Oh, I’m sorry. You put shoes where?

0
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dirty dishes

Let me state for the record that I love our young adult children. They are good kids, as far as we know. Honest and trustworthy and pretty able to do their chores and help out when needed.

I pride myself on not raising slackers. Our “Build your own human, no experience necessary” experiments turned out remarkably well, considering we made up most of the rules as we went along.

Still, despite our best efforts, there are still some areas that could use a little more attention to detail.

We have always run a “teamwork makes the dream work” sort of home. Everyone pitches in. Homes don’t clean themselves, after all.

Things have been humming along pretty well, with everyone coming and going and getting things done and still managing to pitch in to keep the house fairly put together (if you don’t turn on the lights all the way or look too closely).

This illusion persisted right up to the moment that BoyWonder, Eagle Scout and engineering student extraordinaire, vacuumed AROUND a pair of muddy boots on the floor and I just about lost my mind.

GirlWonder, for her part, has left a trail of bobby pins throughout the house so thick that there cannot possibly be any left for her hair.

I still talk (read: nag) and ask them to clean up and pick up and “for the love of all things good and Holy PLEASE PICK UP YOUR STUFF!” Nonetheless, I wonder if at some point I may just have to settle for reaping sweet, sweet revenge?

Sands of time

I know our time with them living at home is fleeting. Someday, they will be living in their own places. Just as soon as I have dried my tears over the idea that my babies have left the only home they have ever known, I plan to visit them.

I will not be traveling light. I will take extra shoes that I’m not even wearing with me when I visit. These I will drop in a pile by the door. Mr. Wonderful and I will fan out, the better to cover the area. We are thinking a trail of shoes showing all the places we have been in their home.

We will also add some wadded up, dirty blue jeans and assorted laundry for good measure.

It goes without saying that we will visit the bathroom to drop towels on the floor and leave brushes by the sink. Naturally.

I will head to the kitchen to fill drinking glasses of various sizes with a variety of liquids. These I will scatter throughout the house.

I will bang drawers, open cabinets (but never close them), and gaze longingly into the open refrigerator. I will repeat this multiple times throughout the visit. I will sigh loudly into a space stuffed with hundreds of dollars worth of food and insist that there is nothing to eat.

I will let their pets do whatever they want (to be fair, I do that now). I will leave a trail of my time in their homes. Socks on the floor and popcorn on the couch. I’m hiding the remote control for the cable box on principal.

If they complain, I will insist that my efforts (or lack thereof) make the house look “lived in.”

“All the other kids let their parents do what they please,” we will cry.

Then as we end our visit, I will leave them a little sign so they always know that we love and adore them and wouldn’t change a thing. Just before I go, I will balance one dirty butter knife on the edge of the sink and insist it cannot possibly go into the dishwasher or sink.

I’m totally coming back to make another sandwich, after all.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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