So a long time ago, I attended a marriage course at church. There was a couple teaching the class and the husband was talking about how his family had an "18 year-old list". It was his parents way of being unified in rearing their children and preparing them for life. He told about how he had a sister who could weld and how everyone in their family had fabulous skills because of their fabulous parents who essentially forced them to "graduate" from their family before they were allowed to be independent. Well I have to tell you- I didnt' really know these people very well, and aside from selling the man's wife hanging flower baskets from the Garden Centre when I worked at Home Depot, I really haven't been overly influenced by these people... EXCEPT the 18-year old list. I set it in my mind that we would be doing the 18-year old list.
The couple have since moved away, and I don't keep in contact so I've had very little mentoring with this thing- yet I'm bound and determined to do it. I figure that Arthur can have Jane endentured as a carpenter sometime as a teenager- and by the time she leaves my house she'll have for sure at least one trade under her belt.(You think I'm kidding- but talk to Arthur- I'm serious. My kid already has a toolbelt and uses a measuring tape on a regular basis. She knows important people like dad, Joseph, and ummmm the Savior of the world were carpenters... so if it's good enough for them... it's surely at least a decent stepping stone for my kid). Aside from carpentry, I intend on my children having skills such as sports, music, money-management, etiquette, cultural understanding, cooking, cleaning, sewing, arts and crafts- I don't know maybe someone could teach them to crochet or play the eukele (I obviously cannot because I was not subject to an 18-year old list).
I've begun my tutelage with similar things that other parents do- like singing the alphabet and taking their kids to the zoo or library... but in a mode of ambition and the ultimate 18-year old list goal... I decided to do a 2 year old list... yeah cause ya' gotta' start some where, right? So I titled the list "103 before 3". I didn't think up this genius until Jane was like 2 1/2 and the only reason I picked 103 things to do was because it made for a catchy title... but you can see how this was maybe a little unfair. The list included simple things like having a playdate at the playground with Jane's friend Edward, and taking a ferry ride with Dad, to moderate things like learning your name, address, and phone number, all the way up to unrealistic things like being able to identify, say, and write every letter of the alphabet.
I was pretty proud of my big-little list and felt like I was well on my way to rearing the ultimate adult when I showed "103 before 3" to Arthur, and reminded him of the 18-Year Old List that we both had thought was a good idea. He felt the tasks on the "103 before 3" were a little juvenille. So I asked him what he thought might be more appropriate...
He suggested maybe some complicated knots.
*AS A Post-script: Jane is now 5 1/2 and taught herself to tie her shoelaces on her own. I tried to teach her the "fast-way", but I guess it was just too complicated (see link)