Saturday, March 08, 2008

Raising an adult child

The other day as I was picking up casually tossed shoes, cereal bowls, and papers off the floor, while I was turning off lights left on by others and moving furniture back to its rightful place, it hit me: When this new baby comes I won't just be raising two children. I already have two children. I'll be raising three.

The difference between Chicky and her soon to be sister and this other kid is this: Chicky weighs in at a trim 30 pounds and she's under three feet tall. The other is 5'10, would kill me if I divulged his weight on the internet, and is 35 years old.

The third child that I'm raising is my husband. But you probably already figured that out, didn't you?

Smart readers. Oooh, so smart readers.

It's hard to decide who I get after most to clean up after themselves or just to be somewhat human and less simian while I'm around, Mr. C or Chicky. They both burp loudly at the dinner table. They both throw things at me when I ask for them instead of nicely handing them to me (and don't think Mr. C has better aim than my kid, they're pretty equal). They both leave their socks on the floor and complain when the same dirty socks are found in the dogs' mouths soon after.

And don't even get me started on the flatulence. I've never seen two people more proud of the gas they produce.

If anything, Chicky is more conscientious. She'll help me with the laundry and is very happy to turn a light off when she leaves the room. And no cabinet door or dishwasher shall be left open for more than two seconds if someone is not actively putting things into or pulling things out of it.

Mr. C? These signs have been up in our cabinets for years now.

Guess how often he actually pays attention to them.

My husband was raised by a woman who taught him, Lawd bless her, to respect all people, not just women but did not teach him the fine art of picking up after his own ass. That means that my dear husband, who loves and cherishes me and will occasionally give me a foot rub when I whine enough threaten ask for one, who provides for his family by working 'round the clock and getting four hours of sleep a night, is not exactly the guy who will go out of his way to consider "What would make my wife's life easier?". Chivalrous is not exactly a word I would use to describe him. Tidy is not one either.

Picking up that subscription card that fell out of the magazine he was reading and is now laying in the middle of a nice clean floor? Nah, he'll never notice it.

He's not the guy who'll lay his jacket down over a mud puddle for a lady, but he'll help you across. Just prepare to get your cute shoes muddy, it won't kill you. Besides, you should have known better than to wear those shoes on such a crappy day.

Dirty coffee cups? Coats hung up on the bannister or on the closet door instead of actually IN the closet? Power tools used to do odd jobs around the house now left on kitchen counters well within reach of little hands instead of back down into the basment? The magical fairies come in the middle of the night and bring all these things back to their enchanted world of "Away", don't they?


Sadly, there are no fairies and I am the ruler of the magical world of "Away". As in, put that damn stuff Away before I pack it all up and sell it on EBay or just toss it in the garbage.

I love that man. Life would not run as smoothly, all things considered, around here without him. He works the heavy machinery that scares the daylights out of me, like snow blowers and electric screw drivers, brings home the bacon, cleans the pool and handles the bills and I... Do everything else.

Unless I bitch loud enough. And believe me, I can bitch.

I've taught my daughter who is not yet three to help sort darks and lights for the laundry, I can certainly, with patience and persistence, teach my husband to help out without having to throw staplers at his head. And I, too, have very good aim.

The other weekend Mr. C took it upon himself to help out a tired and sore pregnant lady and folded four baskets of laundry without having to be asked. I call that a step in the right direction.

All I had to do was leave the clean laundry in those damn baskets for almost two weeks, unfolded, until he got sick of pulling wrinkled t-shirts out of them to wear and was turning his boxers inside out to get more use out of them because there were no clean ones folded nicely in his dresser drawer.

Next I think I'll install self-closing doors on the cabinets.


Unknown said...

What is with fathers and daughters and flatulence? I thought it was just a guy thing until my daughter came along. She is proud of what she produces and the smellier the better. And to make it worse, she is now 15.

kittenpie said...

What is it with the cabinet doors nad lights and socks? What? But haven't you learned that people don't read signs? Really, they don't see them. Even in, say, libraries, where you would think people would COME to read.

