Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't Put Des-cartes Before the Horse

"I think, therefore I am. . .entitled." Rene Descartes' teenagers

I think that the parking lot at Wally World provides a good lesson in personal responsibility.

For years, now, it has been the privilege of the kid-on-hand to return the shopping basket to the designated area. We used it, therefore we should put it up. I guess you could say that I'm a big proponent of the philosophy that "descartes" go in "descartes return."

Yesterday, the task fell to 7th Heaven. She patiently waited while I unloaded my purchases into the Mombus, then took charge, "I've got this, Mom!"

"Watch for cars!"

She bopped back from her duties and loaded and locked herself into the seat. "Look at all those carts, Mom! Why don't people put them up?"

There were three carts in the empty space in front of my vehicle, and others scattered about the lot. "Well, dear, some people don't exercise personal responsibility. Do you know what that means?"

"It means taking care of your business, right Mommy?"

"Ex-spactly!" she giggled. The giggling ceased when I continued, "Kind of like keeping your room clean, picking up your Barbies off the living room floor, hanging up your towel. . ."

I looked up in the rear view in time to catch the eye roll.

She comes by it honestly. Her brothers and sister have their own issues with personal responsibility.

This morning, I prodded Halfway Between (10 & 20) from the comfort of his "sleep taco" (he wraps himself in the blanket, it's kinda cute) and sent him to put the Recycling can at the curb. "Son, it's your responsibility to get it out there. I know I've only mentioned this a few gazillion times. . ."

"Yes ma'am. . ."

"And stop on the way back to bed and put the dishes you used last night into the dishwasher."

"Yes ma'am. . ."

"And then you can pick up the clothes on your floor. . ."

He looked at me like I was Satan, then headed out on his appointed rounds.

You'd think after fifteen years, or seventeen years, or even twenty-one years of fairly consistent prodding, they'd get the idea that Mom isn't going to relent on the issue of personal responsibility. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments of weakness.

But, like Erma Bombeck says, "I'm going to stop punishing my children by saying, 'Never mind, I'll do it myself!'"

Hang in there, and have fun!

1 comment:

  1. A cyber high five to personal responsibility! Yep, it's so easy to say, "I'll do it myself." When I do it myself, I just get angry because I did. Go figure!