Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Everybody wants to rule the world



It’s quite obvious that society is in for a world of hurt if my 7-year-old son is any indication.

“Mooooooom,” my son wailed down the stairs one morning. In that way kids do, stretching out the one-syllable word into 17 and ending with a serious whine.

I, however, have no problem being succinct.

“What?!” I hollered back, walking around the corner and looking up the stairs.

“I can’t do it,” he said, shaking his head sadly. “I just can’t do it.”

“What? Speak Latin?” I answered. “Don’t worry. It’s hard to speak and why the Roman Empire fell. You know, that and its destructive need to rule the world, ultimately owing its collapse to internal greed and outside forces.”

Silence.

My son rolled his eyes. It’s not the first time I failed to take his concerns seriously, instead making some obscure historical reference to distract him from what was undoubtedly a not-so-serious situation.

It’s a very useful tool. Waaaaaay more effective than that listening with empathy crap.

He held up a blanket, “I’m having trouble making my bed today.”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “What’s so hard about it? You straighten the sheets, fix the pillow then cover it with the quilt. VOILA! Done.”

And just before I turned to head back down the hallway I heard this, “But this blanket is soooooo heavy!”

Oh, for the love of God and all that is holy. This right here is why our nation is in trouble.

I turned back around and stomped up the stairs. I grabbed the blanket from his hands, marched into his room and proceeded to show him just how darn easy it is to make a twin-sized bed.

“See?” I finished, waving a hand in the direction of one newly-made bed. “No problem.”
He gave me a thumbs up, a smile and replied, “Great job, Mom.” Then he turned and ran for the hills.

Son-of-a-biscuit. He got me.

I think it’s safe to say he’s got a future in management.

***

And let’s not even talk about laundry.

....

OK. Let’s talk about laundry.

I decided it was time Tom Sawyer learned to put away his own laundry.

I’d still clean his clothes, I told him. I’m not ready to have entire loads ruined ‘cuz he poured in bleach rather than fabric softener.

Some wounds, you know, never heal.

“But you are more than capable of putting away your own laundry,” I lectured.

Because he’s made it through to the final World 9 on Super Mario Brothers. I, however, can’t get past the beginning stage of World 1 without getting squashed by one of those mushroom-looking things.

So the little stinker has achieved some level of hand-eye coordination that is beyond my own capability.

I walked into his bedroom with a basket of freshly laundered clothes. I placed it on the floor and instructed, “Get after it.”

He looked at me.

He looked at the basket.

Then he looked back up at me.

“I think I’d rather learn Latin,” he snarked.

I shot him the Mom Look then walked away, wondering why people have kids.

Oh, I remember.

In case you lose the TV remote, you have someone to get up and change the channel.

At least that’s what my dad always said.

***

I walked into my son’s bedroom a short time later and proceeded to see red.

Pants spread out all over the bed. Socks and underwear scattered on the floor, shirts hanging off the top bunk and hangers were everywhere.

He at least had the shame to hang his head, “I had a little trouble.”

“‘A little trouble’?” I repeated and waved my arms around the room in disbelief. “It looks like the Death Star blew up in here!”

He briefly smiled at my “Star Wars” reference but then got serious again after looking at my unsmiling face.

I picked up the nearest pair of undies and shook them, “These are clean! CLEAN! You do NOT throw CLEAN CLOTHES on the FLOOR!”

I grumbled something about training monkeys and huffily began snapping items off the floor and shoving them into drawers and jerking shirts onto hangars and jamming them onto the rod in the closet.

And then I stopped.

What the heck am I doing?

I slowly turned around, dropped the shirt onto the floor and told my son, “No, you do it.” 

Then I walked away.

He’s not the only one who can be management. 

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