Dearest children of the world:
I understand that in many, if not most, cases, your mother is your primary caregiver. She is there when you wake up, no matter the time. She tends to your needs: shelter, clothes, food. When you are sick, she is there. When you are well, she is there.
You have come to depend on her and expect her to be at your beck and call.
I have something to tell you though. Just a thought, something to mull over the next time you would like help tying your shoes.
If there is another adult in the vicinity, such as your father, an aunt or uncle, or a grandparent — even an older cousin — you can ask him or her for help.
I know this is confusing. But it turns out that adults who are not your mother can actually also help you.
Most adults have the basic skills that you have come to depend on your mother for. They can get you a snack or a glass or water. They can accompany you to the bathroom. They can help you change your clothes.
I’m not telling you this because your mother no longer wants to help you. She loves to help you; she loves being the go-to person in your life for everything from skinned knees to bedtime stories.
It’s just that on occasion, she is in the middle of something else, and if there is another adult around, she would like you to please go ask him (or her).
Maybe she is going to the bathroom. Or she’s in the shower. In which case, you should probably go find your dad to get that pop tart for you.
Perhaps she is helping a sibling with homework. Or breast feeding a baby. Or changing a poopy diaper. Maybe she is removing hot cookies from the oven.
In these latter examples, you really should look around and see if another adult person is available. If another adult is in close proximity, you should direct your request regarding finding a pencil to him or her. Persistently if necessary.
It’s time for you to start understanding a few things:
1. Your mother is an independent being with her own physical needs (i.e. to feed herself, visit the potty, ingest coffee, sleep).
2. Your mother is just one person.
3. Other adults are capable of performing the same tasks your mother does. Learn to ask them for assistance, and always remember to use your manners. (You should do that with your mother, too. She’s your mom, not your servant.)
Again, your mother loves you, and loves taking care of you, providing for you, from your needs to your wants. She didn’t willingly bring you into this world to ignore you. And if there isn’t another adult handy, which is common, she begs your forgiveness for not immediately leaping to your aid. The next PSA will be about that underrated virture, patience.