As we put away groceries the other day, I shared with Sarah a memory from when I was growing up. My dad was fairly persistent about always breaking down cereal boxes, cartons, etc after they were emptied. Every time the grocery shopping was done, we would always have to either stomp on the boxes or tear them up. “This is just silly” I remember thinking to myself all those years ago. And what made me share this with Sarah? The fact that here I was years later, ripping up the boxes and stomping them flat.
Something else that Dad used to do that I’ve caught myself doing more times than I can count is “roll-calling.” What exactly is “roll-calling” you might ask? I’m sure any parent with more than one child (or even just one!) knows exactly what I mean. Oh, you might call it something different, but as Shakespeare said “What’s in a name?” It’s the unintentional practice of having going down the list of all your kids’ names until you finally call out the one that you meant to say in the first place – and invariably you’ll call all the other names before getting to the required one. Doesn’t matter the age, birth rank, sex or anything. It may go something like this: I want my only daughter, Natalie, to stop climbing up onto the dishwasher and pulling out the dirty forks that I’ve just put in. So, in exasperation, I attempt to get her to stop – only to begin the roll-calling; “Jerem---, Car---, NATALIE, please stop getting the forks!” By the time the correct name comes out, it’s not unusual to forget what you wanted them for in the first place.
I used to think this was funny. Now my children think it’s funny. Is this what they call the circle of life?
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