Monday, January 11, 2016

Who Will Clean While I Make the Quilts?

Funky Star

So it's a new year, and as I do every year  I've made my annual list of resolutions for my children. This year I've resolved that they will do more around the house. They've always had to do chores, but the fact is they could pitch in a lot more than they do. Over Christmas, as I was performing open heart surgery   climbing Mt. Everest  cursing the holidays  working my tuchus off to get everything ready, I started to grow ... what is the word for it? Resentful. Yes, that is the word for it. There they were, my wonderful boys, doing absolutely nothing while I did absolutely everything. This must change, I told myself. And so it has.

Sort of.

Jack now does the dinner dishes. Will vacuums every day and puts the water glasses on the table for dinner. Both of them are supposedly making their beds every morning, but that's hit or miss. Will is doing his laundry, but hasn't gotten around to the folding part. Jack has been doing his laundry for years--still doesn't fold.

The thing neither of them seem to be able to do? Put the dang cap back on the toothpaste. Why is this? I'm trying not to focus all of my energy on one tiny thing, but good grief, fellas!

(The New York Public Library has digitized its 
photography collections!)

The hard thing is not nagging. I'm doing my best to simply, gently remind. I send Jack funny texts, mention to Will oh-so-nonchalantly that I'd love to have the living room vacuumed by, say, dinnertime?

Which reminds me, Jack still hasn't done the dinner dishes. Sigh. Time to text.


Can I tell you something? I'm so over making dinner right now. It's not that I mind cooking, I just don't want to have to cook. I'd rather read.


Do I have resolutions? I'm not really a resolution girl, but I would like to pay closer attention as Travis and I take our walks around the neighborhood. I walk Travis almost every morning, and it's always one of two walks. We go to the end of our street and either turn right or left. Travis always chooses, and he always alternates.

I like taking the same two walks. Which are never the same two walks. We've lived in this neighborhood for almost nine years, and I've gotten to know all the yards really well. I've gotten to know the light. And still I see new things every day.

This is my neighbor's garage. The windows are at the back of the garage. You can look through them to the backyard. Usually the garage door is down, so I've never had this view before. (If you click on the picture, you can see their winter garden + sculpture.)

This is the bottom of my street in the late afternoon. There's something about the light here that's very January to me.

I saw this car this morning. Don't know who Aunt Puddin' is. Wish I did. Do you have an Aunt Puddin' in your neighborhood? I think every neighborhood should have one.

What are you resolved to pay attention to this year?


Tracy said...

I popped in (because you can do that when the drive is only 6 minutes!) at work today to pick up a key and have a poke about in my new classroom. I was chatting with the receptionist, who has all adult children who have left home, either permanently or for Uni. She affirmed my belief that children never really understand taking care of themselves fully till they leave home. Hence - I still tell my kids to do their dishes jobs. Even at nearly 20. And I still have to argue about it, apparently. Even at nearly 20. Grrrr.

I've decided that this is the year the kids start to behave like grown up adults. Dh will need to sit down and figure out what we need for that to look like, but it will happen. You will be amused at the conversation I had with Miss Sunshine yesterday:

Me: So if you go part time, what will you do instead
Miss S: Other things
Me: What other things?
Miss S: I don't know, Mum. Just things.

I suggested that unless she came up with some concrete "other things" she might as well just go to Uni full time. And something about adults having to be responsible and not have free rides from their parents because they want a break. Next time don't study over summer if you want a break. But, she tells me, being an adult is so hard. Pffft. She has no idea!

Susan Zimmerman said...

I've got to get my kids doing more chores. Sigh.

Will and Jack are very industrious compared to the sloths who inhabit my house. We have weekly chores (a pitiful few) and a few daily requirements such as making one's bed, doing one's own breakfast dishes and setting the dinner table. I am often exhausted by the reminding that needs to happen in order for the pittance of chores to be completed. It would be so much easier to just do them myself. But then I will have won the battle but lost the proverbial war, right?

Angela said...

I resolve to eat less cake at church teas, or I will turn into Aunt Puddin!!

grateful that my girls are beyond this stage and now good at laundry, cooking etc. They have to be, they no longer live at home. Mind you, when they come back, they take their turn at chores.

Hang in their . mothers of teens, they WILL come out the other side, eventually....

God bless you all x

Leslie said...

I really like the garage windows. I'm afraid if our garage went through to the backyard my husband would dream of putting garage doors on both ends. The resentful thing...I so get it. It has not gotten any better now that my kids are young adults. And this past holiday season I worked the day before and after Christmas. So, there is that. I need to work on asking for specifics and they need to be more thoughtful. But I hope that will come with a little more maturity and practice and I was too busy to stew very long. And my husband pitched in a ton. I am busy slowly getting organized and one thing I thought I should put on my "to do list" is "watch the sunrise." So I've been more aware of it the past few mornings.
Many Blessings,
-Leslie in tx

Pom Pom said...

Hi Frances! I really don't do chores even now. I did not do a good job of teaching our four how to do things. I am thankful that they manage to live in pretty tidy environments now, but my husband and I did most of the jobs when they all lived at home.
I saw a funny ecard that said, "Why do they need dinner every single night?"

Gumbo Lily said...

First! The wonky star block! I like it! I'm kinda into wonky quilts right now.

I remember having someone ask me once, "How long must I bug my kids about getting their chores done?" And I said, "Until they leave home." It's just a fact.

I would rather sew or embroider than cook and clean. It's a fact.

Happy New Year!

Ali said...

I am a total pushover when it comes to chores. Mine will leave home utterly undomesticated and live like pigs in muck. As long as they leave home, I am just looking forward to not living in the muck with them or cleaning up after their royal personages.

Kit said...

I am so with you about the no cooking. Once my girls left the nest, I decided that if I didn't want to cook, I wasn't going to. Hubby is great and good about take out and delivery. :) Kit

Nancy McCarroll said...

Regarding your last question: I am on the lookout for miracles. And when I find one, nobody will be able to talk me out of its presence, nobody.

As for cooking, yes, I get it. When you have boys, that means you must cook lots of food. No way to get around that one.

I always like reading your posts and appreciate your voyeurism in this one. I clicked on the photo of the neighbor's garage and got a glimpse of the outside sculpture. Felt like I was taking a walk with you.