As for my part, I refuse to nag and fall into the role of the bitchy wife, so if socks are on the floor, there they stay. If clothes are not in the laundry pile, they don't get washed. Period. I am not a mind reader, I don't know what that shirt is doing on the banister or whether it is dirty or clean. I'm not touching it. The socks are starting to get to the laundry pile, and it only took running out a few times. And of course, there were those runs of days where I was stepping over a half dozen socks, but I refused to talk about it and he eventually got the hint.

Whirlwind said...

Ughh the sock thing. Try having 8 pairs of feet which ALWAYS lose their socks. I'm constantly picking them up everywhere. It's a wonder they have any left.

My Husband is the same way - use something and leave it there. About a month or so ago, I found Moe banging on a newly painted wall with a hammer Husband left on the floor. I was NOT very happy. Thankfully, i think that part of the wall will have wallpaper on it. Eventually.

Greens and Pinks said...

If there were a dead horse carcass in the middle of our living room floor, my husband would step right over it, look at me in amazement and say "what horse?"

In my house, things are basically the same. Mr. P brings home a much larger share of the bacon, takes out the trash and gives C a bath at night when he's home and I too do everything else.

megachick said...

i don't mind folding the laundry, but i don't put it away because my husband has some mystical system for storing his clothes. but then he doesn't put them away either, so they get thrown on the floor and i wash them 3 times between wearings!

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I think I just relived my weekend through this post. I just cannot understand men. I truly, truly can't. It infuriates me to no end when every. single. thing. you just mentioned happens around my house.

No amount of whining or bitching, begging and pleading will change it.

Makes me wanna cry.

flutter said...

The eternal struggle at our house is the toilet paper roll...and the immense difficulty that certain people have in replacing an empty one with one that actually has paper on it.


Hannah said...

In our house, its coats. Coats, jackets, and sweaters. We live in a split entry. The coat closet is at the top of the stairs. Every single day, he comes home, takes off the outer layer, and drops it on the floor. Literally feet from the closet door.

And guess what? I also work full time, outside of the home, and am 33 weeks pregnant, and we have a 2 1/2 year old, oh and his ill father-in-law lives with us too.

Hmmm.... I can think of one husband who is going to dole out a sweet footrub tonight, if he knows what's good for him.

Amy said...

Mr. Chicken puts his empty Coke bottles .... RIGHT NEXT TO THE RECYCLING BIN.

Not IN IT. NEXT to it.

One of these days my blood pressure is going to rise so high so quickly at the sight of this that my head will literally explode.

The Spunky Mommy said...

Are you channeling me? I could have written this. I hear ya. Thank goodness we love them all so much, right?

Julie Pippert said...

Send me a photo of your husband quick! I want to make sure we aren't married to the same man!

Oh wait, you said 35 and 5'10" that's too young and short.


However, where was he manufactured? I think I got the same version, slightly older model.

Heather said...

You're preachin' to the choir sister. Please tell me why my husband can't seem to put the paper plate in the garbage can that is right underneath the counter he just laid it on? Grrr.

And I have posted about my irritation about leaving cabinets open. He now leaves them open on purpose because he thinks it's funny...although not as much now that I'm pregnant. He doesn't have that much of a death wish I guess.

Anonymous said...

I personally think that it's really funny to not clean my house all week and then when the weekend roles around my hubby will start complaining about how gross the house is as if he doesn't realize that the majority of the grossness is from him and his daughter. The great thing is that since it is the weekend I can tell him to clean it up if he doesn't like it. :)

Anonymous said...

Like other posters, we seem to have married into some sort of tribe. Do I love him to death? Yes. Do I sometimes wish to bring him closer to death. Yes.

If you open it, close it. Not so much.

If you use it up, replace it. Nope.

If clothes are dirty they go . . . pretty much anywhere. Arrrrgh.

And, I am pretty sure I am not the only member of the family that can bend at the waist and or knees to pick things up off the floor.

But . . . I do love him!

Jess said...

the post tag - mawiage - that HAS to be from Princess Bride, right?

'Cause you're cool like that.

I alternate between amused that he can't see it and deeply wounded that he won't take ten minutes to straighten (straighten! As in make the couch look pretty! Toss the toys back in the bin!Clean up your ever-lovin' stacks of paper on the computer desk!) before I get home.

*shrugging* His mom died before I met him. His father lives like a hermit. I have had grave-side (one-way) conversations with Saint MIL about how she should be HAUNTING SOMEBODY, RIGHT QUICK.

