Putting them to work

I guess I must be getting a tad lazy with the kids, because The Elder, at 4 3/4, recently initiated potty training with his two-year-old brother.

Before I even had a sip of coffee Sunday morning, I overheard, “OK, now you take your diaper off and go to the potty.”


And, the coffee-less part is important of course, because I suddenly had to deal with pants-less young men who were more than ready to urinate merrily traipsing about my living room before 7 a.m.

It all ended OK, but that got me thinking about what else we can get The Elder to do. His main jobs in this lifetime have consisted of helping me weed the weed pile out front, and rubbing a grimy paper towel soaked in water across the chrome fridge while pretending to be a kitchen-cleaning robot.

And laundry tasks have all but been abandoned, since he and his brother both suffer from a congenital condition that requires them to ultimately toss all folded clothes into the air and down the steps.

But this put me in mind of my desire for another child, perhaps a 17-year-old girl who cooks, cleans and baby-sits. Who loves taking kids to the park, and diaper changes, and speaks another language fluently.

Oh, I guess that’s called an au pair, huh? But you can’t blame a mom for trying.–Jillian O’Connor