May 24, 2021

How my people drive me crazy: the Mini addition

When I was just a kid myself, I babysat for a gaggle of kids. I was crazy about them and their grandma: 'Mom-Mom'. When she visited she'd slip me a $50 bill (in the early 80's that was lots a cash, heck it's a lot of cash now) while I was mass producing PB&J sandwiches, and holler, "This is for you. You take such good care of my grandchildren." She wouldn't let me politely refuse it. 

When Mom-Mom met a new baby she'd say something and the words would kinda run together:  OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BABY . . . I MEAN, YOU LOVE 'EM ANYWAY - BUT SHE'S GORGEOUS

Something along those lines. 

As a teenager, I didn't quite catch the meaning because she sort of slurred "I mean you love 'em anyway", but when she said it to me after my babies were born as she was showering me with amazing gifts and over-the-top compliments about how beautiful my babies were I GOT IT. I was like, OH, THAT'S FUNNY. 

So I'm borrowing Mom-Mom's phrase here, tweaking it:  MY PEOPLE ARE DRIVING ME A TAD CRAZY, I MEAN - I LOVE 'EM ANYWAY . . .

The closet:  

Remember my "Mini's room is a mess" rant? Well, I took the bull by the horn, or in this case I took the clothing by the hangars a few days before Christmas (yes, a while ago). 

*Curly recently admitted when she folds laundry and isn't sure, she puts the item in my pile - knowing I will return it to Mini if it isn't mine. Mini, on the other hand, routinely says:  OH, IT'S BEEN IN MY CLOSET FOREVER. I THOUGHT IT WAS MINE. 

Oh, the things I found. 

One of my sports bras, she swore she didn't have. My white capri leggings (that I may have given her under the arrangement 'I'll borrow them back on occasion'), she swore she didn't have. My closet tossing was prompted by Curly claiming she had nothing to wear to church on Christmas. 


My digging expedition uncovered more than just my missing clothes. There were items that Curly could've been wearing but Mini never eliminates items or passes things over to her sister. Curly ended up with options - plural, for church. 

The girls tried to blame me for the state of their closet. The last time we 'did' their closet, I moved the dresses and long items to the side that only has one rod, the side with two rods I used to organize their shirts, etc. Non floor-length items. I believe Mini's direct quote was: YOU RUINED MY LIFE WHEN YOU SWITCHED OUR STUFF AROUND IN THE CLOSET.


Is it me?  

Leather mittens:  

Coach took the kids skiing in February. Remind me to tell you about my one and only skiing experience and you'll understand why I didn't go. Anyway, the next day I found my leather mittens that have little finger dividers inside the mittens . . . crumpled, wrinkled, and sad looking. I was so confused. 

They looked newer before
 their skiing adventure.

Me:  Did you wear my leather mittens skiing? 

Mini:  Oh, no. Um, they were in the car.

That made no sense. Teen talk for 'your stuff was within my reach when I forgot to bring my stuff, so I took that as an open invitation to use them'. Note that her initial reply was 'no' even though she did IN FACT use them. She didn't say 'DUH' but it was implied.

Handling the laundry:

I asked Mini to take clothes out of the dryer a few weeks ago. It was the QUICK-HANG-IT-UP-SO-IT-WON'T-WRINKLE kind of laundry. 

A few days later I noticed one of MY shirts was hung up in the laundry room. That's not the alarming part. The hangar was facing the wrong way. How, you ask? 

I take care of Mini's clothes and try not to dry things that might shrink, etc. When she handled my things, she used the hangar incorrectly. Like front to back vs side to side. Perhaps she thought I might grow an extra breast and would therefore need a bump in the front of my shirt.

Mini's 17. It appeared that she morphed into a careless 7 yr old.

Do you find that people/offspring/spouses do things kind of crappy so they don't get asked to help the next time?

The recipe book:

Complicating the age old
question:  what's for dinner?

I ordered myself a recipe book for Christmas. I asked the girls if they would put my recipes in said book as a Christmas/birthday gift for me. What.was.I.thinking?

Mini has very neat handwriting. She agreed to write out the recipes. 

Well, Mini sort of abandoned ship fairly early on. She failed to keep a decent system and I didn't know where she started and where she left off. For weeks when I needed a recipe, I had to dig through piles and stacks of recipes on the floor of the study. 

I finally typed them all into my google docs. Now they're saved and easy to share. It  didn't take long. Fortunately I'm familiar enough with my recipes that I've caught my own typos. 

Maybe Mini was not the one to work on a recipe book. Have we talked about her many missteps in the kitchen? She added 4 TB of cumin to the Cuban Sheet Pan Chicken Rice Bowls vs 4 tsp once. I noticed it before it was stirred, so I was able to scoop out the excess. 

I started this as a general topic, but broke it into categories by offenders. Get excited - the Tank version is yet to come. 


Ally Bean said...

I am by nature a somewhat clutter-centric person. I can understand Curly's somewhat lackadaisical approach to sorting laundry. Just saying, don't judge me harshly.

As for leather mittens, not sure about them. I rather like mittens that look like something Laura Ingalls Wilder would have worn, not Rocky. Still they are something unique.

