After I dropped DS2 at preschool this morning, I took the van over to the Honda place for an oil change and a gazillion-point safety inspection. My brakes have been squeaky, so it seemed like a good idea. I brought Teddy along for more repair work while I waited, and settled down in the waiting area facing away from the huge TV. (Listening to Regis and Kelly is not as bad as having to see them every time I looked up from my work.)
I hadn't been there long when a family paraded in: Dad, I'd say in his mid-to-late 30s, pregnant wife, and 4 kids: son, about 12 I'd guess, and 3 girls ranging in age from about 4 to 9. I thought: homeschooled, why else would they all be there?
They were a really nice family, and the kids were all very well-behaved, but I was still trying to figure out why they were all there. Maybe they were on their way somewhere after their car was finished. But still, if I had a choice between taking all four of my kids with me, or leaving them home with DH, you know what I would've chosen. The prospect of an hour on my own, to leaf through a magazine or simply do nothing, without having to deal with the kids? Pure heaven, especially at later stages of pregnancy.
They all seemed perfectly content with each other, with the older kids helping the younger ones with lego blocks or what-have-you. So maybe there wasn't a reason that they all came along, maybe that's what they always do. Obviously it wasn't a problem for the kids, who played quietly or did schoolwork while they waited. My kids would do the same, if they had been there, but I'd rather spare them when I can. The fact is, I don't like having to wait around, why should I make them do it when they don't have to? I know: it's a life lesson.
I know I tend to spoil my kids; is this another symptom of that? They get subjected to so much stress because of my illness and unavoidable things-we-have-to-do, I think it's OK not to drag them along on every little errand.
I do wonder, though, if I'm setting them up for suprise or resentment later on in life when they realize how much work it takes to keep house and car running smoothly.