Our kids are now 13, 12, and 9, and Sir Monkeypants and I have been talking about how to make them more independent. There’s the teaching of skills, like cooking and cleaning and doing laundry, but there’s also an awareness issue – the ability to think ahead to what they need to do, and make time to do it. The ability to know they have a job to do – without being told – and to be able to gather all they need to do it, and make it so.
This weekend we spent just one night at my youngest sister’s house in Toronto for Thanksgiving. Since it was only one night, I didn’t do a lot of my usual packing Super Hardcore Anal Ninja work, where I create lists upon lists and pre-cook all our food and double check everything. On the day before we left I casually told the kids to go upstairs and pack their stuff. On their own.
HA HA HA HA. Laugh at my folly!
Each kid was to pack one change of clothes, one pair of jammies, one toiletries bag, one sleeping bag, and one single sleeping pad or mattress.
One kid with two PJ tops, and no bottom.
One kid with no top part to her change of clothes, and because she’d been wearing a fancy dress the day before, ended up coming home in her PJ top.
One kid with no toiletries bag – likely left behind at scouts camp, DON’T GET ME STARTED – and so cobbled together a makeshift bag missing half the usual stuff.
One camp mattress with no fan thingy to blow it up.
One camp mattress that was a double, which doesn’t fit in any of my sister’s guest rooms.
No camp pad at all for the third kid.
We survived and everything, but still. It seems we are not quite at the independence stage quite yet.