What, Me Mulch?

A parent's labor pains really start when kids are old enough to start doing a little housework

My kid is having a dreamy summer--full of lazy days spent deciphering cloud formations, performing circus tricks on her bicycle and waltzing to her grandmother's house each afternoon for games of killer badminton, followed by intense spoiling sessions. (Sample dialogue: "More ice cream, dear?" "Don't mind if I do!") Then, last week, tragedy struck: I told her to mulch the flower bed. My daughter is sweet and helpful, as long as the chore is a) interesting, b) fun or c) profitable.

Mulching is none of those things. Like many other boomer parents, I've always acted as if my kid's main functions...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!