February 18, 2020

a plan that will NEVER work, plus sibling devotion

So, I am wondering how long the empty girl scout cookie boxes can sit on the island.  Will they still be there when we host a dinner for Reggie's confirmation in April?  How far will we take this?  

When I gave Tank his 'talking to' on my now infamous drive home from St. Louis I touched on a few things:

1.  Be prepared to pitch in more while I am taking this writing class.  Tank's idea is an interesting plan that will NEVER work, but it is so darn tempting.

Tank:  "Why don't you just stay in by your computer and NOT come out of the study to yell at us and tell us to clean up the kitchen and do jobs?"

Me:  "What the hell?  That will mean that we have no clean dishes the next morning because how will the dishwasher get loaded and  started?  What happens when there are no clean clothes?  How long do you think it will take before someone does something about the bathroom garbage bins that will undoubtedly overflow if I do not remind someone to empty them?"

I must admit that this plan is REALLY tempting.  We can go the way of the girl scout cookie boxes and just NOT say a thing to any of them and see how they hate living in the kind of conditions obliviousness creates. 

The only real problem I have with this plan is that Coach and I still have to live here.  

2.  As I touched on how annoyed I am that he is not kinder to his family members (particularly Mini) I reminded him of a story about Mini.  

He and Mini are only 16 months apart.  Mini has always been devoted to him.  When she was a tot she could not say  his name.  We called Tank by his first and last name all of the time.  It just has a nice ring to it.  Tank's real life middle name is Micheal.  Since Mini could not say his first name, she called Tank 'Michael.'  He would jump up and come running to her when she called to him:  'Michael, Michael.'  She was probably not quite 2 years old.    

We used to try to see if he would respond to us when we called him Michael.  I would call to him over and over and he would totally ignore me.  Coach and I just about died laughing.

Tank did not speak until he was almost 3.  Ah, the glory days.  Just joking.  He had a serious speech delay, but he would communicate with grunts and facial expressions.  I have hilarious home movies of him.  His big cheeks would shake as he ran across the room to see what it was that Mini wanted when she summoned him.  They were quite the twosome.

A few years later, Tank got in trouble for something.  It was shortly after Halloween and if the kids had behaved they got to pick a Halloween candy treat.  I put Tank's pumpkin head filled with treats on the fridge and said, "Tank you cannot have a treat because (insert whatever he did)."  

Mini:  With arms crossed over her chest, "If Tank is not getting a Halloween treat, then I don't want one either."

Fast forward to 2020.  Tank is rotten to his buddy Mini.  I cannot tolerate it any longer.  

A few weeks ago Tank was in the basement with his buddies playing ping pong.  I was about to go to bed, but I tossed some of my hot-commodity frozen cookies on a plate and carried them down.  

Tank objected to my presence in the basement.  I told him to stick it.  

Me:  "Hey guys.  Here are some cookies.  Now I just took them out of the freezer, but you can eat them in a few minutes.  BUT before you do, I invite you to have a cookie if you agree to one thing.  Only take a cookie if you agree that Tank needs to treat Mini better."

Tank's friends erupted in scoldings towards their leader:  "Yeah Tank!  What's your problem anyway?  You are so bad to her.  It's so dumb.  She's cool."  

Me:  "See Tank.  Even they agree."

Tank:  "Whatever, they just want your cookies."

In case you have not gathered what Mini is like, allow me:  Mini is hilarious.  She is NOT boy crazy.  Totally into hanging with her girls.  Surrounds herself with a close knit group of pure-as-the-driven-snow friends.  Doesn't do drama.  Makes for a very loyal friend.  Is friendly with various  groups at school and most kids greet her or know her.  I do not think anyone dislikes her.  Is interested in the happenings in the world, and understands what is going on in foreign places (unlike her mother).  Rocks the messy bun, or beautiful curly/wavy hair compliments of her towel turban depending on the day.  Fairly athletic in a not overly competitive kind of way.  She has only ever worn makeup for Irish dancing competition and has no interest in wearing it in real life.  Plays the fiddle.  Has serious artistic ability.  She is VERY devoted to her grades and is pretty dang bright.  Cannot keep a room organized to save her soul.  Never knows where her phone is.  Steer clear if she has not gotten enough sleep (just like her mother before her).  

Tank and his friends could hang with these girls and not act so superior because they could do a lot worse as far as buddies go.  His friends don't seem to object.  I pointed out what a great opportunity it is that they are so close in age.  They have always enjoyed each other's company.  

