I have an absent-minded professor living with me. His name is Jett.
Now I know, kids forget things. When I was small, people said to me “if your head wasn’t attached you would lose that, too”. Luckily I mostly outgrew that trait.
I don’t know if Jett’s forgetfulness is a product of his Asperger’s, a fact of his y chromosome (another frequent joke I hear), or simply because he is my child. I suspect a combination of all three.
Whatever the reason, I vacillate between humor and exasperation. He will lose his shoe in the middle of the task. The other morning, driving to school, I spied a heap of black on the playground. “Jett, is that your jacket?”. Yes, it was. He didn’t even know it was missing.
The reason this is on my mind today is because he wants to sew. With my machine. I’m pretty protective of my stuff, I like it to be kept a certain way, and I like to know where it all is. I’m not particularly tidy, but I do know where everything is.
This morning he asked if he could make Carlos a pillowcase. And I lit into him about responsibility and taking care of stuff. About putting things away when you are finished with them. And my answer was “when you learn to take care of stuff you can borrow my sewing machine!”.
A little critical for 7:30am. And a little harsh for an 8 year old. So now I’m second guessing myself. How will he learn responsibility without opportunities? How will he learn to share if I don’t? Am I teaching him that I value my sewing machine more than him?
The lesson in here is probably all for me. Yes, I’m valuing my machine more than my child. And yes I’m being selfish not only with my stuff, but with my time and skills too. Does anyone else have something they don’t want to share with their kids? Am I the only selfish parent out there?