QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Sigh. I'm not sure whether the weekend is more relaxing or more stressful.

As a stay-at-home mom who works full-time from home, I drop off the boys at school, do a little dance, and enjoy the peace and quiet working in my home office while the husband is at work and the boys are at school. I like everything in its place, which is easy to maintain while there's no one around to take items out of their places.

With all four of us at home on the weekend, however, things are out of their places at disconcerting, lightning speed. Take one person who can relocate several items from their rightful places and multiply it by three (I exclude myself from moving items from their places, of course), and you have an anxious, OCD woman in what she perceives as a chaotic situation for as long as said people are home. lol. Okay - I'm not that bad. (?)

Recently, though, I came up with the notion that I should imitate the myriad other wives out there who author the cliched "honey do" list. One of my friends in Chicago has a very handy husband who (this is absolutely true, I swear) made (not purchased) a blackboard to function as his wife's honey do list. The first thing on the list (and this is also absolutely true) was for him to create a larger blackboard to function as the honey-do list, the first one having been too small to accommodate the list.

Not having as handy a husband and not as handy myself, I created my new honey do list on the computer. I used a nice, big, friendly font. I pondered for a few minutes before adding each item, wanting to ensure I didn't forget anything that I had been wanting him to do around the house- and not wanting to start too "big" with this new concept. The list only amounted to 3 items, because 1) this was a new concept, and I didn't want to overwhelm him and 2) he actually already does a lot around the house, so there isn't that much to go on the list (insert footnote: remember - he reads this blog). I kept the level of difficulty low as well, being realistic. The first two items on the list, for example, were: 1) take the tv that doesn't work anymore and the loveseat with the springs sticking out of the cushions from the basement to the dump and 2) Clean out the kitchen desk baskets (which consist almost wholly of old receipts, golf tees, buttons, and weird odds and ends, like the lost and found for unidentifiable mechanical parts mysteriously separated from their mechanical devices).

Proudly printing off my newly created honey do list with a flourish (creating a honey do list has been on my list for awhile), I casually handed it to him on a Saturday morning, smiling broadly, careful that he understood this was part joke (aren't the subtleties of communication brilliant?). He gazed at it for a moment and then irreverently tossed it aside and resumed his reading of the newspaper. Hmmm. Not wanting to be a nagging type of wife, I merely described the toss to him as irreverent indeed and let it go, content to bide my time for my next subtle pounce.

Of course, there are things around the house which I consider to be my responsibility, and these, I've considered lately, can be readily done by the boys. Slowly but surely I've been training them to pitch in to do the chores I loathe, such as emptying the dishwasher, making their school lunches, and doing the laundry. I rationalize that it makes me not so much an inept, irresponsible mother and more of a mom who is not enabling her sons to become useless husbands (okay - or bachelors) someday. It's a great idea in theory, but unfortunately my requests of them to do something to help around the house are usually met with great, recalcitrant resistance. See if some of these phrases sound at all familiar, fellow parents:

- Aww mom, why can't [my brother] do it? I always have to do that!

- It's not my turn!

- But I haven't had any time to play today!

- I don't waaannntt to...

- Can't I do it later?

- How much are you going to pay me for that?

- But my room is clean...

- But I didn't make the mess!

and so forth and so on.

For crying out loud; if I don't get some cooperation and help around the house, how are all of these bon bons going to get eaten?

1 comment:

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