Miss Hap decided to surprise me this morning. She was up pretty early and thought it would be nice if she finished off making my breakfast for me whilst I was having my bath….
Now I am a creature of habit, and routine (I CAN do spontaneous, but it’s not easy)! When I am working,my breakfast consists of a hard-boiled egg, wholemeal pitta bread, and a little cheese sprinkled on top. Anyway I had put my egg on to boil, and halved the pitta, which I shoved in the toaster, then I went up to have a quick bath, by which time everything would be ready.
I came downstairs to be greeted by Miss Hap in her pyjamas looking despondently at my egg, still in its shell on the worktop.
“Sorry Mum, I’ve broken the egg slicer”, she said dejectedly, “but I’ve fixed it with Sellotape!” I followed her gaze to my patched up egg slicer. One of the wires was broken and had been taped securely to a couple of the others, rendering the whole thing pretty useless. I reassured her that it didn’t matter, and for now I would just cut up the egg. I could see that she had thought of that as the egg was positioned on the chopping board with a butter knife close by. This was presumably to cut the egg up through the shell.! I showed her how to crack the egg in order to peel the shell off, which she did for me chunking off quite a bit of the white with it, in the process. What was left of the egg, I divided into the two pitta halves!
I have made a bit of a rod for my own back by not teaching Miss hap to do any chores, and I suppose at 11 years old she should be helping out around the house. I know me and my sisters certainly had to at her age; that is partly why I have left it so long for her.
Due to her inheriting my clumsiness, I have not allowed her as yet to wash or dry the dishes unless there is anything unbreakable, as I didn’t want all my crockery landing up in a smashed heap! she is allowed to make cups of tea and coffee (that is a MUST in our family) but doesn’t bring in the finished drink as she worries that she will get burnt! The one time she did bring it in she used the oven gloves (she is high on initiative, if not common sense)!
She doesn’t have to do any vacuuming (I worry that either the vacuum will get bashed to smithereens or the furniture will), She will sometimes help me hang out the washing though (well she will hand me the pegs at least)and on the odd occasion has helped me clean the bathroom. Other than that, she doesn’t even run her own bath, as again she worries that she might burn her hand on the hot tap, and knowing her, I worry too, so do it for her!
I think I probably mollycoddle her a bit too much; I must admit I am surprised when I know some kids get up and make themselves breakfast, which my daughter never does as, left to her own devices, she would raid the crisps or something.I don’t want her to grow up too fast, but neither do I want her not to be able to do anything for herself when she is older.
What do you think? Is 11 too young for chores?