Anna June is seven, so she's part big kid and part little kid. Sometimes, she can say the smartest things but sometimes, I'm reminded that she's still a baby.
The other day, I was getting her to help out around the house by giving her micro tasks. My dad used to do this with us. While he was busy with something in a generally static location (like making dinner in the kitchen), he'd instruct us to go and do one thing (like put away our shoes) and then say, "When you're done, report back to me." I do this with AJ, too. "Do this and come RIGHT back," I say.
I noticed she was not coming right back. I told her I was once a kid, too, and though I didn't sneak off to a Kindle, I always had a book or something that was more interesting than what my parents told me to do. So did my brothers.
I told her this form of disobedience was not new, and I was familiar with this trick.
After a while of putting away her hair accessories, clothing, books, and toys that had been in the kitchen, she was growing weary of this project. She expressed her fatigue with her body language.
Suddenly, she pretended to be a robot. "OUT OF ORDER," she declared.
I stopped and asked her what it would take, exactly, to get her back *in* order, as her help was still needed. I didn't have time for a broken robot. What did she need from me, I wondered, to be able to focus and continue being a helper?
She said, with very little time to think, "A computerized jet pack, an unlimited supply of pencils, and a nap."
Of course, I let her stop. I had to go and work on where to get a jet pack.
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