Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Productivity Lecture

Let's say one of the kids is lying on the kitchen floor making noises like a sick duck. "Why don't you do something productive," I ask.

Alternatively, imagine a stuffed animal tied by a string around its neck whirling wildly through the air, accidentally smacking an unsuspecting sister on the back of the head. (Purely hypothetical, right?) Guess what I say? "Why don't you do something productive."

They used to ask me what I meant by "productive." No longer. This is a phenomenon related to the question they used to ask about the origin of last names, which launched the Patronym Lecture. The Productivity Lecture consists of a list of activities involving books, crafts, the outdoors, and siblings. If you are a parent I bet you've given a similar lecture yourself.

On Saturday I felt a glowing pride that I had won the point, if only for a day.

Sam came in from the backyard. He'd already eaten breakfast and been playing with his brother. He looked pointedly at the clock. "Yes!" His arms were in the air, celebrating. "It's 8:28 and I haven't done anything productive. It's going to be a great day!"

Did I mention to him how many people were probably still in bed? Or the value of what he had already been doing with his time? Not a chance. We were both rejoicing in life, life lived at 8:28 in the morning.

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