Boxing Mireya

(this is from the crib notes archives)

"Mommy! I'm a box person!"

Mireya had taken the box from the recently unpacked printer, and of course, put it on her head.

"Ask me to do something," she said.

I was having trouble coming up with something that required a box person. So we spent 30 minutes rearranging items upstairs, delivering things that should have been put away. Just think, all this time all I needed to do to get some help around here was to put a box on her head.

This is the child who claims to have a complete physical breakdown when asked to put her shoes away. She turns into a total invalid when the 50 plastic ponies have to be put back in their little boxes. She collapses in a heap when called for dishwasher unloading duty.

Eventually we force the issue, but everyone is so worn out, it's like we not only put away the shoes, ponies and dishes, but also scrubbed the floors by hand with toothbrushes. Twice.

Lately, though, she's been adjusting her tactics. She turns on the charm. Those big dark eyes go onto full adorable setting and she bounds over with big smiles and lovey words and before you know it you've put away her shoes and ENJOYED it.

Here's the most frightening thing – most people don't even see it happening. After a few weeks of being Velcro mommy (you know, when you pick up everything), I suddenly realized what was going on and stepped away from the little ponies.

This ability worries me since she's only four. What will we be unleashing on the world?

I pity her future supervisor, customer, or head of state. If she doesn't mow him down with incredible stalling tactics, he'll be charmed into doing not only her work, but also the work of anyone she deems worthy.

Before you know it there will be a tiny productivity vacuum in America and my daughter will be at the center, convincing everyone around her to do all the work.

As her mother, it's up to me to try my best to help her become a generous and compassionate human being. Believe me, I'm working on it.

But just between you and me, I'm keeping a box on hand. Just in case.