Growing up the only child of a single mom there was no end to the amount of chores I learned to do. Laundry, cooking dinner for myself at age 12 while my mom worked the night shift at the hospital, and mowing the lawn were just a few of the things I became comfortable with as a kid. Without a man in the house there was no other option---if it had to be done we needed to do it ourselves.
If something broke we fixed it (usually with medical tape and/or crazy glue), and if we couldn't fix it then we made it work until it became out of date (like the television with the foil antennae) or we could afford a new one (which wasn't very often).
My mom was an independent, strong woman---still is. She never made me think that because I was a girl I couldn't put together a 6x6 entertainment center or learn how to change a tire. I know my way around a tool box, and secretly get a rush of excitement anytime I enter a hardware store. Now don't get me wrong I'm no master carpenter, but I'm pretty confident in my handyman...or should I say handywoman skills.
I believe we attract into our life the people we need to bring us balance. For my husband, who lets just say is lacking the "fix-it" gene, meeting me was the best thing that ever happened to him.
OK maybe I'm being a little harsh....nah I'm spot on. You see my hubby is great at handling a lot of the less glamorous chores around our house. I never have to take out garbage and recycling, power wash the house, or mow his precious lawn. And for that, I thank him.
But, he would be the first to admit when hardware needs to be hung for curtains, the baseboard heating vents need to be secured to the wall, or ANYTHING needs to be assembled, I'm your gal.
It really doesn't bother me. Like I said I love fixing things. I feel such pride when I can step back and say "I did that".
So when it comes to my boys I should have suspected I would be the one to pass down the "golden hammer". I just had no idea I would be teaching them to fix things THEY broke. I should've known better.
The other day I was downstairs and heard lots of running, followed by the loud crash, of what I figured was the baby gate in the hallway upstairs.
When I came up to inspect the shenanians Bryson and Tyler were up to I came across a long jagged dent scraped into the wall next to where the gate used to stand. I got some long winded story about who did what, and how it was an accident, blah, blah, blah. Usually, I'm pretty calm about the daily mayhem my boys inflict on my house, but this gash in the drywall was just plain disrespectful.
We had a conversation about how their father and I work hard to get and maintain our home and by them damaging it like a bunch of hooligans was plain rude. I then notified them that they would be responsible for repairing and painting the wall.
Well you would have though I told them I was going to dip their feet in hot grease!
Tyler: "No mom, come on! That's a little harsh."
Bryson: "But I don't know how to spackle!"
I didn't care. They can't think its ok to destroy what we work hard for and then expect us to fix it. Besides a little spackling never killed anyone.
So today I made a trip to the hardware store (YAY) and after giving them a shirt tutorial, they went to work!
I posted this picture of them on Facebook last night (to add public humiliation to their punishment) and one of my friends, who is also the mom of 3 boys said this:
It got me thinking...if I had a daughter and she was ridiculous enough to put holes in my wall would I make her fix it? Hellz yea I would!!
Even though I don't have any girls I feel like I would want her to have the same skills that any boy would have...and vice versa. When I'm done with these ruffians they will know how to caulk plumbing fixtures, repair sheet rock, do laundry, and cook a meal that doesn't entail opening a box of cereal. Your daughters will thank me.
Should we be teaching boys and girls different life skills?
Shaking My Head in Boyland,