This school year has been a plethora of Life Lessons for my offspring.
The biggest one, and likely due to his age, was confronted with a vast array of the Lessons of Life, friendships, and all sorts of things.
I’d like to discuss them, but they are not mine to discuss. Nor, if we want to be technical, are they his. Although, they kind of are. I need to just sit for a moment, for I am swinging wildly between I Have A Moral Obligation To Do Something and Actually, It’s Not My Problem … oh, how thwart with convolution and complexity is Life.
There are other things I can do to assist them in one day becoming responsible, useful men, capable of doing many, many of Life’s things that need doing.
Already they can cook meals. The oldest one can iron business shirts (although not any that belong to myself of Grumpy Pants). They can clean bathrooms and vacuum floors. They are like the slaves I always wanted when I grew up.
Except I have to feed these ones, and I am forbidden from whipping them and making them sleep in the cupboard under the stairs. So not quite as I had dreamed.
The biggest one has recently acquired his own sleeping space. At the great expense of my own working space, which is mostly okay, but at times, really, seriously not okay. Basically, I gave up my office when I was required full time elsewhere, and Grumpy is refusing to dispose of his old bed that is about a hundred years old, and was replaced with a much nicer, much newer, and far more comfortable and better looking in the house. So we have a spare bedroom.
Or did, until Monkey Boy nagged and nagged and we set some conditions, and I am currently persuading them to create their own housework rosters while I type this and they talk utter ridiculous crap at each other. So he has his own room.
Which he is fully repsonsible for in terms of the keeping clean and tidy department.
Actually, he didn’t really.
Because after I stopped laughing, I showed him how to do it properly. So at least he now knows how putting on a doona cover properly looks. Whether he is able to replicate my incredible abilities (I can also fold a fitted sheet, but don’t tell anyone, or they may think I’m a witch) is yet to be seen.
Both he and the middlest one have been doing their own washing. I haven’t yet gone into great detail about removal of stains, with the exception of blood thanks to copious blood noses and boyness, and they ignore most of what I have to say anyway.
I do not hold up much hope for any progress in this department, particulary after a conversation with Monkey Boy. I pointed out the chocolate coloured stain on the front of his shirt.
“Yeah,” he says. “It’s Milo.”
“Do you need me to explain how to remove stains from white t-shirts?” I ask, giving him a confident air that I actually knew how to do this. I actually don’t.
“No. I did what you were supposed to do. I tried to eat it out, but it didn’t work.”
So I went on to teaching Godzilla, the middlest one, about baking, as though I am some sort of goddess when it comes to that, also.
He made the gingerbread dough for the gingerbread house we were having post-Christmas dinner.
“Where are the piping bags?” he asks me when he’s up to the icing bit of the cake.
“In that cupboard there, or the thing over there,” comes my reply. That is, of course, assuming they were returned to their usual place of residence after they were last used, and there is, of course, no guarantee that that is the case at all.
He could not find them, so given Grumpy Pants was the last to use one, I suggested he keep looking, or keep doing something regarding the construction of the gingerbread house until Grumpy Pants returned.
So it was not surprising that .37 seconds after I made this suggestion, he is on the floor, playing on his laptop.
“Just saying,” I say, not really just saying at all. “But lying on the floor playing on your laptop isn’t the best way to look for a missing piping bag. You might, I dunno, have to get off your arse and actually look.”
“It is a good way if I google ‘where’s my piping bag’,” comes the smartarse reply I should really have learnt to expect by now.
And which would be fine if he was actually googling that, but he wasn’t googling anything.
It also turns out that the piping bag had exploded doing gingerbread house making duties last Christmas and we haven’t had one since.
Yes, I think my children have a bright future ahead of them. Don’t you?