Because I am a mean single working mom I actually make my boys take care of themselves AND help out around the house.
One would think that having one of those boys be an actual, well, MAN (gulp!) would mean that he is easy enough to get to do things, right? For the most part yes, as long as he isn’t trying to quit anything like, oh cigarettes. Jeebus was that a horrendous week or two! Otherwise though, my many years of teaching him how to clean up after himself and cook for himself have paid off and I haven’t had to vacuum in many months & he’s keeping the lawn mowed. However, he is an adult, right? Which means the whole sibling rivalry thing should be over, right?
Monday after work I enlisted the younger one to help me out with some ongoing sidewalk/front hill clean up in the yard. There were those pesky between the cracks weeds growing in the walkway and I had spent an hour hunched over the bricks on Sunday and I decided that HIS back & knees could take that abuse better than mine so I handed the task over to him while I started chopping away at some overgrown bushes. Teamwork! Yes!
DS1 walks out and sees this and hears DS2 whining about his task (he’s 13, whining is a given). Ds1 immediately launches into a sorry tale of woe about his horrendous childhood & all the chores he had to do and how he didn’t have the fun things and…hey…kinda going off on a “back when I was a kid” list like my previous post! I muffle laughter as I listen to the two of them try to top each other on how HARD their life is..waah waaah waaah. Basically DS1 was making the point that it was about TIME he saw his little brother doing some work. Because even if they are 11 years apart, one is almost 25, and the other is only at the house every other week – it does not matter – sibling rivalry & comparing who has what and who does what STILL GOES ON!
Then there was this gem of a conversation I had with DS2 after his brother left:
Me: “So you think this is hard huh? You don’t think any of your friends have to do chores?”
DS2: “Hardly. Maybe babysit younger sisters or clean up after a pet, but nothing like yard work or laundry or doing dishes or cooking!” (I talked him through cooking dinner the week I had a bad head cold and didn’t want to breathe the germs in the food. He’s grateful as you can tell)
Me: “Well, I’m sorry but I just cannot afford a cleaning lady or gardener so it’s all on me, and by me, I mean US.”
DS2: “Yeah, did I tell you that H had a limo for his birthday? A LIMO!”
Me: “And does that make him a good guy? A cool friend?”
DS2: “Oh heck no – he’s a jerk!”
Me: “So maybe being handed everything isn’t the best way to become a character guy?”
Ds2: “Probably not. I should shut up now huh?”
🙂 The thick head does allow *some* lessons to get through!
Even worse though, was the conversation I overheard at DS2’s baseball game on Sunday between two dads. One was whining to the other about how COLD he had been at a game earlier in the week that had been played after work at a field rather notorious for it’s very chilly location that time of the day. Why was he so cold? Oh, because he had just come from work. And by work I mean golf. He’d been golfing all day with clients. For *work*! So after a “long day of work” he didn’t have time to go home & change into warmer clothes and instead had to go in his golf shorts & shirt. I’m thinking about all of the “after work” games I went to in my skirt/nylons/pumps tottering along on the grass & dusty fields, somehow still managing to remember to bring a warm blanket to cover my legs and here he is is whimpering on about coming form GOLF all day!
Really? You want sympathy for that?
I secretly hoped his shivering berries crawled up so high for warmth that they were still nowhere to be found!!
Whining. At 13. At 25. And as a grown adult. They whine.
Well if you’d like to share the story of abuse that goes on at my house, it might make him feel a bit better… My three sons – aged 11-16 – have to cook one meal a week. Each. On cooking day they have to take responsibility for cleaning the kitchen. By themselves. On weekends, they have to clean the whole house – we rotate three chores. 1. Dust, tidy and empty bins. 2. Vacuum. 3. Clean the bathrooms.
I routinely hear about the fact that NO other child has to do so much work.
Care factor? ZERO!!
I *love* the limo conversation!