March 20, 2019

rice and apology

I have found myself more frustrated with Mini than her brothers when I find her dirty clothes on the bathroom floor - still with the underwear inside of them.   The laundry room is one step to the left of the kids' bathroom.  How hard is this?  Tank is the number one offender of this, but with his executive functioning issues this sort of goes without saying.  Still, I should not get more upset with her than I do with him.  Right?

Imagine my shock when a missing b-ball uniform
 was discovered in a draw string bag in here?
 A few weeks ago, I asked Mini to be in charge of the mashed potatoes that were about to boil on the stove top.  I reviewed:  'Turn them down, and tilt the lid when they start to boil.'  I never told her to turn them off.  She gave me a 'yeah, yeah, I know how to do potatoes!' response.  I was driving Curly to dancing, and I planned to mash them when I returned.  I got home and found that Mini had turned them off a few minutes after she had tilted the lid and turned them down.  Why?  I swear these kids call me for the silliest of questions, but this time -crickets?!

I occasionally send Mini to switch a load in the laundry room.  It never fails that she does not know what to set the dryer to.  'Casual?  Normal?' she will call to me.

Mini (and Curly's room) - but Mini is responsible for
most of the disaster.  This is honestly on a good day.
Mini's bedroom.  Not enough space here to detail how frustrating it is to see her floor littered with clothes.  Like littered.  Nothing is ever put away, and she can never find anything.  One day she started yelling at me that I never washed her b-ball uniform.  Was she looking for it the night before school?  No, it was right as Eddie was yelling at her to get in the car for school.  The uniform was later found in a drawstring bag in her mudroom locker.  I asked her to apologize to everyone that she yelled at.  The inflection she spit the apology out with made it less than genuine.

One night I was bound and determined to sort 4 baskets full of laundry in my bedroom.  I told Mini to make rice for dinner.  I told her to pour the rice in once the water boiled and to cover it and turn it off.  I demanded that all the kids come to my room to help sort.  Mini was a no-show.  I kept yelling at her to get up to my room.  'I am making the rice like you told me.'  How long does it take to dump in a cup of rice and cover it?

Mini, who kept insisting that she understood the directions, had NOT turned off the rice.  She was standing in the kitchen stirring the rice while we were all sorting laundry.  I lost it.  I yelled at her.  When would she start to figure things out and pitch in more and act like, like . . .  a daughter?

No exaggeration:  laundry room directly
 next to the kids' bathroom.
  Oh look, two Mini's underwear under
that towel by the door.  Grrr.
Oh, brother.  Now I had done it.  I was turning into the very kind of double standard mother I did not want to be.  Mini was reduced to tears and I tore out of the house to drive to dancing feeling awful.

When I came home, I apologized.  I told her if she didn't know how to use a can opener, or make rice, or potatoes, then it was my fault for not showing her.  (In my defense, when I tell her things, she isn't always paying attention - claiming she already knows, etc.)  I asked her to pay closer attention to my directions in the future and to not say 'I know, I know', but I also admitted that it was my mistake for holding her more accountable than her brothers.  She broke down and cried again about how she was tired of them teasing her about stuff like the can opener.

I got all of the lunkhead brothers attention and announced that Mini's lack of can opener experience was a reflection on me and not on her and that they weren't to tease her again.

Eddie agreed to lay off because he is reasonable and he understood that I hadn't been fair, and that is all that matters because Tank is a known knucklehead in these parts and Reg could care less.

Is it just me, or do you subconsciously require more of your daughters when it comes to domestic issues?


Beth (A Moms Life) said...

Yes. I totally do this. It's not on purpose though. It's just how we do things around here. Dan is in charge of the outside stuff(mowing, home repairs, etc) and I handle all the inside things(cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.) It sounds very 1950s but that's how both our parents did it and that's what we are most comfortable with. So, it's only natural that I expect Sarah to help me with the inside stuff and Peter gets stuck with the outside stuff. I guess we need to cross train both kids!!

Ernie said...

I admit that I do not do much of the outside stuff, but I have been known to shovel a driveway and hang Christmas lights AND take out the garbage. For some reason, I always end up cleaning out the garage and that is just the worst job in the world. Mini knows her way around a lawnmower though, because Tank has his own lawn mowing business and he pays the other kids to help him when he gets swamped. The first time he held a meeting to 'train' them - about 3 or 4 years ago, he had Reg and Mini doing push ups. We were dying laughing!