What I Will Teach My Son This Year

Life Lessons From An Overgrown Child/Mother

My little man turned 12 this year, he's eating me out of house and home and will be towering over me in no time.

Starting now, I plan to include my son in as many meal making moments as possible. The question here is, why am I only thinking of this now? I feel silly for serving him as much as I do just because it's faster and easier. These are life skills he needs to learn! I'm not the best cook in the world, but if I can teach him just the basics, I'll have done my job.

I've never been one to blame my parents for things, but if my mother or father took some time to teach me how to cook anything other than boiled potatoes, maybe I'd be a little more confident in the kitchen. I didn't learn to use a BBQ until just last year, and I've never mowed a lawn in my life because nobody ever showed me how. That last one, I'm a little bit proud of, truth be known. I moved out of my parents home at the age of 18 without very many life skills. I ate popcorn for dinner most nights until I got a roommate who could cook, and wore a lot of wrinkled clothes because I didn't know how (or want to learn) to use an iron.

My inspiration for teaching my son a whole bunch of stuff this year comes from the Busy Kids = Happy Mom article on Life Skills - I went through the list and picked out the items that I haven't taught him yet and should have, and the things I never thought of, but should have. I've categorized them into bigger Life Lessons and will tackle them as opportunities arise. So here we go.

 Eat to Live

So far he has attempted KD a few times with supervision, and he makes his own PB and Banana sandwiches, toast, cereal, etc. But it's time to kick it up a notch so he has more options when he gets hungry and I'm out at the store, or napping, or pinning, or otherwise engaged.
My Son...Someday

When we watch Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives on the Food Network, my son goes crazy over some of the things they come up with - I think we should start trying to recreate them in our kitchen. I have a feeling I'll be gaining some weight this winter.

Things to learn how to make this year:
Boil eggs
Grilled Cheese
BBQ Hamburgers
Pack own lunch

Aug 30
Last night my son BBQ'd hamburgers with cheese, with my supervision, and then we made single serving chocolate chip cookies for dessert, including one for his Step Dad, which my son presented to him while wearing oven mitts. You know what he said to me when we dug into our microwaved dessert? "I have the best and most fun mom in the world." Well worth the effort. We watched a few episodes of River Monsters together after that, and he didn't mention his X-box even once from the time he lit that BBQ.

Sept 3rd
We just finished making funfetti cucakes. They turned out great even though we used regular diet 7Up, as I don't think we get Cherry 7Up in Canada. I will never buy icing again after using this recipe. Anyway, I didn't let him stick me with making the cupcakes all by myself once he got bored with the process. I made him do almost everything except icing the cupcakes, because I got carried away and forgot to include him in that. Anyway, the best part is that they are low fat and turned out great.

Sept 15th - I made lasgana today. My son didn't help me, I'm just proud of myself - first time! (Don't judge.)

Oct 16th - Chef D-Man, as he likes to be called, whipped up some crunchy coated pork chops for dinner tonight. He mixed bread crumbs with just about every spice in our cupboard, along with parmesean cheese, dipped the chops in milk, then the crumb mixture, and fried those babies up. His only complain was that I should have taken out more chops for him to make!


Things to focus on this year: Zits and Pits!

My friends never liked the fact that I went through puberty, and basically my whole life, without having to deal with zits. I get maybe one a month, you know, around that time. My son, on the other hand, seems to have inherited his father's oily skin and is getting nose pimples. I purchased cleansing pads which he uses before bed, only if I remind him, but I think it's time to kick up the showering routing to daily to make sure he is washing his face at least once a day. Maybe he'd like to shower in the morning? I doubt it, but I'll ask him. If he starts showering in the mornings he'll totally be in my way, but he's got this sort of Afro that will mean he will have to start showering in the morning eventually once he starts caring more about his appearance. When he wakes up in the morning his head is all flat on one side and puffy on the other. I think it's adorable, but not socially acceptable for much longer.

And then there's the pit-stick that he never remembers to put on. I've gone as far as putting a reminder by his door so he'll see it before he leaves his room in the morning. I hate to keep having to remind him about these sort of things, but what are my options? I've mentioned that girls don't like smelly boys, maybe that will help to encourage him to wear deodorant. I am open to advice in this department.


I've had D-Man, as he likes to be called, help me with laundry in the past. A little loading, a little folding, and I stopped putting his clothes away for him in his dresser as well. My thought is to get him to a point where he can do his own laundry beginning to end. This will take some practic and coaxing, but I refuse to send him out into the world (like my mother did to me) not knowing how to wash your clothes without ruining them.

Sept 15th - D-Man did his laundry today. He took it from his room to the basement and only asked me to confirm that the settings on the machine were correct. He washed, dried, folded, and put away his laundry all by himself. I feel like the best mother in the world today!

Things to get used to this year:

Doing your own laundry
Empty wastebaskets
      - practice tying bags (my little lefty has trouble with this)
Clean toilet
      - just to show him what happens when he misses
Clean mirrors
     - same reason as toilet but tooth paste splatters, rather than pee

Guy Stuff 

Not Gonna Happen
So I mentioned that I have no idea how to use a lawn mower right? This should be interesting. When I mentioned a few years ago to my fiancé that he should teach D how to use the lawn mower, he said something about getting his toes cut off - naturally, I dropped the subject. But now that he's older, I think that we need to give this another look. Maybe I'll even observe and learn a thing or two, but probably best that I don't. One, to give them guy space, and two, because I don't ever want to have to mow the lawn once I know how. It really doesn't appeal to me.

I think I have to lean on my Ex and my Fiance to teach my son most of the these guy things, it's good bonding time too, and therefore a win-win. I will certainly attempt to teach a few of the guy things to him because I want him to think back one day at how cool his mom was, and that tasks don't have to be gender specific.

Stuff to learn this year:
Mow lawn
Know how to handle a pocket knife
Replace fuse; know where circuit breakers are (are those two things related?)
Check and fill all car fluids

Good Luck to me this time!


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