I like to tell myself that some of my lazy habits have only minor consequences. Like if I am too lazy to rinse the dish that held my nightly ice cream treat after the kids go to bed, then I will have to stare at it in the morning and then explain to my children why there’s evidence of someone eating ice cream in the house while they are sleeping.
Sometimes I am with the kids and they are asking me a zillion questions. Can we hang a Spiderman curtain on the stairs? Can I eat double A batteries for snack? Why is that old woman walking down the street with a lizard on a leash?
Because I hate to hear myself say “I don’t know,” a billion times a day and I hate saying “no” even more than that, I take the easy route. Ask Daddy I say. Sometimes it’s passive aggressive, which isn’t cool, but I sic the kids on him, hoping he’ll offer a lengthy explanation that will give me a chance to drink a glass of lemonade alone. Mostly, I am just lazy. Lazier than Jeff about getting on my knee, looking deep into the kids’ eyes and saying, “Well, the reason why we can’t eat batteries is primarily because they aren’t food, which means they will hurt your teeth and your tummy.” From there, Jeff will explain what alkaline is and how it might hurt to have a battery travel through your GI tract.
Me? Lazy. So I send my kids to their version of Wikipedia: their dad.
But here’s the thing: Every time I defer an explanation to my husband, I am undercutting my own authority. Because I actually do know why we can’t eat batteries or why it will be over my dead body before we hang a Spiderman curtain anywhere in our house. But because I have punted so many times, the kids think Dad has the answers. I’ve communicated that he’s in charge of science and our house and the old lady with the lizard on a leash.
So the laziness may seem expedient when I am toast from a long day, but it’s created a 1950’s vibe in my house where Daddy has the answers and Mom…. well, Mom knows where the snacks are.
It’s the top of my priority list to put an end to this dynamic. While there are times when it makes most sense for Jeff to handle the explanations (see when the kids ask about Excel spreadsheets or the Laws of Abraham), but I know plenty. Now I just need to start acting like it.
Click here for my latest on Mom.Me about this go ask Dad thing I do.