As my oldest child left home, I gave her a set of tools. Most had flowers on the handles, but they were real tools. I also gave her a cordless drill/driver, which is my favorite tool in the whole world. During my single years, I had learned how to use tools because it was a lot cheaper than hiring everything done. If I hadn’t seen it done, I would read about how to do it. I made some mistakes and did some things the hard way, but I was pretty pleased with myself. I liked the feeling of competency and was sure she would want the same.
What I did not give her was lessons on how to use the tools or more importantly, on how things work.
So, the cordless drill didn’t really come naturally and after screwing (pun intended) a few things up, she mostly asked the guys next door to do things like hang her blinds. Luckily she had guys next door that knew how.
Recently, she decided to give it another shot. She and four of her housemates (2 guys and 2 girls) decided to take down one of interior doors in the home.
My daughter later called to tell me: “Mom, you will be so proud of me. Not only am I the only one with tools, but I was the only one that knew how to use my cordless driver to unscrew all the screws on the hinges.”
Me: You unscrewed the screws?
Her: (proudly) Yes.
Me: (slowly) Uh, none of you thought to take the pins out?
Her: What pins?
Me: You know, the little stick that goes through the hinges and holds them together.
Her: Why would we do that?
Me: (Again slowly) Because then you don’t have to take out the screws.
We both start laughing.
Me: You mean that none of the 5 of you knew this?! Really?!
At least I’m not the only parent that didn’t prepare my child for the real world!on Tuesday, March 12, 2013