So, I would like to say it was a few weeks ago but I am rather confident it is months, Milo kicked one of the doors off his wardrobe.
It was more reckless than mischievous, just some good-natured absent-minded booting to test the hinges. Anyway, the hinges were of a lower quality than he expected and the door spontaneously jettisoned itself from its frame and fell heavily upon the tiled floor rather closeish to his leg. Close enough to give him a fright.
Now, once I had determined the door had suffered the only serious injury I set about seizing this opportunity to set my son on a path of personal growth. Milo was still a little fragile given he had narrowly missed being clonked by an over-spec’d door so arguably I could have chosen my moment better, but it is always the right time for a salutary life lesson so I quickly got into my flow:
“yes I know it was not on purpose”
“but you need to learn the value of possessions, you need to have respect for property”
“so, you have got two choices – you pay the maintenance guy to fix it out of your pocket money, or you and I are going to fix it together.”
…brilliant. We were going to re-hang the door together, he was going to learn how to use screwdrivers for something other than digging, and together we were going to learn the value of property.
No sooner had I concluded my ‘engaged parent’ proclamation with a nice cuddle to make up and move on I realised there was one glaring problem with my plan… I didn’t want to fix the frickin door, and I’m not sure I even could – I had a glance at the hinges they were really bent, and some of the screws had rolled away. Where was I going to find the right sized screws? One of the hinges had even fallen off and I wasn’t even sure which way up it went. Also, our screwdrivers have a lot of soil in them, all except for that useless giant flat-head one. What is that one even used for?
In the weeks, and yes months, that followed Milo repeatedly asked me when we were going to fix the door. You see I had withheld his pocket money as a bond, to be returned once we had completed our father/ son bonding task. I ducked and weaved and generally evaded the question… and there the door stood – for a while propped up against the wall, then propped up against the wall with laundry hanging on it, then lying on the ground, then lying on the ground with folded laundry on it, then sort of pushed into the corner. But it is pretty big, and quite heavy, impossible to hide. It mocked me daily.
Soon Milo’s questions became harrassment and then demands. He wanted to fix the door, he was ready to fix the door, why can’t we fix the door? I eventually stopped engaging him about the door, I mean I would literally pretend I couldn’t hear him and walk into another room. Salutary lessons suck.
Today Kuepps paid our maintenance guy to re-hang the door.
It took him 4 minutes and each screw that went in took with it a little of my parental fortitude.
We paid him about 10 dollars.