On Mother's Day Tank and Mini tried to recreate some fragrance or hair product commercial.  It was right before bed.  Early riser Coach was already in bed.  We laughed so hard as they tried to get thru their script with french accents without cracking up, that I feared we might wake Daddy.  I was about to wet my pants as I tried to video a perfect take with my phone.  Ed (in the background) could barely stand up, he was laughing so hard. Trying to insert that video here and yes, I have refrained from hiding their faces.  The video is just too funny to NOT share.

Both kids initially expressed an interest in hosting friends here for New Year's Eve, but when Tank caught wind of the possible sharing of space/overcrowding situation, he baled.  I even offered to have them rotate out of the basement and hang in the family room and kitchen while Coach and I and the younger kids scurried up to  my bedroom.  

Tank feared flaws to my plan that might lead to possible overlap, so Mini hosted her peeps and he went to a friend's house.

What I am saying here is:  This is not over.  


Busy Bee Suz said...

What the hell? I don't get it either. Is he jealous? Or do some of his friends have a crush on her and he can't stand it? Hmmmmm..
You certainly can't force him to be her friend, but you can't allow him to be mean to her either. If only he could verbalize the issue to you.
I love the video; they are both too cute and funny.

And really, how long do you think it would take if you just stopped cleaning or cooking....would someone step up? eventually?

Ernie said...

Suz - You raise a good question. I really think that it stems from Tank hanging with kids that are not overly academic vs his sister and her friends being serious students - in general Tank acts like the whole family is an embarrassment to him. His friends' families (those that I knew are very nice) tend to be a bit more removed. Two working parents, less rules, etc. When they are home, the two of them still can team up and reduce one another to giggles just like in the video. Not sure if I have written about how I ruined Curly's hair with a horrid haircut in MAY that is still awful, but the two of them have taken to calling her Shroom, as in mushroom. Poor Curly.

As far as the house goes, I REALLY doubt anyone of the children would step up or notice or give a crap. Is it a gene? I can tolerate big messes longer than most (thus my ability to raise 6 kids) but now I fear that this gene is a disservice to them.

Update: the girl scout cookies DID get thrown away. I kind of think it was Curly. When she was assigned to wipe down the island.

Beth Cotell said...

I think you should go a few day sand see what happens....You never know, your family might surprise you!

Peter and Sarah are only 18 months apart and I have always felt like Peter could be nicer to her. I used to worry about it but my brother and I are 11 months apart and he used to drive me crazy as a kid. He could be a complete jerk! We are totally different but now that we are adults, we are great friends!

Kari said...

I can't get over how much she looks like you and your son looks like your husband!
I am never good at commenting on the actual point of the post.

I need to get better at it.

Nicole MacPherson said...

After I posted how my son took the empty toilet paper roll to the recycle bin, it has never happened again. So I'm experimenting. There's one there right now. How long until someone else recycles it/ I break? I feel you.

Ernie said...

Beth - Last night the family had VERY few things going on. It was hard to believe. Long story, but I was at the library to renew Reg's passport (an exercise in frustration if there ever was one - more on that later) and I found a few movies that I wanted to see. I came home and announced that everyone had one hour to eat dinner and make the upstairs of the house cleaned up to my standards (an ongoing project that we were about 3/4 of the way through - I mean without going full-on, rip closets apart kind of nuttiness that would make my heart sing, but I will take what I can get). I told them if they could pull it off, we could watch a movie. The results were remarkable. Not 100% perfect, but I did not feel my fists clench when I went to bed last night. No clothes in the hallway (why is this a thing when the laundry room is RIGHT THERE?) or draped over the banister, etc. Might be on to something.

My brother and I were arch rivals growing up. Big time. We are Irish twins, less than a year apart. Then in early adulthood we enjoyed each other's company. Now, I enjoy him in small doses. His arrogance is something I still struggle with. See: Irish music and his strong opinions.

Kari - No need to comment on the blog content. I enjoy whatever you feel like sharing or observing. My blog posts are less informative than yours. Still cannot get over the timeliness of your Trader Joe's post. Here I was thinking I was alone.

Yes, Mini is my mini-me thus her blog name. Tank probably looks like coach, but omg the resemblance he shares with my dad's baby pictures. Maybe it's just the cheeks though.

Nicole - I try really hard to not even enter my kids' bathroom. They have weekly jobs in there. Mini has taken to building a nest of dirty clothes in the corner that grows all week long. Why? I am not even close to a neat knick, but some of their disregard is staggering.