Small Talk


December 28th, 2012

Olivia and I have shared some surprisingly deep conversations over folding clothes. One time when I asked for help, she said she didn't want to do it, preferring to watch TV.

"What if I want time off to watch TV, too? Come here and fold your clothes," I scolded.

She came whining. "But why? I don't feel like it."

"I'm not your maid, I'm your mother. That means it's not my job to clean up after you, it's my job to teach you to clean up after yourself," I said. "You need to know how to do these things. Do you know that one day, you're going to grow up and be the mommy and have to do this for your kids?"

This was a shocking revelation. She sat there looking at me like I just told her there was no Santa.

"Will I still live here?" she asked.

"If I'm lucky, you'll be very close to me," I answered.

That seemed to work. She started folding.

Second episode: she came happily to the folding station, and was quite good about selecting all her clothes, folding them nicely, and putting them away properly. I check her work.

We had not one but TWO baskets of clean clothes. Olivia balked when I dumped out the second basket. "TWO? So much!" she commented.

"Yes, but you're my good little helper," I assured.

"I know... you wanted to have a baby because you wanted a helper!" Olivia declared.

She got me. Cat's out of the bag. Yes, I wanted free child labor. Partially and poorly done  simple tasks that require nagging and constant supervision: That's totally worth no free time for myself and some sleepless nights.

"Um, no," I laughed.

"Well, aren't I helpful?" she insisted.

"Mostly. But babies aren't helpful. They take a lot of work and they don't do anything except look cute in return," I smiled.

She looked crestfallen, so I saved it with, "But you're not a baby anymore, so yes, you are very helpful. You still require a lot of work, though."

"I do?" she said. It's funny to hear how they think. Like folding five shirts and feeding the pets in the morning is really going to carry the day.

"Mommy and Daddy do a lot to take care of you every day. But we love having you complete our family," I said. "You are a lot of work, but in return, you give us joy and happiness, and we're glad you're here."

"And love," Olivia reminded.

Yes. And love.

2 Responses to “Helper”

  1. Rosette:

    yes....give it five years and she can do her own laundry...funny...! I put laundry basket in my boys room and my husband he does his own laundry too..yes I GOT SMART....! OH one day I told my husband he can do I left everything in the sink all piled husband figured I left him things to do with food stuck to the pot..well I don't think he realize food do get stuck and dishes will pile up if you don't clean right my next move teach that idiot to put water in the coffee maker and put that water through the machine ....I cannot believe he put the pot on the coffee hot plate and he was waiting for the water to get hot..half hour later he was still standing there...I was waiting to see if he catch on....finally I told him....YOU are suppose to pour it into the coffee much for my training everybody I didn't teach them how to use the coffee husband was sick so he wanted hot water....our HOT AND COLD water filter machine was broken only the cold works usually we just use that machine for hot water and cold for the dogs I figure the fastest way to make hot water was using the coffee maker...we hardly drink coffee I am in my lazy mode I cook everything SLOW COOKER less dishes...yes 21 years of training my husband finally I RELAX let him do things and I laugh watch t.v.! YES kids lucky I tiraned my oldest to help around he does the grocery shopping and errands etc etc...YOU HAVE TO TRAIN KIDS so you can relax watch t.v like me my lazy butt!

  2. Rosette:

    the best part when the kids can finally drive so they can run errands for me while I relax.....if you train a kid properly they will be asset and you want them to stay home longer so they can push my wheel chair and cook my supper.......OMG FUNNY! YEs in our house I train the boys to be helpful..I don't up crap from kids.

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