The Responsibility Club

Nigel talks a lot now. Occasionally his syntax is a little off, but he rarely mixes up pronouns as he used to do regularly, and his sentences are now long and complex (often too complex for his peers, and some adults, too!). I love hearing what’s going on in that brain of his, even when he’s complaining about doing his chores, which happens on a daily basis. You have to imagine Nigel’s characteristic deadpan voice as you read this dialogue.

Me: Nigel, it’s your day to do the cat litter.

Nigel: Why can’t they learn to do it themselves?

Me: Why do you ask me that every time? You know that’s not possible.

Nigel: Well, cats should be genetically engineered to clean their own litter boxes.

Me: Well, until then, we all have responsibilities in this family, and today it’s your responsibility to do the cat litter. It’s on your responsibility chart that you look at every day. I shouldn’t have to ask you when it’s your turn to do it. It’s your responsibility.

Nigel: I didn’t join The Responsibility Club. Who invented responsibility? Was it Charlemagne or Aristotle?

Me (unable to respond momentarily due to stifled guffaw): Nigel, just do the cat litter now, please.

Nigel (exasperated, no longer deadpan): Aaaaahhhhh!!!! 

But, he finally did it. We go through this ritual of feet-dragging and complaining with every request for him to complete a simple household chore. I guess that’s normal for any thirteen-year-old. As for mentioning Charlemagne, Nigel read somewhere that education was Charlemagne’s idea, so he figured that the emperor must have also promoted the idea of children doing household chores. Unless it was that idea-spouting Aristotle . . .    

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