I am not raising children.
Indeed, I am not.
Or, at the very least, it is my aim to not raise children.
I am, at lesat I hope, raising adults.
Capable, socially aware, life-skilled male type adults.
Sometimes I am faced with the very real possibility of serious failure in this goal, but mostly, I think I’m doing okay.
Mostly, they are okay.
The two older ones learnt to cook dinner at the age of ten, and they have been responsible for a variety of tasks like putting away their clothes, and stacking/unstacking the dishwasher from the tender age of three or four.
Sending them off to the mines is no longer an option, so doing the dishwasher it has to be.
Given the time-pooredness of their father and I, and the billionty things we need to think about, a fair portion of which revolves around the three of them in varying degrees, they have been tasked with a few additional chores around the house.
Cleaning their bathroom, for the levels of testosterone and stray piss on both fathomable and unfathomable surfaces was my, personal, excuse. I blahed at them about my not using the bathroom and them gaining life skills and if I got hit by a bus, then where would they be left?
Washing their towels and sheets, managing the rubbish, mopping and vaccuuming, and doing their own washing of clothes has more recently been added … tasks, I believe they are not only capable of, but will go towards them turning into some sort of capable adult at some point.
Even if … and yes, I have heard this in relation to others, and have had it directed at me … even if I clearly don’t love them because kids deserve “unconditional love” and I’m a little unclear about the connection between teaching them some vital, albeit first world, skills, and loving them.
Anyhoo, we have serious failure in understanding the concept of not resorting to the use of electronic devices, like the laptop or iPad, until what needs to be done is actually done.
I was forced to not only install a whiteboard in a high-visual area, remove the hilarity of the word “poo” written on it anonymously some 73 times, request that the children grow up and stop using my whiteboard to satisfy their infantile desires, and use it for something sensible.
In fact, I wrote them a very, very clear message.
NO wifi, laptops, iPods, iPads, iPhones, TV or use of any other electronic devices until the below jobs are completed!
I even added an addendum, just to ensure the point was made. It read:
Do not piss me off!
It lasted two days before someone actually read it.
A further 17 seconds and it became the victim of a tweenager and a teenager.
Firstly, a simple swipe of a finger and the request to “piss me off” was made.
Hysterical, infantile laughter alerted me to the fact that more editing of my instructions had occurred …
Clearly, however, I am an idiot (and not just trying to pretend I am) and further stupidity and infantility and a range of other similar behaviours was required and my simple requests to just do the bloody jobs before doing fuck all went from appropriate to highly inappropriate for the age group concerned …
I said a few very serious, very responsible-adult-type words.
Most were drowned in the peels of pantswetting, fart causing, pre- and present-teen laughter.
I did wonder at that point whether my entire life was futile.
I cleared the board.
And spent the next few days repeatedly asking “who wrote ‘poo’ on the whiteboard this time?”, walking through washing that’s been hanging on the line for five and a half days, and trying to fend off bits of rubbish that cascased out of the bin every time I try to put something in it …