Gonzo is a very active kid and as he gets older, I am trying to always foster - or force - independence. Like all teenagers, he has a tendency to procrastinate on somethings, though once you get him on track, he is fine. Stepping back, I try to just provide helpful comments. Not that anyone listens to them, but I swear the comments are floating around. This must be a woman thing; Dad and son seem to hear each other reasonably well.
Come with me to an alternate universe, where language is skewed and linguistically invisible to mortal men. This is how the conversation goes as my Hubzam (husband) helps him get his stuff together for a scout trip that involves fishing and camping. Though I am in the room, it's like I'm on the other side of the planet:
Hubzam: So, are you ready for the trip?
Me: He has to finish packing up his stuff. Gonzo, I left the email from the leaders on the desk. It tells what you need to bring - there's a whole packet we printed out last week, too.
Gonzo: Yeah, I'm gonna pack tomorrow.
Me: You're gonna pack tonight. I need you to help me set up tables tomorrow.Hubzam: Do you know what you need when you pack tomorrow?
Me: We have a list and I printed an email from the leaders. Pack tonight.
Hubzam: How are you gonna find out what you need tomorrow?
Me: Uh...printout...sitting on the desk...
Gonzo: I don't know, it's just the regular camping stuff, I guess.
Me: You're doing two fishing merit badges. Start packing.
Hubzam: Are you doing fishing merit badges? Do you need to take bait?
Me: Great. We were at a friend's house on the other side of town for four hours...and they raise worms...too late now.
Gonzo: I'll see if I can find out what else I need. I probably need bait.
Me: Printout of email...sitting on the desk... Where are we going to get bait at this hour?
Hubzam: Do you need a fishing pole? I'll bet you need a fishing license, too. Dang. We need to find out for sure.
Me: Email...email...email. Seems like a sure thing, info-wise.
Gonzo: Yeah...I am pretty sure I need the fishing pole, but I'm not sure about the license. You need a license to fish?
Me: As God is my witness, there is a printout of the leaders' email sitting on the desk...Hubzam: Didn't you think you should tell me that you needed a fishing pole sooner? A license, maybe? Sheesh, I'll bet you need a trout stamp...
Me: We're stamping trout now. Can I read the email to you? I'll go the extra mile here.
Gonzo: I didn't think it was a big deal, we have till tomorrow.
Me: Gonzo, you're packing tonight. Honey, don't you have a slew of fishing poles?Hubzam: Yes, I have a bunch of fishing poles, but they all need new line. You should have told me. I can't believe I have to do this at this late date. Dang. They all need new line.
Gonzo: I'm sorry. Maybe I don't need a fishing pole...
Me: Yes, you do. Read the email. Do we need to buy him his own fishing pole? The need for line seems to be a big deal...Hubzam: Why would I do that, I have perfectly good fishing poles? All I have to do is to go Wallymart and get line?
Gonzo: Okay, we'll just do that! No problem.
Hubzam: Do you have any idea of what else you need - after all, we're going to Wallymart?
Me: I'm gonna staple this email to someone's head in a minute. No one goes to Walmart till they read this email.
Hubzam: Why aren't we going fishing more often? All boys and their Dad should fish. That's it; we are going fishing, son. After we change out this line and get our stuff, we going to start going fishing more often.
Me: He is going to pack now...
Hubzam: Do you know how to cast, son?
Me: He never goes fishing, I'm guessing he isn't a pro caster right this minute...go ahead and pack. And take this email, it has information about the trip and what you need to bring!!
Gonzo: Hmm. I think so...
Hubzam: Let's go out in the field and cast.
Me: I'm not packing for anyone and you'll have to pry this email out of my cold, dead hands.
Gonzo: I'll bet there's an email. I'll check.
True story. 'Nuff said.