I know I make a lot of confessions on the pages of this blog, so I hope you don’t mind if I add another.
The Parents are terrible (terrible!) about having The Kidling help around the house. Chores–or “chewers” to The Kidling–are far more of a chewer for us to manage than to simply do the damn thing ourselves.
I know, I know: responsibility, blah blah. Contribute to the family, blah blah. Feeling helpful is good for self-esteem, blah blah. I am well aware of every argument in favor of giving children chewers. Hell, I even agree. But that doesn’t stop me from not being the mother in practice that I wish I were in theory.
Sorry to disappoint, dear readers.
Now, we haven’t eschewed chewers completely; rather, we have taken the path of least resistance. We have The Kidling do the things that won’t make us lose our marbles if they aren’t done right/quickly/immediately. The Kidling “helps” put away dishes and gets out napkins and utensils at dinner time, but that constitutes almost every item on our menu of chewers. The only other thing we consistently ask for The Kidling’s help doing is fetching things from our wee garden.
The Family has a modest vegetable garden in the back yard. It is far smaller than usual this year because The Dog is getting old and didn’t eat all of the rabbits when they were babies this year.
Six tomato plants, some peppers, and some herbs are the only plants this year that survived the adorable little thieves that can’t stay away from The Family’s buffet. While making dinner, I often send The Kidling out to harvest basil and garlic chives from our little patch of dirt. I asked my dear daughter to bring me garlic chives last weekend and she looked at me oddly.
“Why’s it called chives? Why’s it called chives? Chives sounds like vagina. Like it’s a vagina kind of plant that pees.”
I tried to let that one slide without much reaction (though I worry about the note that will come home from The Kidling’s kindergarten teacher when they work on the long “I” sound).
Fast forward to tonight’s dinner prep. I made a summer staple around here, caprese pasta. The Dada got to do the basil-harvesting honors, and I think The Kidling felt left out. Just before everything was ready, she wanted to make sure I had everything I needed, offering, “Do you need some ‘ginas?”
Choking back a giggle, I confirmed that that would be the perfect addition to our meal.