Over Lemonade on the 4th of July
by Rachel Creager Ireland
Having a glass of lemonade with R, who is 9.
Me: Wow, Daddy’s done half the chore chart today. I planted some tomatoes.
R: I’m the only one who hasn’t done anything helpful. [After this conversation, she made lunch for herself, her sister, and me.]
Me: No, you’re not the only one.
R: K helped you plant.
Me: She did very little. I sent her back in.
R: Why did you send her in?
Me: It’s like she’s in this stage where she really wants to be helpful and independent and do things for herself, but when I give her a job, it’s too hard, or she can’t do it perfectly the first time, and she whimpers and gives up. It’s driving me crazy. Do you have any thoughts about this?
Me: Have you ever been in a stage like this? [Yes, she has, but I wanted her to think about it and remember how it felt. Maybe she would have some insight that would give me something to work with with her younger sister.]
R: I don’t know, because I can’t tell when it’s happening.
Me: I could be in this kind of stage right now and not even know it.
This, of course, is exactly the case. I don’t know what to do about myself any more than the kids.
Happy Independence Day, friends.