Posted by: Mark Nielsen | July 24, 2008

Tricky At Age Six

Six years old is such a difficult age

… for the parents!

What? Oh, okay, some days are tough for the kids, too. But everyone
knows that six-year-olds have no patience, very little brains, and too
much energy. So we always cut them some slack. Compared to the easily
lost patience, worried mind, and dwindling energy of their parents,
six year olds have got it easy.

I’ll review just five minutes of our morning yesterday, to illustrate
my point. Sue was set on staining/sealing the deck in Wisconsin, which
meant keeping Graham out from under foot.

Fishing! The perfect way to waste an hour. Except Graham’s too young,
or too uncoordinated, to be able to cast. And it was already getting
hot out on the boat. So after ten minutes he got bored of trying to
hook my lip with an errant cast, and asked to go in. Nothing was
biting anyway, so we went back after about half an hour.

So then began the five minute fiasco:

1) I gave him strict instructions not to leave the dock or the back yard. So he asked for some oatmeal
from inside the house, to feed the bluegills that hang out by our

2) I gave him the oatmeal in a paper bowl and sat nearby, reading.

3) He dumped the whole bowl in the water at once. We have a fishtank.
I thought he’d know to sprinkle. I was wrong.

4) A bit after that, I asked where the bowl was. “In the lake,” he
replied, with nary a trace of guilt.

5) As I grabbed a fishing pole to try getting the bowl before it
floated away (my own private carnival game… what fun… ahem), he managed to use those five minutes to get lost.

6) When I found him, he was messing around in the garage. Since that
was not the dock, nor the backyard, I sent him to his room for ten

Shockingly, at no point during this five minutes did I lose my temper,
or my mind. But I don’t know how many more mornings like that I’ve got
left in me. Because as the days go by, I’m getting old and weak, while
he’s getting stronger, braver, and more creative in his ability to get
into trouble.

How much does one of those SuperNannies cost?


  1. Hey, I’ve got twin 7 year olds. Right now they are tidying their room before we go out to visit the Dsicovery (Captain Scot)It sounds like a bad day at Disneyland in there. Imagine it as having two like yours but add in the capacity for conspiracy!

  2. Oops, I meant….(Captain Scott)

  3. Aaargh, I meant to say “Discovery”, it’s the pressure of parenting that makes my hands shake!

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