I don’t know where she gets it. Miss M.
Now, we are blessed with enough financial resources that she has never gone hungry (enforced fasting before dental work not included). She has always had food and shelter and love and art supplies in abundance.
She has the freedom to dream and make big plans. That is a privilege.
But somehow there is a disconnect between her dreams and her reality. This means that every time she is asked to lend a hand she demurs. Every morning she must be told to put her breakfast dish in the sink. Every day she must be reminded to put her dirty clothes in the hamper. Every week she must be cajoled, threatened, bribed, and “helped” into straightening out her bookshelf. Honestly if we had somewhere else to put all the things in the kids’ room I would, just so we didn’t have to fight the fight.
To those who would advise letting her pick the task she likes and do it…do you know what she likes? Cleaning the tub. Guess how many bathtubs we have? One. So once a week for three minutes she helps without griping. Sorry, not enough. I do not expect her to help at a level beyond her capabilities. At all. There is plenty that she can assist with at her skill level, and it goes beyond hanging around the kitchen to peel an occasional carrot.
(Now, Taxman and I are not perfect, or even good, at staying neat and organized, but we pull together for Shabbat or guests, at a minimum.)
Maybe it’s a case of too many fairy tales–via books, not Disney–but we actually had the following conversation the other night:
Me: Who wants to help me make pancakes?
Me: Miss M? Do you want to help us? Do you want to crack the egg?
Miss M: No. I’d rather watch TV.
Me: Watching TV isn’t an option right now. [It isn’t most weekdays. Between homework and baths and dinner and book time and all the other things that happen between 4 and 7, it usually doesn’t happen.] Why don’t you help us? You can read the recipe. Cooking is an important skill.
Miss M: But I’m going to have servants.
Miss M: When I am rich.
Me: Well, you’ve got to have a plan B. That means if things don’t work out the way you think they will, you can still make pancakes.
I just…I just don’t know. Somehow I am sure that I am failing her, and my values, in some way. When does the princess come back to Earth? How do I ease her comeuppance? Because you know there has to be one; there always is.
(And we do discuss how having money means that you have to give a lot of money to charity and help other people. She claims she is going to be offering free art lessons to poor children.)