Why do children wait to do chores until you get home from a long day at the office? Or perhaps you tell them chores need to be done by 4 PM on a Saturday except they hear, “start your chores at 4 PM”. Hell, I think my sons think the list of chores I leave on the island is just the starting point of negotiations.
What’s Going Through Your Head?
Seriously, what the hell is going through their head when they feel the following is waaayyyy to much to ask of them:
- Clean the bedroom (stuff like making the bed, vacuuming, dusting, and picking-up)
- Clean the bathroom
- Unload/load dishwasher
A part of me wants to have an experiment and tell them that they don’t need to do anything they don’t want to and see how dirty their rooms and bathroom get. Like how disgusting is too disgusting for 11 and 15-year-old boys? On second thought, let’s not do that. I cleaned their toilet yesterday since it hadn’t had a mom-cleaning in months. And let me tell you, a yellow fruitcake had developed around the rim of the toilet. When I put the once white toilet seat up the color was now more of a harvest gold.
Minimum Cleaning Expectations
I’m not asking them to be OCD or anything like that. What I am asking is to take the mug that held hot chocolate last week down to the sink, rinse it out and throw it in the dishwasher. On any given day, I can go into my oldest’s room and find an empty ice cream tub or half drank water bottles. The younger one isn’t any better. It’s not uncommon to find multiple compressed Capri Sun pouches, an empty bag of pretzels and chocolate wrappers, and that’s just on his bed.
I am not a dirty person. My house can be messy but we work full-time and participate in travel soccer. I had a man-maid once but his cleaning started to go downhill and he told bat-shit, unbearably long stories. And when I say bat-shit, I mean talk to us for five minutes, convincing us that aliens are real and his son is in the CIA (or maybe it was the FBI or the chess club, I don’t remember) and conveyed this top security information to his father.
And let me leave you with this thought as to why my sons should have no problem keeping their rooms clean. We live in the most cookie-cutter of cookie-cutter homes. When we bought this house, I was just 26 and oblivious to my future and the room we would need. I didn’t care that bedroom 2 and 3 were the size of a well-appointed bathroom, our room was big and that was all that mattered.
Fast forward to today and to put a queen in their room would be a struggle. A twin bed, desk, nightstand and dresser fit nicely but it would be a cold day in hell before you get a king bed in there. What I’m getting at is they aren’t cleaning Versaille or the Taj Majal. It’s not like we’re rich and they have an area for their bed and a sitting area and a large walk-in closet. Hell no, their rooms are like the showroom faux apartments you walk through at Ikea.
Are your kid(s) like this? Is this normal? Have I failed in this respect of parenting? And for the parents out there with adult children, does it get better? It has to get better, right?