There are those who say I lack a filter. Ya know the thing that keeps you from saying something socialy wrong. I think they are a-holes too.
So I am living in an old west stand off: Then hands off mom vs. Grandma. I have kinda really enjoyed the experience. I have watched her work like a ten year old litlle league kid would watch Pete Rose. She is the master and I am her thorn in her side. She only had 3 rules for me and Jared. Make your bed, make sure all clothes go in the hampers and keep the bathroom clean. This is where my Mom's rules differed. She had one rule: Make sure the house is clean and all the laundry is done and the windows are washed and the beds are made and everything else that I think of but don't actually tell you or show you how to do is done. The kids have a chore chart, the simplest thing I have ever seen, and it rotates daily. Breakfast and Dinner dishes are done right after dinner by whomever is assigned and that includes the kitchen. Pick up upstairs and downstairs and wipe down upstairs bathroom and downstairs bathroom. I have taught the children how to do all these things, I just have never been able to get them to do it. "Ha," I thought, "this will never work. Now she will see what I go through." There will be weeping and wailing and all that other stuff.
I came into this whole set up late as I was in Salt Lake when the family moved. So, the first night when dinner was done it was Alex's turn to clean. She cleared her table then plopped in front of the tv. Alice calmly, (this is the part that killed me) walked over and asked Alex to finish her chore. Alex got up, worked unitl everyone else was visiting, then went back and plopped by the tv. Alice immediately calmly asked Alex to finish her chore. Alex got up and continued her job. This is normally wherer i would snap and just finish it or let the disher rot, but Alice just kept re directing her til it was done. I was amazed. There was no crying, I was not cursing under my breath about having to do dishes after my long hard day, it was drama free chores.
Several days later when I had a day off I was fortunate enough to be party to the downstairs deep clean. I thought I would help out since I was home. At one point Alice told me she was going to run upstairs and i needed to pick up thirteen things before she got back. "okay." and I dutifly started looking for things. The room was pretty cl...wait a minute! That's my line and it's ten things!! You're not pulling that business on me. I wrote that business. I am 10 years away from the senior breakfast at Denny's! I will not pick up 13 things. Who do you think you are? Mary?? I waited for Alice to come back so I could hassle her but I got distracted by the challenge of finding thirteen things and I was worried Emily might be ahead, so I went on.
I have a schedule. I work for a few days then on my days off wander through the house picking up clothes until I have about 3 buckets and then I start the laundry process. I sort them, put a load in, then get distracted. About five hours later I remember I have something in the washer, I rewash it so it doesnt' smell then dry it and stick it in a bucket becuse usually I am onto something else. The rest of the sorted clothes go back in the bucket until next laundry day. On the days I actually need clothes, I wake up and hour early to get my work clothes clean. This is my schedule. I'm so proud. So the other day I was wandering around the house looking for the laundry to do and all the buckets were outside in a stack waiting to go to storage. I went and found mary and asked her where the launry was. "It's done."
"What does that mean?
"But where is the rest of it"
"but what about all the socks?"
"They are matched and put away."
...so that's where they came from.
"but what about the socks with no match?"
"And the mending."
"Done. Where have you been?"
"Who did it?"
"We're done here."
There I sat, very alone and frightened. I have had a pile of laundry in every home I have occupied. It has followed us to 2 houses. It was my friend. It was the thing that only I could conquer. It was why they kept me around, or so I thought.
"Mary, one more question? what am I supposed to do today?"
"Whatever you want, I guess."
Wow. I got out my violin and practiced for a while. It's been a long time since I have had no hosework looming. I wandered around the house and saw my calm little children reading and having fun and I had absolutely nothing about which to nag them. That night after dinner, I watched as emily dutifully launched into her chores and finished them. I was shocked. It's been a month now and I follow my kids around and remind them about their chores. No yelling, no guilt. I feel like we have been attending rehab for housekeeping challenged people.
I wan't my one month chip!