March 19, 2009

if John Hancock can do it . . .

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776: John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later. Five. Years. Later.


I’ll tell you why: because men can’t make decisions.

Example: Today as Kevin was driving into town at a speed of 55 mph, the light ahead turned yellow. Being in that “iffy” state between stopping too hard and the risk of running a red light, he STARTED to stop hard, changed his mind, sped up, decided he really couldn’t make it, then stopped again . . . in the middle of the intersection. He then drove on through the red light. It was, quite literally, like playing “Red Light Green Light”. His big mistake: INDECISION.

Now, lest you think this to be a male-bashing blog, let me say, in all fairness, we women are just as indecisive. We have all had this discussion with our significant other: “Where do you want to go for dinner?” “I don’t care.” “Come on, honey, I want you to choose.” “No, I truly don’t care, you pick.” . . . ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Why won’t SHE pick? Because she truly doesn’t care. Plain and simple. She is hungry or tired or just totally grateful to not have to cook dinner. Whatever you choose really is fine with her . . . unless, of course, you choose someplace she doesn't want to go.

Why won’t HE pick? Because he doesn’t know how.

I believe this starts because boys have attention spans equivalent to the length of time it takes to blink.

We diligent moms know our boys are easily distracted. We try to keep it simple. We try to be specific. We try to communicate.

At age 6:
Mom says: “Go pick up your Legos, put them in your Lego box, and put the box in the closet.”

He hears: “Legos.”

Three minutes later he is floating a Lego-boat in the toilet because when he began picking up the blocks he ran across the little “sail” piece and got distracted.

At age 9:
Mom says: “Go get ready for bed.”
He hears: “Bed.”

So when you go tuck him in, you find him in bed, clothes still on, teeth unbrushed, still needing to use the bathroom.

At age 12:
Mom says: “Go to your room, hang up your clean clothes, and put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket.”

He hears: “Go to your room”

Fourteen seconds later the amnesia has kicked in and he is standing in the doorway of his bedroom wondering why he is there.

So, in an effort to eliminate frustration (mainly mine!), I began to give step-by-step instructions to my little man:
“Kevin, go to your room, tell me when you get there.”
“Okay, mom”
“Hang up your khaki pants. Tell me when you have done that.”
“Okay, mom”
“Pick up your dirty socks. Tell me when you have done that.”
“Okay, mom”
“Go put your dirty socks in the laundry basket. Tell me when you have done that.”
“Okay, mom”

This has gone on for years and has succeeded in rendering him incapable of making decisions. Don't hear me wrong - he is a GREAT kid. He always does what he is told, but ONLY what he is told, then he waits for someone to tell him what to do next.

There is a solution to this. I just don’t know what it is. I want him to make decisions. I want him to show initiative. I want him to be able to change his own child’s diaper one day without having to call me for the play-by-play. Really I do.

Men may be incapable of making decisions, but as psychology has proved time and again . . . it’s still mom’s fault.

Whatever John Hancock’s mother did, it must have been right. Then again, maybe she was in the back of Independence Hall whispering, “Johnny, pick up your quill, walk to the front table, write your name nice and big so everyone can see it . . .”


Ashley said...

When you figure it out...let me know and I'll write it down for future reference...

janjanmom said...

Poor Kevin. It's a hard knock life.

Kacey Leigh said...

Hey I finally blogged. People should read it :)

Oh, and I'm a five-year decision person whatever you did with me, do the opposite with Kevin :)

~ Stephanie said...

Nope. I did all the right things with you, except I was too critical. That's why you can't make a decision . . . you're afraid you will make the wrong one and disappoint me. :o)