Parenting of Least Resistance

by Jen on January 11, 2008

in Lowering the bar for mothers everywhere,The Boys in the Wood

The other day I was lying on the couch while the Monkeyboy played with his balls. (No, not those ball. Get your mind out of the gutter.) The boy has a serious ball fetish, like my sister-in-law’s cocker spaniel used to have. The ball of preference varies from week to week or month to month. For example, over the summer, he took to sleeping with his football. He decided on his own that this was something he wanted to do, and since a football in his crib seemed very low of the scale of things-that-should-never-be-put-into-cribs-with-young-children, the Hubster and I figured, Why not? We did comment to each other that we would have been embarrassed should anyone outside the family find out, lest it seem like we were deliberately trying to craft the next generation Joe Montana. We have no plans to be that kind of parent.

As the school year progressed, he abandoned the football for a variety of other, more hand-sized models. Currently, he prefers tennis balls, whiffle golf balls (yeah, the regular golf balls didn’t quite work out for him, as he also likes to throw things with the arm of Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh, both in terms of speed and accuracy), and the little plastic cannonball that came with his Fisher Price Pirate Ship this Christmas.

Getting back to my original thought, though, was that as he played in our Great Room with those toy balls, they often found their way beneath our behemoth of a couch. After rousing myself a couple of times to drag them out, I decided that the time had come for my son to learn some skills to allow him to problem solve on his own. I got out his toy broom from the laundry room, and showed him how he could use it to fish things out from under the couch.

You know what they say, Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime. Except my motivations were not quite so altruistic. I just didn’t want to get my tired, pregnant butt up off the couch again.

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