John's comment on my last post, about not wanting to have to care for a dog, set me up nicely for this post. (Thanks, John!) http://thirdpersonltd.johnmbaron.com/
In my house, nothing clears a room faster than when I say, "Someone needs to walk the dog." I could yell, "Fire!" and my children wouldn't budge from in front of the TV/computer unless actual smoke and flames obstructed their view. However, when I yell, "Someone needs to walk the dog," they scatter like shrapnel after the big blast.
Of course I track them down, and then the bargaining begins. It typically goes something like this:
"If you walk the dog, I'll set the table."
"You have to wipe it, too. And clear."
"I'll wipe. You clear."
"I don't know. My foot hurts. Besides, I walked the dog yesterday, in the rain. I got soaked."
"Well the last time I walked the dog it was dark. And I had to pick up his poop. (A Marcus family requirement.)
"Last Thursday I walked him twice and he pooped both times."
"On Friday he almost broke my finger when he ran after a squirrel."
Me: "Dinner's getting cold. Someone needs to walk him."
"What about Becca?" (My oldest daughter. 18. Enough said.) "She never has to walk the dog."
"If you can get her to do it, fine. Daddy and I are going to start eating without you."
"Walk the dog," my son yells, because he's 16 and exists in a constant state of hunger.
"No. You do it," my youngest daughter counters, because she's 12 and likes to argue.
Me: "If I have to get up there will be consequences."
"Fine," my youngest daughter says, stomping off to get the leash. "But if my foot gets any worse I won't be able to participate in gym, and I'll get a bad grade, and it will be all your fault." (My fault. Not my son's.)
Me: "It's a risk I'm willing to take. Put on a jacket." (She doesn't.)
I'd like to point out that while my children think it's perfectly acceptable to lally-gag and or negotiate when I ask for something to be done, the same does not apply for them. So when my son needs new turf shoes for the indoor soccer tournament the next day I'm expected to hop in the car, pronto, so he can drive me to Dick's Sporting Goods. And when my daughter wants the new rubber animal bracelets that everyone at school has, I'm expected to swing by the dollar store, regardless of whatever else I had planned, pass her some cash, then sit in the car (while the groceries melt in the back) and act like I don't know her. (Unless she sees someone she's wants to avoid, in which case I am allowed to exit the vehicle to purchase the bracelets for her.)
I know people survive this parenting thing, but it amazes me how most manage to do it without developing a noticible twitch, or suffering a debilitating mental collapse, or winding up in prison.
I guess I manage like most other good parents, with a sense of humor! (Usually after the fact!)
For those of you with grown children, did you survive unscathed? For those parents still in the trenches, do you blame your gray hairs on your children? Or do you visit the salon? For those of you not yet blessed with children, please disregard this post!
- It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
- A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
- You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
- Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
- Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
- I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan