Thursday, November 05, 2009


I have noticed that parents, or at least the ones I know, seem to fall into two categories. The first group seems to try to fill junior's every waking hour with fun activities and sports and their parent runs around like an exhausted taxi driver skipping meals to get them from A to B. In my experience, this type looks rather blank when you ask how junior ever fits in helping around the house. The second type tries to give junior an insight into the life that will soon be upon him while still trying to make sure childhood isn't all boring chores. I have several friends who roll their eyes in disbelief when they hear me ask the kids what they want to cook on their respective cooking nights, or when I ask Marcel if he's ironed his shirt for school. Tonight Lots made homemade meatballs in bolognese sauce and spaghetti, while Léon and Anna helped to peel the garlic and pick the parsley in the garden. Of course my kids may bitch when they are older that their mother was a slave driver and their friends were all out learning tennis, but I would prefer to think that on their first night alone in their own flat they won't need to ring me, as one student friend did to me back in 1987 when we left home, to ask how you cook a cabbage because her parents had never taught her to cook...


Unknown said...

Last night Ellen helped me peel the onions for dinner - it took quite a while, but she was SO proud. A shame she can't do the ironing yet - I hate it! (But then again - Kåre is 31, and he looks complete helpless when he has to iron a shirt!)

Phyl said...

I think that's the secret - get them into it while they still have the enthusiasm then they become useful members of society! Thomas started Léon cooking at one and he's more than capable of cooking proper food on a cooker (and though we do supervise he's never done anything stupid, nor does it faze him if he touches a hot pan, he simply runs his finger under a cold tap then carries on cooking without a whimper!)

The Scudder said...

Slave driver !!
Dat's ma Goil !! :-)

Dan said...


I was happy to discover your blog today. I was unable to find a contact link. I hope it's OK that I'm contacting you through a public comment. I've developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling and vocabulary words without the battle that parents often have getting them to sit down and write them out while the parents dictate to them. The parent enters the child's spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. Then the software helps the child practice his or her words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists.

I would appreciate your reviewing SpellQuizzer in Phyl's Blog. If you are interested in hosting a giveaway of a SpellQuizzer license I'd be happy to supply a free license to the winner. You can learn more about the program at There's a video demo you can watch at and a community site where SpellQuizzer users can share their spelling lists with one another ( Finally, there's a page targeted to homeschooling families at I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you very much!

Dan Hite
TedCo Software