Yes, I love him. I occasionally want to fold him up in a drawer.

Manic Mommy said...

You hit the nail on the head: they don't see it. My husband honestly doesn't notice if the house is dirty or care if it is clean. I do.

Before I left (paid) work, we discussed that the house would be my responsibility along with the kids *BUT* I needed him to not make more work for me. That last part? Is open for interpretation.

Get passive aggressive - you should see the amount of trash I can stack into what you'd think was a full trashcan (trash = his job).

Mandy said...

You totally hit on a pet peeve in our house... I had signs on the cupboard doors, mirrors, etc. I gave that up as he never "saw" them. Then I bought a white board where I could write a chore a day on it. Unfortunately, he never looked at it either.

I love my husband to bits, but I swear to God, he's 100% when it comes to looking around the house at the mess in his wake. With two kids, myself and a dog to pick up after, I really don't need another person on my list either!

Let me know if you find something (other than self-closing cupboards) that works!

motherbumper said...

Eek, I think we may be married to the same man. If so, can Paula Abdul play me in the Showtime movie "Two Bloggers, One Manchild"? She's the only one that could nail my character.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I got me an ex-Army guy, so he is very tidy. My kids are the ones that are driving me to drink with their inability to see anything that has fallen to the floor.

OhTheJoys said...

K is way tidier than I. Hallelujah.

Tania said...

No good advice here. Yours at least knows how to use power tools...

Kimberly Ann said...

So glad to have found your blog. And anyone who knows "mawiage" is a cyber friend of mine!

Moments Of Mom said...

HA, Mine THINKS he's tidy. THINKS he's anal retentive in his need for cleanliness and order. Only he too leaves things NEXT to the trash. NEXT to the sink.

I am still teaching him. He'll get there. The problem is, while he was loved beyond love, his insommiac mother/fairy cleaned his room, washed his clothes, dishes etc until the day he got married.
And I suspect given the chance she'd still do it.

Hang in. They are teachable. It just takes LOTS of nagging, err patience.

moosh in indy. said...

I once took the philosophy of leaving everything he left out throughout the day in his side of the bed, maybe if he SAW ALL OF IT it would click.
Or he'd just push it to my side when he was ready to go to bed.
Yep, sounds about right.

The Estrogen Files said...

Hubbers is the same way - leave it out? It will stay that way till I go INSANE! The kids inherited it from him. (yeah, that's the story!)

Mom101 said...

Wait, he actually hangs his coat over a doorknob instead of dropping it on the floor? God bless him.

Otherwise, I think I wrote this. You should hear the "clothes IN the hamper and not NEXT TO the hamper" debates. It's painful. If only I could ground him and dock his allowance.

Anonymous said...

This sounds too familiar. Do they learn this behavior at their bachelor parties or something?

karengreeners said...

oh, you married my husband. he's cute, huh? too bad about the flatulence.

Major Bedhead said...

Did they clone one model or something? You just described my husband, too. Better than I would have.

Does he snore like a sumbitch, too?

Velma said...

Mine is pretty good, now that I've abdicated doing his laundry for him. Heh. Actually, I'm the one most likely to leave something laying around, so I can't complain when the house is a wreck.

Anonymous said...

Other than leaving his socks on the floor for me to pick up, Boo is pretty tidy.

Because I've bitched at him long enough for him to learn.

Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks....

KimC said...

I am married to the same guy! Example- man doesn't want for 15 month old to get into the entertainment center, so I buy a kid lock- every morning when I get up I have to cram all his gaming wires back into the cabinet and lock the door. The only reason that I continue to do this is that if she broke something in there he would go and spend the money to replace it.

I gave up on the socks into the hamper, I just don't want him to ball them up anymore, that's all.

I clean everything. Also run the power tools. And take out the trash.

Anonymous said...

I was beginning to think we were married to the same man until I got to this part: "He works the heavy machinery that scares the daylights out of me, like snow blowers and electric screw drivers, brings home the bacon, cleans the pool and handles the bills". Mine works with the power tools when I'm done with them and brings home the, er, huh. He handles the...hmmm. Yeah. Oh well. Some times he vacuums. I love him anyway. (and my aim sucks.)