Julie Lyles Carr: Inspection...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Inspection...

"You can't expect what you don't inspect..."

I so wish I could take credit for this quote.
Actually, I just wish I could remember where I read it.

I know it was a fellow homeschool mom, and I think it may have been in a book...

...or maybe it was on a website.

Sigh.

A footnote girl I am not. A bibliography wannabe. That's me.

But what a great, un-credited quote, huh? 'You can't expect what you won't inspect."

Genius.

Genius which I need to be applying again here at the Octamom house.

There's a level of denial in parenting called, "once I've told the kids something umpteen times, I think I shouldn't have to tell them yet again. Once I've told them to go pick up those toys or take out that trash, it should be done. Period."

Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

For the most part, my kiddos will do a passable job on most household jobs...as long as they think I'm watching. Audience seems to be a prerequisite for performance. And it's not just chores that this comes into play. It also is present when it comes to attitudes.

We do talk a lot about doing an excellent job, even when no one is watching. And I do see that higher levels of accomplishment do take place.

But there is a central ingredient that still comes into play. And that is the matter of if the kids think I will check their work, if I will follow up to see the outcome of their labors. It's all too easy in a large household to 'pass the buck', to assume that someone else will pick up that item or wipe up that spill. All the easier still if my level of distraction is high.

So, Dear Readers, you are my confessional booth today. I need to step up my inspection/expectation levels again. I've been one distracted mama lately and the condition of the household hearth and hearts is showing the effect. And while my goal ultimately is for the kids to do it and do it right the first time, I must admit that I have a bit of that 'need for audience thing' myself. The scramble to pick up before company comes. That softer tone of voice when there is a guest in the house. That desire for someone to notice when the laundry is finished, the casserole is hot and delicious, the floor is swept. A little inspection is good for us all, I suppose.

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