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Monday, 29 December 2014

Why A Certain Kid Got Weird Pressies for Christmas

In 1998, when STS was ten, his Christmas pressies included an adult cookbook and a complete tool kit. I told him I did not want him to grow up being a helpless male. His daddy's idea of fixing something was calling in a handyman. Well, I ended up fixing things, like loose doorknobs, toilet handles and bulbs, blinds, both Roman and Venetian, and various things in the kitchen. I also did all the painting and decorating.

STS can do tons of useful stuff, plus he makes computers.

Well, a kid does not have to grow up helpless. We also had jars of screws, nails, bolts, nuts and other bits, never throwing out what could be useful. We had two drawers, called "Miscellaneous Drawers" of things to re-use and for fixing up other things-like those extra metal clips one gets in Pier One flat furniture for example.

We can fix most small things and figure out bigger things. We ripped old carpet off of oak floors and redid them with rubbing and wax. We decorated with wallpaper and paint and stencils. We stripped doors or other things, fixed back and front steps, drawers, various bits of furniture and so on.

We could fix broken phones, radios, and tvs. It is in the blood, I think, to do such things, but parents have to let kids experiment and have fun making and mending things.

We had two large sets of drawers with computer pieces and bits to fix printers and speakers.

Why not?

One learns to be creative as well as handy. I taught myself rosemaling and stenciling, painting, and removing wallpaper, stripping doors, sanding and varnishing. (I do have a background in studying art, but my dad let me help do such things).

Fun, and good therapy for intellectuals.

I heard a parent say that he did not want his boys to learn how to do manual labor.


STS has helped me lay out four flower gardens from scratch, lay a patio down in the back, make a stone garden path, put up fencing, build a shrine, make alpine and rock gardens, in addition to herbal borders and work with trees and bushes.

He can clean drains, clean outside gutters, fix windows, and basically figure out what he does not know.

Why? Math and physics, plus a mom who wanted him to be capable.

Such skills teach patience, logic, and give confidence to kids.

To be a snob an not let your child do anything creates an adult child.....

We can cook Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Tex-Mex, Ukrainian, Czech, Indian, English and American.

Giving STS a cookbook opened up a new love for him-cooking. And we learned how to work together in the kitchen without killing each other-a real feat.

Part of cooking is learning to shop for food, and I hear from the diocesan grapevine, that such a skill is desired in the rectories where that certain sem has worked.

To know kale from lettuce from romaine from chicory from lolla rosa from radicchio is a learned skill, as well as learning how to use spices.

Well, you all get the point. Of course, as a Montessori mother, I let STS cut carrots when he was two, pour real liquids using glass jugs and cups, and basically hit the sensitive time for learning practical skills an fine motor movement skills. Toddlers can help with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner prep, including oiling down or buttering down the turkey and making cookies and fruit breads. Two to three year olds can chop peppers, cut celery and carrot sticks, pour water into the glasses, help make stuffing, mash potatoes and so on. They can also grind herbs and cut green spring onions.

Being a mom is fun, and having a child who can do things is also fun.....

What happened to parents?