I’ve learned yet another parenting lesson the hard way. Again. I’m sharing so that you might learn from my mistakes and so that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to remember the lesson for the future.
The lesson is this: It is always easier to teach your children a lesson when you are healthy than when you feel like crap.
I came home from Florida late Saturday to a house that was clean and to laundry which had all been cleaned, folded, and put away. (No, really. It happened.) Ed the Awesome had been going like crazy all week long! The house looked amazing, the boys were still healthy, happy, and clean, and he had worked a grueling week at the office. I came home, unpacked, and relaxed some more.
Total bliss for me and even though I was able to take some of the load off Ed, he was still tired. His body was worn down! He went to bed early and woke up early on Monday to go to work. He was home by 9:00 that morning and slept all day. He took himself to the local emergency room Tuesday morning and I met him there. Hours later and bags of IV fluids later, we were home and he was back in bed, feeling only slightly better.
I was exhausted by the end of the day and yet, the boys still had to have a parent available. I sat on the couch nearly comatose from exhaustion with the television set to cartoons for the boys while they played on their computers. Late in the evening, the boys announced that they were hungry which I should’ve expected since they usually eat at that time of the day. I did the lazy thing and told the boys to get themselves something to eat. I taught them to use the microwave a few months back and Logan made good use of that skill, but Trip went searching through the refrigerator and found some fresh broccoli he wanted to eat along with some ranch dressing. I told him to cut up the broccoli and he said, “How?” It was a fair question since the boy has never cut up a vegetable.
I told him to grab a knife and told him where to cut the broccoli. He picked out a butter knife and managed to not maim himself. He ate every last bit of that broccoli and loved it! If I had not been exhausted and on my way to also getting sick, I wouldn’t have dreamed of telling Trip to cut up his own broccoli. But I was exhausted. And the next day I alternated between freezing and burning up.
Now that I’m feeling better again, it’s time for each boy to have a lesson in cutting up their vegetable of choice while supervised so that when I do feel bad again, I can have them get their own dinner ready and not have to worry about them while they’re using a knife.