Warning: This blog is not all sunshine, rainbows, and buttercups. I do not post recipes or crafting advice. Leave now while you still can. I’m not kidding. SCRAM! Unless you want to laugh at me. Then stick around. I’ll give it my best shot.
I don’t exactly have the highest of standards. You can tell how low they are the moment you walk into my house. The floors could usually use a good washing, there are always dishes and laundry to put away, and the houseplants are all desperate for a sip of water. I’m okay with it. Early on in this whole parenting thing I decided that any day that doesn’t involve an emergency room visit is a wild success.
In the beginning of our parenting adventure, The Pastor would come home from work, look around the house with a bewildered look on his face and say “What happened?!” Now, after many years of intense training, he walks in the house, looks around with a look of satisfaction on his face and says “Woo Hoo! It appears there were less than two pints of blood lost today!” and then we all do a little happy dance.
Because my standards are so low, I do not think it is too much to ask for my family to help me out in a few little ways. I have decided to make five new rules that, if my children follow, will raise my quality of life tremendously. Read on and tell me if you think I’m asking too much.
1. Use a napkin. They are usually kept on the kitchen table and at any given meal there is usually a napkin less than three inches from any child’s hand. Interestingly enough, this is closer than their shirt. This means that my children actually have to work harder to wipe their hand on their shirt than they would to use a napkin. It appears that my children like working harder. They will actually pass their hand over a napkin on their way to wipe their hands on their shirt. I have even seen a child of mine set down a napkin they were holding so that their hands were free to wipe on their shirt. This is crossing a line. My standards are higher than that. Possibly.
2. Listen the first time. I’m not talking about paying attention to some long list of chores or a lecture on not hitting your sister. I’m talking about asking me a direct question and then making me repeat the answer five times. One of my children is very good at this. I’m not going to name any names but I will tell you that if we were royalty, he would be second in line for the throne. Conversations with this anonymous child have been known to go something like this.
Child: What are we doing this afternoon?
Me: Well, I wa…
Me: I was saying that…
Me: I think tha-
Child: You could have just said so in the first place.
No, he’s not deaf. Believe me, we checked thoroughly. On multiple occasions. With specialists. Also, he can hear a bag of chips being opened on the opposite end of the house, on a different floor of the house, through three closed doors.
3. Don’t hide your laundry. Am I the only parent who has to specifically request this? I’m not even asking them to sort, wash or fold the stuff, just don’t hide it from me. Once every few
months weeks days, my children will start complaining that they don’t have any socks or underwear. I have two choices. I could buy them new socks and underwear (their preference) or I could crawl through their rooms hunting for dirty socks and underwear (nobody’s preference, trust me). I choose The Hunt. It’s cheaper.
The Hunt is not simply walking through each child’s room picking up dirty clothes off the floor. My children are good at hiding things. Luckily, my finding skills far surpass the TSA. I’m like a laundry bloodhound. I have found dirty socks and underpants between the mattress and box spring, tucked behind books on a shelf, tucked inside books on the floor, hidden inside board game boxes, in the garbage can (between the actual can and liner), and my favorite, folded and returned to the sock drawer. Who are these disgusting little people and why are they trying to drive me crazy?
4. Don’t sneeze your mucus into my open mouth or on my dinner. I think this one is pretty self explanatory. I also don’t think you want to hear about why it needs to be a rule in my house.
5. You know what? I don’t even need five rules. Just those four would be so nice. Once again I will lower my standards and now just list four new rules. My hope is that my children will see this short list and attempt to follow all four rules. My hope is also that The Pastor will attempt to work on number four. 😉
That is it. That is how very low my standards are. I hope that my low standards have made you feel a bit better because trust me, no matter how messy you are, compared to me you have OCD. I mean that in the nicest of ways.
You could show people how very high your standards are by sharing my blog! Consider it a rule.