"Here can you hold this blanket for a second?"
"Can you go get his other shoe?"
"Would you run this to the kitchen for me?"
It's a habit, deeply ingrained into me after these years of herding children around. I am constantly directing. In my mind there is a goal, be it getting outside the door with all the children or getting a meal on the table, and all things around me must be directed to this end.
If an able-bodied child comes near me, I immediately acknowledge his presence by incorporating him into the greater plan. I give him a job. This not only keeps his hands out of trouble for a moment but (theoretically) moves us that one tiny step closer to the ultimate goal.
I'm worried that this is becoming an addiction of sorts. I find myself doing this to my husband, and even to children that are not mine, should they come near me in a moment when I am oriented toward a specific goal.
"Could you hand me my phone?"
"Here, put this sock in the laundry."
"Can you please zip that for him?"
It's not that I am lazy. I am already using my entire mind and body to get the job done, but my mind and body do not ever seem to get caught up. If the children can help, then they shall help. If I could command the very angels and the cosmos to help orchestrate the staggering march towads the van for an outing, I would command them.
But I can't.
So I warn you, friends, if you come near me, I will probably give you a job. I just can't help it. There is work to be done.
For more like this see Imperfect Homemaking or How to Keep a Sense of Humor
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