit that this conversation went down in my house.  And it makes me think that we need to do a better job of teaching our kids to take care of themselves.  I’m also hesitant to admit that on some level, not only do I not mind taking of care of my kids, but I actually kind of like it.  There is something that makes me feel wonderfully “mommy-like” by cooking dinner, making school lunches, baking banana bread (with bananas that I have, un-mommy-like, allowed to rot on the counter), and folding little miniature boxer briefs.

But I know there’s a really fine line here, and I fear that I’ve firmly planted myself on the wrong side of it.  My 8-year-old can’t reach where we keep the milk in the fridge, so I pour it for him.  My 11-year-old, on the other hand, is a handful of inches shorter than me, and can certainly reach it.  But he’s convinced he’ll spill it everywhere (which, incidentally, he most likely will), so he almost always asks me to pour it for him.  I’m sure this is a life skill I should be teaching him, and I wonder how his adult life will turn out if he can’t pour his own milk.

Maybe tomorrow morning, I’ll let him do it himself.  Then again, I just went food shopping today, and I’m not entirely certain that I want a whole gallon of milk on the floor.

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4 thoughts on “You should really do this yourself.

  1. Miss Fanny P says:

    i am SO with you on this. I have a 6 year old and my husband says “he’s too little – just do it for him” but i SEE already that there’s a laziness creeping in.
    Things like putting clothes in the laundry, picking up toys, putting a cupback in the kitchen etc etc – he CAN do these but he doesn’t. and if asked (and he always is asked), it’s like i am asking him to lift the world and hold it for a week at a time. He actually does this walk to the kitchen or laundry room that shows me his muscles ache and he’s tired and faint. and i just want to scream ARGH!!!!!!
    Is it a boy thing? I only have boys.

    • I’m SO glad it’s not just me! I know that it’s mostly my fault that they don’t do as much for themselves as they should, but I also see that my younger guy is a little more self-sufficient (and generally also likes things neater), so it’s probably their personalities to some degree. FYI, the big guy didn’t want any milk this morning, but I did end up slicing an apple for him 🙂

      • Miss Fanny P says:

        ditto – my second is a bit OCD (tidies everything away, closes doors drawers etc – like me!) The other one is a slob and like The Husband 😉

  2. Deb says:

    Ha! My Five year old declared, “You forgot to SERVE me my juice!” When I just walked out and didn’t come back, I think she realized the waitress was unhappy! 😉 and FYI she climbed up, got a cup and filled it with water, independently!

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