The kids are used to everything being done for them. It’s not the way we imagined raising our children. When we joined the Foreign Service, we said that even though we had help we would still make our kids do stuff.
Most times, though, things are done for them. Especially in the Philippines where work days are Monday through Saturday and the only day without a helper at the house is Sunday.
It wasn’t working though. Not only will Malachi have more respect for our home if he helps keep it up, but he’ll learn independence. He’ll gain confidence in himself when he masters a task. He’ll feel so much better about himself and he’ll be able to have control over how he completes his tasks (as long as it’s finished correctly, I care not how it’s done…truly!).
So a decision was made over the week to have Malachi help with more stuff around the house. No longer will picking his wet towel and dirty clothes off the floor be a “sometimes” chore.
Tonight, I taught him how to rinse dishes. Though one plate was dropped a short distance, nothing was broken. I even let him rinse the glass and stoneware against my original objections.
I remember being taught how to do the dishes. I may have been older than Malachi. I don’t know. But I remember enjoying it at first. I felt so grown up. I wonder how long Malachi will enjoy it.
I wanted him to do well and gain confidence. And I knew since it was his first lesson I had to be pretty calm about it all. So even though the plates aren’t laid out the way I’d like, I let it go. They’re drying, and they’re all in one piece. I’d say that’s a win.
As I stood next to my oldest child and did dishes with him, I didn’t mourn the loss of his childhood. I rejoiced in the knowledge that soon, I’d have a free laborer who would be doing them all on his own while I was sitting and relaxing.
And now it occurs to me that I, eventually, will have three free laborers who will do everything for me. Unless I’m dreaming. If you’re going to dream, dream big. Right?