June 23, 2010

Helping Mother

'Helping Mother'
Painted by
Jessie Wilcox Smith (1853-1919)

 This little girl looks just like my Miss Claire (child #3) did at the same age. 
All curls and as cute as a button. 
She is just shy of 17 and still as cute as a button and as of yesterday is officially on 'summer vacation'. 
Vacation is great but can be exhausting for Mom. 
I haven't told her yet but Mom has a few things on her list for Miss Claire to accomplish this summer.
'The List'
-Learn how to cook a complete meal by herself.
- Learn how properly stack and run the dishwasher.
-Learn how to sort and run the laundry machine and dryer.
-Learn how to properly iron clothes.
-Learn how to mend her own clothes.
-Learn how to get her doona (duvet) into her doona cover.
-Learn to take the initiative to do all of the above without being asked!
Of course, with all this comes self satisfaction for her.
Oh yes, she also has to learn how to drive a car :)

Am I being a taskmaster???
Should I calm the Virgo in me?

Did I mention that I own this too?
PS...Thank you to everyone who commented on my 
'Shoeless in England' post. All I can say is wow!
So many fantastic suggestions. I am going to write a post on your suggestions.
Stay tuned....

Images 1, 2~me, 3, 4


  1. I'd love to have a look at that book and check how many of those things I know (I've left home). Are there any things you don't know?

    Your Miss Claire is beautiful, well, I guess was beautiful and still is.

    And the picture reminds me of Norman Rockwell's cheerful art.

  2. Fantastic Jeanne! I'm going to get a copy of that book post haste. We're just about to start winter holidays here at Chez Joy and I think I'll just copy that list you've made for Claire and put it on our noticeboard. They will eventually learn, won't they? How can they know how to reconfigure computers and change all the settings on my iPhone, but can't seem to work out where the plates and glasses go in the cupboard? Yours, in solidarity, Meredy xo.

  3. Love the J W Smith picture.

    Great summer list, that your daughter will thank you for when she heads off to university and is the only girls that doesn't dye all her clothes pink.:)

    My mom always said, "you are never done being a mom."

    Enjoy your summer.

  4. The Virgo in me hears you! That thought that you might as well do the jobs yourself so that they aren't left half done or not done. And all this vs the need for Miss Claire to do things on her own. I don't know the answer Jeanne. But maybe the learning to drive could be a reward for the other things on the list!

  5. Hi - I love your list - I will be there with you fast-forward less than ten years - eeekk.

    I have this wonderful 'mother's help' who comes and helps me with the kids and she started University last year. She is just completing her first year now. She is awesome, but was similarly less savvy when she left.

    Now - whatever she learned in that first year away has formed her so much and in a great way. She was wonderful before but now - just more grounded. So I guess even if they don't know it all before they go - they pick it along the way! Lou x

  6. Dear Jeanne,
    I love your list for your daughter!!! ....because I`ve got the same "specimen" at home...:) My daughter is going to be 17 in October and the only thing she can do is preparing a pudding. :O
    I guess, because we`re loving our daughters so much, are w e doing all the work at home. BUT we are able to learn, aren`t we? :)
    Jeanne, I recognized a few days ago that your blogsite "collage of life" doesn`t work right on my site. Every time I tried to start your right adress (http://collageoflife-henrqs.blogspot.com), it shows me always the old blog. I really don`t know why the blogsite doesn`t take it. I am really sorry for that (I´ve got an virgo part in my personality too...:) because I don´t like unfixed things or things which needs correction.)I stay tuned. Beate :)

  7. What a great list- and no, you're not being a taskmaster! You're actually giving Claire a gift-although she may not see it as such quite yet. My husband taught my son to use the washer and dryer at age 10-and I never did a load of his things after that... honestly! Training to be a good husband started early...

  8. hahaha LOVE it Jeanne
    You know my mum had all of us kids able to cook, sew and clean.. boys included...

    Love the artwork and as Mise said. reminds me of Norman Rockwell paintings... You daughter is a cutie!!

    Have a great week xxx Julie

  9. Dear Jeanne, that is a fantastic list, I ought to learn to do all those things too (joking); what a beautiful girl your daughter must be, she was so cute as a little girl, just like the girl in the picture. Bx

  10. That is a great list Jeanne and one your daughter will thank you for in the long run, I can't wait to see how it progresses, keep us posted.

    By the way the photo is adorable, what a cutie.

  11. Miss Claire is just so adorable!

    Oh, and I love what you're doing, Jeanne! It's a matter of independence for her. The more she can do on her own, the better she'll survive out there.

  12. I don't know how my daughter learned how to do all those things...I never took much time to teach her the ways of a house. Somehow, she manages to keep a well-organized, happy home for her family.

  13. what a beautiful photos,
    what a beautiful blog,
    congratulations and happy summer!!!
    Elena, the spanish one

  14. Wonderful post, Jeanne, I'm sure Miss Claire will be busy all summer! And, on a worrying note, I'm anxious that I may be receiving a copy of that very same book soon :D

  15. Jeanne - I loved this post - I read this with my GG whilst having a mother and daughter moment....she reminded me that because I was working when she was growing up, she became pretty adept at household tasks! I felt pretty guilty at the time that she was learning a lot, fast, but now she's quite competent and whoever she ends up sharing a house with will thank me!! (I think we still need to get the book though - there must be lots of useful stuff we still need!) Oh & maybe a copy of the highway code - I was lacking in my instruction behind the wheel...keep us posted & Claire was adorable by the way....xx

  16. Bonjour Jeanne,
    Your duaghter was a cutie, I'm sure she is now real beauty. i love the list of things you have planned for her suller holiday. Every girl should be so lucky to have a mother who takes time to teach all those important things.
    Off to see your shoe post now, I must have missed it.
    a bientôt,

  17. Oh my Goodness - your daughter was just like the little girl. So cute. I compiled a list for my 12 year boy last year - easy just 3 things - it's more work going through it than doing the stuff myself - but I shall stay with it and hopefully send a boy who can cook, clean, groom and look after himself out into the world. That's hard - stay with it - she will thank you I'm sure.

  18. It's funny but I have a similar list for my teens and 20-somethings. They are doing fairly well on all fronts but the driving. We're going to work on that next year. Here is a link to my list - lots of overlap with yours. http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.com/2010/01/moms-list-for-high-school-graduation.html


Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com