Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies…

There’s an old country song called “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”  by Waylon Jennings. It  goes on to list the perils and pitfalls of being a cowboy.

Well, my thoughts go in a little different direction. Moms, don’t let your babies grow up only knowing how to use appliances. Teach them to wash the dishes by hand. Teach them to scrape leftover food into the garbage or your compost bucket–however you do it. Teach them how to use a broom and dustpan. Teach them they won’t die  if they have to wait in line for the bathroom.

People who have been to my house I’m sure are thinking, “um, Joni, just clean your house any way you can.” Yeah I know. But that’s what got me thinking. My garbage disposal breaks and all of a sudden, no one knows how to clean off their plates unless they dump the scraps in the disposal. So the dishes pile up on the counter because certainly we can’t do the dishes if there is food on them. The dishwasher wouldn’t clean them. Which brings me to…

If there are too many dishes to put into the dishwasher, why are the leftover dishes left on the counter? Can’t we just wash them by hand in the sink, dry them with a dishtowel and put them away?

I grew up in a house of 6 people, 4 of them girls with one bathroom. And we didn’t die. We just didn’t wait til the last minute to do our business. We LEARNED TO WAIT OUR TURN! Perhaps the addition of a second bathroom to homes has contributed to our instant gratification oriented society. Alright maybe not but I do tire of hearing the children complain about someone else being on the potty and they can’t wait unless of course they are distracted by playing with a toy or the dog. Then they just don’t have to go so bad. 

How did we ever get grass clippings and leaves off the driveways and sidewalks without blowers? And the bag is full on the vacuum cleaner. How can we clean the hard surface floor? BROOMS PEOPLE! Pick up a broom and sweep. This one especially cracks me up because my youngest daughter asked one of my friends, “what’s that auntie Heather?”  “Its a broom Annaliese. I’m sure your mom has one.”  Sort of. We have a dog. 

Teach them to handwrite a note and address an envelope, not always email. Teach them to call sometimes instead of text. Teach them to tie their shoes in case they can’t get velcro shoes when they’re 30. Teach them we used to have to listen to whatever came on the radio and wait til it was over for the next song.

So mamas, please let your babies(of all ages) learn a not so automated way of life. Speaking of which, time to clean my kitchen. Ick. Maybe I’ll go Twitter something instead.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Mmm…we still have brooms. Actually three. One for the kitchen, one for the laminated floors and one for outside (the verandah or whatever you guys call it lol)

    We listen to the radio lots…we have one bathroom for the boys … they must be able to tie shoes before they can go to Grade 1

    lol Things may after all be a little different here

    BUT that being said: I totally get your point


  2. Great thoughts!! I agree!!


  3. Preach it Joni!


  4. Posted by Beth on December 16, 2008 at 9:23 am

    I also think we as parents need to make sure our children grow up knowing how to do basics around the house, garage, etc. My brother and I are both great cooks and bakers – Mom made sure we BOTH knew our way around a kitchen. Too many parents don’t think their sons need to know how to cook. I also can change my oil, change a tire and do basic fix-its on my car. I am shocked at how many people can’t figure out which end of the screwdriver to use! We live in a society that we rely on someone else to repair, maintain, and do things for us. Nothing better than laying a ceramic tile floor yourself!


  5. But drywall, people….I will never do drywall myself again! Oh, the dust! Ugh!

    I remember when we got our first microwave when I was a kid. I was astonished. When I realized other people had dish washing machines that weren’t their hands, I was amazed! All that stuff is just normal to our kids now.

    But I still intend to teach them to cook. Even the boy.


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