I know I saw it around here someplace...
Somewhere around this site in the past week or so, a bunch of us were discussing the uncanny parallels between toddlers and teens. A discussion which I can.not.find. (Was it here? Maybe it was somewhere else...)
Not to worry. We will take that discussion as a given, shall we, so that I may proceed with my post? My post which is about my marvellous youngest. The one who likes to bake cookies? The sweet, so-responsible one?
Who, every time she spends more than 20 minutes in the kitchen, leaves something like this behind?
We do not have a lot of counter space in our kitchen. It's roomy enough, but the builders apparently expected you to be able to feed a family of five (which could easily fit round a table in this room) without doing any actual food preparation. Neat trick, if you can manage it.
In a minimalist kitchen, you learn to clean as you go.
Well, some of us do.
Rebekah had a friend over. The two of them were having a shrieking good time in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of peanut-butter cookies. I love it when a social occasion ends up being a baking occasion.
Well, I love it until I'm confronted with this:
And then, I recalled that post, that mystery post and its accompanying discussion. (If any of you reading it recall it, perhaps you can tell me in the comments!) The discussion which likened teens unto toddlers, just larger, more verbal and more independent, but not necessarily any more rational or un-self-absorbed.
And I thought, "You know, I was always pretty good with toddlers. So good, in fact, that I've made them my career. So all I need to do is use some toddler strategy on this adolescent problem."
What would I do with a toddler who had made a mess?
I would make them clean it up. Duh.
Except Rebekah by the time I noticed the shambles of my kitchen, Rebekah was out with her friend, and wouldn't be home before lights-out. One thing that hasn't changed since they were toddlers is my insistance on a sensible bedtime. Once a nap nazi, always a nap nazi, at least for me. I wasn't going to keep her up late to do dishes.
Which doesn't, however, preclude an early rising.
What's more painful to the average teen, anyway? Staying up till the wee hours, or getting up in them? Mwah-hahahahahaaaa...
Her alarm on school days is set for 6:30. At six o'clock in the bright and early a.m., I rapped on her bedroom door. Informed her, in a totally cheery and chirpy voice, that she needed to make sure she got those dishes done and put away before heading out to school. At 6:10 I flip on her bedroom lights. Because cheery and chirpy though I may be, I also mean business. She staggers into the shower, a solid 35 minutes ahead of schedule.
At 6:35, she is in the kitchen, doing dishes.
Will she "forget" to do the dishes again, anytime soon? I suspect not...
If I'd read this post first, I'd have kept the cookies as hostages against the satisfactory and timely post-baking tidying of the kitchen.
This website is a HUGE resource for parents of teens, I tell you! HUGE!