Friday, September 17, 2010

Mr. Capable

Like many middle class mothers, I have raised my children to be too dependent on me. The boys stand and scratch their heads when I tell them to do laundry, in spite of the fact that I've shown them half a dozen times. They seem unsure how to cook macaroni and cheese or how to print off their essays for school, much less save them to the flash drive.
Turning to mom for help is all well and fine, unless it's something really important.
Last week, in the midst of finals, the internet slowed down. It was taking forever to download an essay before I could grade it, and I was frustrated.
Tucker noticed the problem with his XBox too. He uses the XBox Live, which connects him with his friends who are also on XBox Live.
We gave the XBox to Spencer last fall for his birthday but Tucker purchased the XBox live subscription and spends any spare hours on it. Spencer only gets on XBox rarely in between basketball practices, watching sports on TV and hanging out with his friends.
Along with the internet problem, the XBox kept spitting out disks and saying they weren't compatible.
"If you'd just come look at it," Tucker urged. He wanted to show me that it was so slow he couldn't enter the games with his friends.
"It's still under warranty, you know," he said.
That's right, I realized. I could send it back to have it fixed. I promised I would eventually look for the receipt and the warranty so we could have the XBox repaired, but I didn't have time for it during finals week.
A few hours later Tucker came upstairs and laid two pieces of paper on the desk beside my computer.
"What's this?" I asked.
"That's the UPS shipping label to send the XBox in. I registered it, described the problem, and printed out the shipping label. They'll cover the shipping too. All you have to do is box it up and send it."
My son, who can't get off the couch to fix a piece of toast, was suddenly capable of much more when it came time to resolve something important -- to him.

3 comments:

Sheila said...

I have found when I step back the kids can accomplish amazing things. But there is a fine line between pissing them off for not taking care of all there stuff and legitimately making yourself scarce so they have to do something on their own. its a tight rope sister. :)

Stphanie said...

Ok, the jig is up. He's actually a capable human being. There's no going back now.

Linda said...

My husband can be like that when it comes to cooking. I am always the one making meals but he can make a fabulous beef burgundy so I know he's capable.

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