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The Real Reason My Kids Will Learn to Be Responsible

This is Rory wearing Lily’s shorts for soccer. Rory is wearing Lily’s shorts for soccer because although I noticed this morning that she was wearing long pants, I promptly forgot, and although I brought everyone’s shirts and shin guards and cleats, I forgot to bring her shorts, and I also forgot all three soccer balls.

In theory, they should pack for soccer themselves. But I have a hard enough time overseeing the packing of lunches and backpacks. I know, they should just know there is soccer, and prep it all themselves the night before, and do lunches, all without prompting. I get that that is the goal. But one thing at a time, and for us, the one thing is backpacks and lunches. Unless I specifically tell you to do it, the assumption is still that I will get the day’s sports gear.

Except that I suck at it. Rory is wearing Lily’s shorts because Lily wanted to be nice. Lily is wearing Rory’s pants. No one has a ball. I also dropped Sam off his lacrosse bag, and God only knows what I forgot for that. I have been known to forget everything from clothes (meaning one plays in one’s school dress code pants and collared shirt) to sticks to water. I try to be organized. I am basically not, and sports gear just really isn’t on my radar.

So while an excellent goal would be to have the kids learn to take their own things because we ask it of them, and require that the accept the consequences of forgetting, the truth is that after they are forced to accept the consequences of MY forgetting over and over, I suspect they will be only too ready to take it on.

It also developed, after we came home, that last night, after we had friends over to dinner and so I told the kids that I would do lunches if they cleaned up outside and in the basement, that while they kept their part of the bargain, I packed Lily’s lunch in Rory’s bag and Rory’s lunch in Lily’s bag. Which worked out ok for Rory (because Lily needs not just lunch but a snack and so although not all the food would have been to her liking, there was plenty to choose from) but not for poor Lily, because Rory doesn’t eat much, gets a snack at 10:00 and leaves school at 12:45, so her lunches are tiny. It won’t be long before they won’t even want me to help.
KJ Dell’Antonia
sent from my iPhone




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