Chicago mom finds following directions not so simple

Following directions.

It is a concept taught in kindergarten.

And ignored every year after that.

Following directions.

I beg, plead, cajole, and bribe my way to encourage its use, but my words go unheeded.

How hard is it to remember to hang up a backpack and put one’s empty lunch bag on the counter every day?

Or not to rollerblade with a hockey stick through my house?

When a new toy is opened, why not take advantage of all those years of public and private school education and read the step-by-step outline instead of breaking the blasted thing in half?

When I instruct children to brush their teeth WITH ACTUAL TOOTHPASTE, why must they push the envelope and try to get away with a quick swish & spit?

Like I am not going to notice.

Following directions.

It’s how we learn to tie our shoes, drive a car, and implement proper birth control. Perhaps it is a lost art. Maybe hubris has us thinking we’re too good for such things. But the inability to follow directions has me in a dither, my list of grievances long:

People who use the passing lane as their 10 miles UNDER the speed limit private road.

People who think 30 items are close enough to 10 at the grocery store check-out.

People who allow their kids to cut in line at Great America and then pretend not to notice.

Following directions.

It seems so easy, but baffles so many.

In an effort to calm my nerves, I bought some lovely flowers for our front and backyard planters. I immediately threw out those annoying little white descriptions stuck in each carton. You know, the ones that tell you how to nurture and grow your new plant life.

So I plopped some flowers in the front where there is enough sun to grow a cactus.

Then I went to work in our shady backyard where snails chill out.

Check out the results.


No sun!

Did you know that some flowers do exceptionally well without sun? I mean, who would have ever thought such a thing? I’m no Martha Stewart or anything, but didn’t they also teach us in kindergarten that plants need like carbon or iron or calcium from sun?

Perhaps I missed that section.

Right along with the whole following the directions thing.

And to my boys, I say…

Apples? Meet your tree.

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