Kari said...

You say you're not organized and yet, you have your recipes in a Google Doc! That, my friend, is better than me. And now you've got me thinking...which is never a good thing at eight in the morning on a Monday.

Both of my daughter's rooms are filled with lots of fun clutterific things. They've ended up with each other's underwear and clothing all of the time but they don't seem to mind lol.

Nicole MacPherson said...


Four TABLESPOONS of cumin. That would have been...a very different tasting dish! Hoo boy!

Martha said...

Life with teens is so much fun lol. I do wonder if they do things wrong so they don't get asked to help again. In fact I'm pretty sure my husband does that - either that or he morphs into a careless 7 yr old too. :D

Kara said...

I could do a BOOK on my litany of complaints about my children. Middle is a slob. Oldest has a hair trigger and explodes a lot. Youngest is a perfectionist and tries to make us follow a set of unwritten rules that only she knows. Teens are EXHAUSTING.

Ernie said...

Ally - I like the clutter centric term and I feel strongly that I fall into that category. I am forever writing notes and reminders on junk mail envelopes on my counter. Then when I need it, I shuffle through the stack. Might not be the most efficient way. I am fine with Curly's laundry sorting method, since it includes - put in Mommy's pile if you are unsure if it is Mini's or Mommy's. Otherwise, if she puts it in Mini's pile and it IS mine - it goes into the great abyss.

Ernie said...

Kari - Yes, the recipes are on a google doc, but allow me to point out that I am not organized enough to know how to create a separate folder within my google docs called 'recipes.' That would be way too sensical. This organizational tool was prompted by me not wanting to spoil my book with my bad hand writing.

I grew up in a house with 3 sisters. We shared one underwear drawer. That makes my kids get the willies. One sister had her own room, but still had to come into our room to get her underwear. Funny, the things that seem normal at the time. ;)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Closets, clothes, and general organization were always an issue with my girls. They had good intentions, but terrible follow through and upkeep. I totally get it.
Hanging a shirt the sideways, way? I don't get that at all. Funny though. :)
I complain about the amount of laundry that I do on the daily with 2 adult humans; I can't imagine the workout your machine gets.

I love that you are so organized with your recipes. I don't have many, so there isn't an issue. Well, I have some, but I never look at them anymore because I might be lazy in that aspect. I should share my mom's recipe book though; unlike my baby book, it is FILLED to the brim, but not in any order at all.

Ernie said...

Nicole - You said it. The girl struggles in the kitchen even with very specific, basic directions. It has become a 'thing.' So having her work on the cook book was probably a bad omen. It turned out not to take me too long to type up the recipes.

Ernie said...

Martha - Tank once put a measuring cup from the dishwasher in the living room (2 rooms away) on my antique desk. Huh? I found it much later as we don't use that room a ton, well - especially not when searching for measuring cups. I am convinced his plan was to get out of future tasks.

Ernie said...

Kara - I don't mean to laugh, but they are all so different, aren't they? I think I would read that book and laugh a lot, but also commiserate a ton. Mini just recently admitted that she is not at all competitive except when playing board games. I hadn't noticed, but yes - quite a strange makeup. You don't want to play this girl in Scrabble.

Ernie said...

Suz - It will be interesting when Mini goes away to college to see if Curly is as neat and orderly as she claims to be (they share a disaster area room, in case that wasn't clear). I tend to believe her. Mini is a world-wind, trail leaving soul.

I also know many of my recipes by heart, but I have realized that a few are best created with a certain number of peppers or onions or teaspoons (NOT TABLESPOONS)of cumin, so I like to refer to my book before I shop or while I am whipping something up. Oh my goodness, growing up my mom's cook book and her address book - all I can say is how she found anything is a mystery. I'd love to see Bev's cookbook.

Mellie said...

We plan on cleaning my girls' rooms this summer. I can only imagine what we will find. Veronica especially is a packrat and quite messy. She likes having her things around where she can see them. She has a trundle daybed, and the top mattress is COVERED and she sleeps on the pull out. I gave up on folding their clothes ages ago. They have a big pile of clean clothes strewn about their rooms and I figured that's better than a big pile of dirty clothes ~ haha!

Ernie said...

Mellie - My girls accomplish much more if I am in the room supervising the progress. I haven't made time for that in ages . . . plus, they don't want me to insist on progress. So we are left with me occasionally rooting around in their closet tossing stuff and gasping. Good luck with your girl room cleaning.

DG said...

Hi Ernie, I know you read June's blog, any idea what happened, I see her comments are off and I don't have facebook? #noseyfan

Ernie said...

DG - Hi there. Thanks for reaching out. I did read June. I've been wondering what happened to her. I do have FB, but I don't use it much and I was not connected with her there. I wonder if something happened to one of her pets and she's taking a break? That's just a guess. I hope she's OK, such an amazing sense of humor. She never fails to weave together a great variety of thoughts and ties them all together in some witty way. It's a gift.

DG said...

Thanks for getting back to me Ernie, I am hoping all is well with her too. Love reading you!

Ernie said...

DG - No problem. Sorry I don't have any insider scoop. Glad you stopped by.