In the three weeks since I had knee surgery, I’ve seen and heard some amazing things around my house. My favorite phrase so far has to “but… I want to do things that MATTER.”
It came from one of the three males that live in the house, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out who said it.
I’ve been amazed to see that my kids actually CAN do laundry. Without prompting, they’ve loaded the washing machine, put the soap in, and started it before school. After school, they’ve moved wet clothes to the dryer and started the dryer.
All clean clothes have been piled in heaps.
I’ve been thrilled to see that my kids actually CAN do dishes. Without prompting, they’ve unloaded the dishwasher and attempted to reload it.
All the random objects just get left on the counters.
I’ve been delighted to see that my kids actually CAN cook. In this case, cooking is loosely defined as grabbing a bag of stuff from the freezer and dumping in the crockpot. But they can even turn the crockpot on for me (after plugging it in), so I think it counts.
All the food in the freezer has been eaten.
It’s been three weeks.
If you’re keeping score, you know that while everyone in the house has clean clothing and has been reasonably well fed, that’s the limit of what the males managed to do.
The house is filthy. There is clean laundry everywhere. The hunting gear is in the entry hall (the one place I said it could NOT stay). Every surface is covered with papers, dirty cups, random wrappers, Legos, and socks.
(Please note that MY laundry is put away. My little square of space is tidy. My bathroom counter is clean. I do have SOME standards. I just don’t have the stamina or flexibility to clean the whole freaking house.)
Men’s Group is tomorrow.
At our house.
They were here three weeks ago on the night before my surgery.
This weekend, I mentioned to my husband that we MIGHT need a little team huddle around getting the house picked up.
Him: Oooh. Good idea. I’ve got a list of things that need to be done around the house.
Me: I do too. Let’s compare lists.
You can guess what was on my list. Laundry, dishes, dust, trash, and toilet scrubbing. I had a bonus goal of someone actually going to the grocery store with a full list.
His list was quite different. It involved bathroom tile, fixing some copper pipe thingy, a small welding project, pool chemicals, and a beer run. His bonus goal involved his cross bow.
Excuse me while I go pound my head against the wall.
As I was gently trying to explain to my husband why we needed to work on MY list, he got this hurt puppy look on his face and he said those magic words.
Him: But I want to do things that matter.
I don’t think the words were all the way to my ears before he started on damage control.
Him: I mean… laundry and dishes are important too. But they have to be done again tomorrow. I want to work on something that stays DONE. I want permanent progress.
Me: Welcome to my world. Ninety nine percent of the stuff I do each day has to be done again tomorrow.
Long awkward silence.
Cricket chirping silence.
Until that moment, I don’t think he’d ever seen it that way. There was just this shocked look on his face as I left the room.
(While some things on my list DID get this done this weekend, the welding project got some love. I guess we compromised.)
It’s Monday. I have roughly 36 hours until Men’s group descends upon my house. If I don’t sleep between now and then I might just get it all done.
I ended the conversation by taking my grandmother’s advice. She always told me “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
What would you have done?