I got fed up with my kids pretty early on today. It started out well, with two of them helping me to plant some seeds for an indoor start, but they wandered away, bored, after 10 minutes. I was able to lure E back and she helped me tidy up. N was not interested. And R…
R said “no” to every request I made for her to help. Clean out the car? Nope. Put away the seed starter? Nope. Tidy up last night’s blanket fort mess? Nope. Do some laundry? Get the crumbs out from under the stove? Re-shelve the board games? Nope, nope, and nope.
So I had a serious cuddle and talk with her (and invited N and E to join as well):
“You know the story of the old man who was planting an apple seed, and someone asked him why he’s bothering since he will never eat the apples himself? And he answers that even if he never eats the fruit, his children and grandchildren will?
“Well, everything you have and enjoy is here because someone did work that didn’t necessarily benefit them directly. The entire world works on that basis. People make countries and laws and roads and all kinds of things for future generations.
“You’re old enough now to start planting some seeds of your own. You need to start doing things that help other people, and not just yourself. Understand?”
They nodded solemnly. Only time will tell if they’ve internalized any of that, but I’ve said my piece.
I went out and finished cleaning the car, which at this point meant emptying the basket we had used for last year’s road trip in place of the console (am I the only one who thinks those consoles waste a ton of space?) I won’t go into too much detail; suffice it to say that I found a few things that could be science projects or even the start of penicillin. In the end it was all removed, including the basket, and I cleaned up the console and put it back. And do you know what I found inside?
My old iPhone. The one with music on it that isn’t available on my new iPhone, even though I bought said music from the iTunes store with the same Apple ID. The kids plugged it into the charger and triumphantly told me that it was still working. They’re upstairs right now, happy as the proverbial clams, listening to Ragtime (the musical.) Amazing how much joy they’re getting out of an iPhone 4 with a smashed screen.
Passover begins in 48 hours and aside from buying three cases of matzo and a can of matzo ball mix, I’ve done nothing to prepare. It was my favourite holiday for a long time, but right now it feels like too much work. I asked Mr. December whether, in lieu of reading the maggid section of the haggadah, we could just watch Prince of Egypt with the kids. The point is to tell the story, right?
The evening was going well and I didn’t want to screw that up. Mr. December had an evening meeting for work, so he sequestered himself in his home office. I decided to do the only thing that guarantees the children’s participation and satisfaction. Yes, it was time for a Snacktivity™! We spent the last hour before bedtime making chocolate chip cookies and then eating them (and licking the bowl and spatula, of course.)
It was a good day. Sunshine, productive work, some musical favourites, cookies, and a game. Maybe that needs to be my daily plan from now on.