This morning, I told my seven year old Soleil to clean her room before we started school.
First, she made a chart.
Next, she spent fifteen minutes looking for a clipboard to hold her chart.
Then, she sat down with her Bible. When I raised my eyebrow at her, she explained that Bible was first on her chart, and we haven’t done Bible yet today, and of course she can’t start her day without it.
Now this kid loves her Bible, but I’ve never seen a more intensely devoted reading session.
Forty minutes later, I’m enjoying my third cup of coffee and not saying a word.
The laundry basket I set in front of her door for her to fill and bring to the laundry room is still there. Empty. She is making several “Oh, this is so interesting!” faces as she reads. Coco smiles at me over her head. Soleil is fooling no one.
Because we have nothing pressing this afternoon, I’m going to let her read as long as she wants. She can be pretty stubborn. I can be pretty patient. And hey, if free time rolls around and she’s still doing school, too bad… right?
I know this would drive some people crazy. But I have no problem admitting that sometimes my kids don’t jump when I say jump and I don’t immediately take care of it.
I could yell, scold, punish, insist she start cleaning. I could find some creative way to motivate her. But to be honest, I’m not in the mood today. Let her procrastinate and let her experience some natural consequences. Maybe she’ll miss some playtime later because she’ll be finishing. I hope not. I don’t enjoy these things. Alas, parenting is never easy, is it?
All I have is three words. I’m sorry, Mom.