Even though it can be frustrating waiting for a little miss or sir to work out which of the holes to stick their head into, or which shoe goes on which which foot, you’ve got to keep the big picture in mind – if you want them to stand a chance of meeting that special someone and moving out of the house before you die you’ve got to teach them little things like how to dress themselves and cook two minute noodles so they can survive in the real world. No one is going to date someone whose mum helps them put their undies on before they go out.
And for the record, as much as you love the little cherub now, you WILL want them to move out at some point, if only so you can play some decent music.
As parents, one of the things we try to teach our kids is how to do things for themselves, whether it be making their own beds or dressing themselves.
I have a work colleague who is far better at this than I am. Her daughter has been making her own lunches since prep. My kids don’t seem to know where we keep the lunchboxes – for a while there I’m pretty sure they thought their lunch boxes stayed in their school bags (which stayed in the car) and magically refreshed themselves with food overnight, much like a computer game.
A level of self sufficiency is even more important in a house with this many souls in it. And a house with me in it. I don’t know which dresses belong to which girls – I swear some of Miss17’s clothes look like they’re small enough to fit Miss4.
And although getting them to do stuff for themselves is important it inevitably leads to some amusingly disastrous results. Like today, when Miss4 was making breakfast for herself and Miss2 and she covered herself in milky cereal. Herself, the table, the chair and the balcony.
Funny? Hell yes.
Something she’ll learn from? Well, I’d like to say yes but this isn’t the first time her breakfast has leaped out of the bowl and made a dash for freedom, which is why they were breakfasting on the balcony, so I might get back to you on that in another 14 years.
Wish me luck – she likes listening to Justin Bieber.