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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Learning Life Skills

It needs to be said now at the beginning here; I am not and likely never will be much of a homemaker.  It's a fact.  But I have a daughter; therefore I needs must teach her SOME life skills of homemaking and sitch.  This summer I have been attempting to do that. 

We are transitioning her laundry into her responsibility.  I still help a bit, but she does most of it.

This morning I had her put it in the washer and then we went down to visit my mom.  (Who is doing quite well, BTW, though it's routine that she forgets to take her meds.  Which story is for another blog post perhaps.)

My mom, after a bit of chitchat, inquired about our activities for the day.  I told her we'd harvested our onions, weeded in the garden a bit, and played with the dog.  But we needed to go home so Ellen could hang out her laundry.

My mom was puzzled: "Ellen needs to hang out HER laundry?"

"Yes." I said.  "She's learning how to do her own laundry."

Mom:  "Why does she have to do her own laundry?  I always just did your laundry and all of it all together."

Me: "Yes, I know, Mom.  That's why I reached age 20 and had no clue how to do my own laundry.  This is not happening with my child."

Seriously.

Ellen giggled and my mom laughed.  As she does at every thing, serious or not.     
 
I distinctly remember one morning, way back when, when Mom was at work, I had the morning off from college classes and I thought I'd do some laundry.  I was quite proud of myself for figuring out the washing machine and getting a load done.  I remember being a bit crushed at my mom's rather irritated comment as to how I could have been doing it all along.  Ha!  True enough.  But I was never forced to learn how and was never given regular chores to accomplish.

I had an ideal childhood.  True, I did plenty of outside choring around; cutting kindling and hauling wood was a year round job. I remember working hours in the garden, weeding, hand-plowing, harvesting, shucking corn, picking peas by the wheelbarrow load, shelling them, trapping gophers...  But as far as day to day chores; laundry, housecleaning...I had little to no part of it.  And very little got done.  I am not trying to pick on my mom here, or criticize her parenting, but I do want to make sure that Ellen grows up knowing how to do the things that I had to struggle to learn on my own...and am still struggling with this day to a certain respect. 

I am not going to overload Ellen with responsibilities, but as she masters one chore or skill I am going to add another.  She's going to know how to cook when she gets into her teens, how to do laundry, run a vacuum cleaner...etc. 

I have very little self-discipline of my own, so trying to teach my daughter is a challenge for me, but I am persevering at it.  

Thanks:  I am thankful for a daughter who realizes that she needs to learn how to take care of herself, even though she does protest at times.  I am thankful that I am aware enough of that need to force myself to teach her, even though I have to endure her occasional prolonged protests.  I am thankful that I can spend the time with her teaching her these things instead of someone else teaching her.  I am thankful that my mom can laugh at the past even when I make snarky remarks.  I am thankful that my mom didn't catch my snarky remark.  I am thankful for the wonderful onion harvest that we got today. 

2 comments:

grannyG said...

I drew pictures of buttons to use on the washer. I posted them low, so my 4 and 5 year old children could learn which ones to use. My kids did their own wash since they were very small. You are doing the right thing. Young people today don't know how to hang wash on the clothes line, how to sweep a floor, how to wash windows, how to polish shoes, or sew a button on. I think Miss Ellen has a lot to learn, and you have lots to teach her so she can go with confidence into the big world. I am proud of you.

Calfkeeper said...

Thank you grannyG. I know I am not a perfect parent by any means, but I try to get some things right at least.