Being the only girl in the house is sometimes pretty hard. I used to think that I should just do all the laundry, dishes and sweep the floor by myself. Since I started putting a lot more hours in at work due to it being another wet harvest season, I have enlisted the help of all the “MEN” in our house. I knew I was going to have to be thankful for whatever they did do and try and not nag them to get it done on my time schedule. I first started by asking Ryan to clean out the dishwasher. Which he decided meant to have one of the kids empty the dishwasher and another to fill it with the dirty dishes. I came home from work with clean dishes in the cupboard and dirty in the dishwasher. Just as I was basking in the glory of not being the only one to load and unload the dishwasher, I opened it to put the soap in and I noticed just one odd thing. It was a pretty small thing, some would not have noticed at all. I however lined up all the kids to find out who decided to leave the clean silverware in the dishwasher, and then place dirty silverware with it. The only answer I got was, “I was told to clean out the dishes not the silverware.” (Note to self: be more specific). Kids: 1, Mom: 0.
Then I got the smart idea on a Wednesday morning to sort the laundry in piles down the hallway. I asked the kids to sort the piles for me. Seems like a good idea huh? I could start a load that morning finish it when I got home and start another. Well, the laundry elves (Ryan) came into my house while I was at work and washed, dried and balled it all up in baskets in the laundry room. (It’s the thought that counted). I folded all those clothes when I got home from work, left them in piles on the couch for the boys to put away. It worked; some things could be easier is what I really thought… Until I asked Kale to take my work clothes from the washer and put them in the dryer. They made it into the dryer, but I learned about a half an hour before work the next morning that unfortunately it was not turned on. Kale’s answer, “Mom, you told me to put them in the dryer, not to turn it on.” (Shake head in disgust). Score – Kids: 2, Mom: 0.
Most days the boys come in the house covered in dirt. They love to wrestle, play football, soccer and drive the 4-wheeler around kicking up dust. It is common for dirt mustaches and potatoes to grow behind their ears from one outing outside; unfortunately they do not like to take showers. They could be covered in mud and would rather wash up in the sink than take a bath or shower. I however am the nagging mom that says, “Go take a shower.” I won’t call out any of my wonderful little boys on this but believe it or not I now say, “Go take a shower and wash your hair with shampoo.” Kids: 3, Mom: still 0.
I understand that short cuts must be made because there is fun to be had and chores cut into fun time. I realize that boys/men have selective hearing and if you want something done a certain way you should just do it yourself. For instance there are millions of ways to load the dishwasher in our house and the only one who loads it the same every time is me. I really believe there are sacrifices that “need” to be made, so if they cut a few corners I’ll catch them and make them do it again. Typical boys, right?
Well, Sunday was the final straw; I am going to be a nagging mother for the rest of my life. Ryan, his Dad and the boys were out cleaning the heifer shed before winter. It was time for lunch and I called everyone in. Max was the first one to crash in the door; he was so dirty, it looked like he rolled in the heifer pen. I told him to strip down from those stinky clothes and wash up for lunch. Kale and Owen were not nearly as dirty so they only needed to wash up. As we all sat down for lunch the furnace kicked on in the house. An overwhelming smell of cow manure came with it. It was horrible, I couldn’t even eat my lunch.
Me: “Ugh, where is that smell coming from?”
Ryan: “I don’t smell anything.”
Me: “Seriously where is that smell coming from?”
Everyone looked around at one another. Then from right beside me Max says: “Mom, it’s probably my hands, I didn’t wash with soap.”
Max: “There wasn’t time. I was hungry.”
If you ever see my kids out in public and you can smell the farm, it could be that there just wasn’t time for SOAP! Kids: 4, Mom: waving the white flag, I need a new game plan!