I am a big fan of the to-do list. I make one for myself every week. I even write things on it that I’ve already done to make it seem like I’ve accomplished something (and also to remind myself that I did it, and do NOT need to do it again, which sometimes works).
Anyway, since children don’t have all that many responsibilities, and their parents are there to constantly remind them of what little responsibilities they DO have, I often wonder what a to-do list might look like for them.
__Take as many toys out as humanly possible within the first hour I’m awake.
__Whine and/or complain about something (preferably something trivial and inconsequential) until parents snap.
__Irritate sibling, but only if they are playing quietly by themselves and minding their own business.
__Ask for something repeatedly until parents threaten that I will NEVER get it again if I don’t stop asking (i.e. dessert, screen time).
__Get dressed, but only after being asked a minimum of five times, and preferably when parents begin yelling at me or bribe me, whichever comes first.
__Take three hours to clean up a mess that would take normal people no more than five minutes.
__Insist on playing with toys that are missing pieces, need batteries, or need to be charged. Then complain about it for extended period of time.
__Prefer to play with things that sibling just started playing with, claiming, “I was just going to play with that!”
__Only ask for parent’s help three seconds after they start doing something.
__NEVER let Mom shower, or care for her hygiene in any way, without bursting through the bathroom door. The reason does not matter.
__No matter what is for dinner, complain about it at least once, even before I know what it is.
__Ask for a snack within 10 minutes of eating any meal or another snack.
__Claim that I’m hungry if I see anyone else eating or if food is mentioned.
__Listen to parents only when they are have a conversation that has nothing to do with me.
__Do NOT listen to parents when they are talking directly to me.
__Insist I don’t need to pee before leaving anywhere with a bathroom, no matter how many times I’m asked.
__Get the urge to pee when I’m pretty sure we’re too far away from the aforementioned bathroom to turn back.
__Make as much noise as possible, as if I’m trying to break the world record for the most noise ever made.
__Move extra slowly when it is clear that parents are in a big hurry.
__Desperately need any toy or blanket that I cannot find, especially at bedtime.
__Complain about basic hygiene like brushing teeth, washing hands, showering, etc.
__Act surprised every night when it’s time for bed, even after I know how to tell time.
__Claim to hate something one day, but say I can’t live without it the next day (or even later that first day).
__Conspire with sibling to make sure one of us always has a problem with whatever fun thing parents do for us.
__Do something super nice, thoughtful, and/or cute so parents forget all the other stuff and remember that I’m a precious gift.
__Repeat forever, probably.
I don’t know if kids actually put that much thought into it, but some days it sure seems like it. What I DO know is that kids are going to be kids, with or without a to-do list.