Wednesday, January 9, 2019

I'm outsourcing parenting to Max

We have an ongoing issue in our family, and it is called "getting everyone out the door." Every single time, especially in the mornings, it's like we have never done it before. Oops! Forgot my basketball jersey. Honey, did you know where backpack with the diapers is? OK, go to the bathroom. Yes, I'll grab a snack. Fine, not that one. Etc etc etc.

Sabrina is particularly challenged with morning departures, as she herself will admit. This causes a fair amount of stress in our household, especially during times when Dave is traveling and she absolutely has to make her bus because I absolutely have to catch the train to work. It's resulted in morning tears and shouting, and makes an already-busy time of day downright awful. Despite having all her stuff ready the night before (usually) (mostly) (though sometimes not), she inevitably has to change her outfit or brush her hair one more time because: teen. And because, like many teens, she likes to dawdle. Getting her up out of bed is a whole other issue; even blasting Barry Manilow hasn't worked.

Max hates drama—well, other than the kind he causes. And so when Sabrina and I have stand-offs about lateness, he gets stressed. Finally, when Dave was away recently, Max decided to take matters into his own hands. First, he walked into her room and announced "Sabrina, get up NOW!" and then, as she got ready, he kept checking in on her and saying "Sabrina, you have to leave soon!" Because she didn't want to upset Max, she kinda-sorta listened to him and got ready more quickly than usual. I seriously loved it, not just because I didn't have to deal but because anything that helps Max feel empowered is a Good Thing.

Max has been acting more mature lately. He recently convinced Sabrina to see a movie with him. Max has basically watched over Ben since he was born. Because Ben is three and very bossy lately ("YOU HELP ME GUILD A LEGO TOWER NOW!!!), he's been giving Max some 'tude. Last night, when Max came into his room at bedtime and asked for a kiss as we were reading, Ben said "No, I'm busy right now." Max just laughed it off.

There are definitely times in the last couple of years where my older kids have been the parent. Max is awesome at reminding me about upcoming events, the need for me to fill out paperwork and where my phone is located. Last night, Sabrina informed me it was the last day to order school pictures. She also likes to chastise me when she doesn't think I'm doing a good job with Ben. Thank God I had kids so they can keep me in line!

The other day, we were getting ready to go out and I decided to outsource nudging to Max. "Max, can you please tell Sabrina we have to leave soon?" I asked. He happily scooted up the stairs and said to Sabrina, "Let's go!" quite commandingly.

So from now on, I'm outsourcing parenting to Max. The end.

1 comment:

  1. Times when they're more up on it than your parenting peers and they have the inside running on what actually does work and doesn't work in the household and outside.

    I don't know how my 14-year-old self would have responded to an elder brother's morning greetings [or someone who showed brotherly - and fatherly! - love that way].

    She might have liked "now" "soon" and "let's go" - shows that the person is as interested [invested] in your success as you are and the whole experience.

    An elder brother who is a drama-free presence is a great gift. Especially an empowered and mature one when you might be feeling messy and insecure yourself and like pushing and testing.

    Hope the pictures are wonderful!

    And I love the idea of a Lego guild build! Next week in Oz there is Brickvention and various guilds find and test their builds.

    That door is definitely a vortex.


Thanks for sharing!

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