I spent an afternoon with a few girlfriends and one of them asked me to help her load pictures from her camera onto her computer. I said, “Don’t you have 3 kids at home who can upload, download, share, and/or tag anything faster than you can say the word help?” “They have no patience for me,” she responded. Another girlfriend, “they only want to show me something once.” Then, “they are always putting me off…too busy.” Seriously, I thought? No patience? They’re too busy?
I’m wondering how these kids would have responded if their mothers had the same impatience when it was time for potty training. Can you imagine as they cried because they needed a diaper change if we rolled our eyes and
said ….Really? Again?
When it was time to teach them to ride a bike without training wheels how about if we said, “are you kidding me? Didn’t I just show you this yesterday? Don’t you have a friend you can ask?”
I’m sure you fondly remember making yourself available to teach them how to throw a baseball, a football, a frisbee, to ice skate, swing a racquet, a golf club, do a cartwheel, a forward roll. Just imagine their faces if we had said, “does it have to be done right now?”
The list goes on and on of what we did with patience and smiles. We spent weeks explaining how to tie one’s shoelaces, sip from a cup, and then when it was finally accomplished we clapped like they had won the Pulitzer. You put your own socks on?! You pulled your pajama pants up?! YAY! Clap, Clap, Clap! I clapped so much I had calluses on my palms.
I can’t remember ever once rolling my eyes at my kids, can you?
I didn’t think so.
A friend had the best retort when her son complained about helping her with her iPod. “Look, she said, it took me months to potty train you. Sit down and show me this.”
Right on, girlfriend.
I admit, technology issues do need to be explained a few times before I understand enough to be proficient. But once I have it down I’m pretty good at remembering how to do it. And sometimes, after getting impatient waiting to be shown how to do it, I figure it out. Our kids must think that if they just ignore us, maybe we will have to figure it out on our own. Maybe it’s their way of showing us tough love?
Maybe we should have tried the tough love approach when they wanted us to teach them to parallel park.
But what a feeling when on my own, I do figure it out.
Hah! I want to shout. I did it! I did it!
Who needs those uber-busy, hyper connected, impatient and oh so brilliant, incredibly fast texting children anyway.
After realizing nobody was coming home from college or driving 900 miles from Michigan to show me how to make an on-line photo album, I researched, did a few trial and error uploads to my computer, Photoshopped all the photos so that nobody looked better than me, got rid of red-eye, tagged people, I even added music! I cropped photos, made an album cover, and allowed people to post and share comments. Then I sent all the photos out electronically for printing to Snapfish.
All on my own thank you very much.
As I hit SEND I secretly wait for someone to clap, to say YAY, to give me a prize, a ribbon, a trophy, anything as I had done for so many years.
So I called my mother.
And she clapped.
(Thank you DL for the inspiration, and for my Mom who always clapped the loudest)