I am very much a lazy parent. Sure, I'll help when needed and I'll read aloud and even play a game now and then, but in general, I do the least required of me. As soon as my kids could set the table, I dropped out of table setting. As soon as they could dress themselves I was happy to avoid the process. Even car seat buckling was handed over as a "reward" when they turned four.
I dragged them into the women's restroom for what felt like a long time. Bug, being three years younger than Pook, needed my help and supervision for much of the time that Pook could have been independent. But even that was finally ceded to them, first at church and then in other locations.
I've used our church as a practice site for many of these independent skills. I figured that it was a safe place where most people knew whose kids they were and would come find me or CD if we were needed. There is a well published rule that children should be under direct supervision of a parent at all times, but I've not enforced it for my kids. I'd be talking and they'd want to go play, requiring me to either stop my chatting or skip the supervision. If you don't know how easy that choice was for me, you don't know me.
My kids aren't troublemakers. Mischief has never been a problem. No one ever colored on the walls, broke windows with baseballs or practiced scissor skills on the curtains. Even Bug, with his tendency to get lost, never ran off on purpose. So, I trust them. The worst trouble they've gotten into at church was for knocking coats off their coat hangers while playing "fort" in the coat closet. In my opinion, that is worth a "hey kid, pick up the coats" and not a "hey parent, you have to keep your kid at your ankles."
So last week when I was contacted by the church office administrator to come meet with her to discuss "playground monitoring" I was a bit surprised. I expected to be a bit embarrassed, but figured I'd better come clean and admit that I'm not much of a playground monitor for my kids. Was she wanting to come up with new rules for families? Did she want me to be in charge of scheduling parent supervisors? This job might not be well suited for me. Was I going to have to be more strict with my kids to comply with new rules?
Imagine my surprise when I learned that the children are fine. The playground needs a monitor. We're getting new playground equipment and they want someone to check it monthly to see if it needs any maintenance. Playgrounds I can monitor. Kids? Not so much.