So yesterday I talked about the laundry and how I miss that it’s not there anymore. But the loss doesn’t end there. Lots of household things are different.
Dishes… they’re not in the sink or left resting on the counter. This was another area where Chris and I had a little tug of war. He knew I wanted his dirty plates and cups in the dishwasher but he pushed my buttons and inevitably left them out. He did it deliberately out of laziness of course. He simply didn’t feel like it.
Chris would have a long day at school sometimes, come home hungry of course and create a meal or snack for himself. No big deal, I understand the teen starvation factor. I lived it too. As a parent though, I got to live thru it from a different perspective. Chris left me the messes which I didn’t appreciate… I liked it better when I was seventeen and left them for my mom! I’m being sarcastic – although truthful.
He knew how to cook, bake, fry, boil, grill and toast. He did all of them. I never knew what I’d find. Even if he did cleanup it wasn’t usually to my liking so I’d redo his cleaning efforts anyway. Maybe he knew that? Probably not though, I don’t think he paid attention. He did know I couldn’t stand coming home to his mess after work however. So most times he picked up but sometimes not. The NOT days were an issue.
If I came home from work to find the remains of his after school feast we had ourselves a bit of a problem. (Well, I had a problem) For one, it put me in an instant bad mood and two; it meant we had to have a few words… Chris was hard to be firm with, he had such an easy going personality it was tough to look him in the eye and tell him off. That’s what I wanted to do upon immediate arrival in the kitchen. But by the time I would march myself upstairs to his room for a good talking to I rarely could do it… I’d get that shoulder shrug and smirk and those soft blue eyes of innocence. I’d attempt the whole “this house has no maid” sermon and he’d sheepishly tell me how tired he was or how he was meaning to clean up before I got home. He even told me on more than one occasion that the reason he didn’t put his dirty stuff in the dishwasher was because the clean stuff needed to be unloaded and he didn’t feel like doing it! (Like I did???)
I even found – a few times – that rather than wash out a frying pan he had used he would take a paper towel and wipe it out and put it back in the cabinet. It’s no wonder I had mice from time to time! He thought he was cleaning up his mess in a tidy fashion but he wasn’t fooling me. Funny thing was, I never told him I knew what he was doing. I actually just sort of smiled at it. He was ingenious if nothing else and I admired his short cut approach as well as the half-assed effort. :-)
I miss the messes and the kid crumbs he left behind. As a very good friend of mine calls them; “kid tracks.” I miss going to his room to say hello after work and finding a scraped clean plate sitting on his desk with a dirty fork and an empty half gallon of Gatorade. I miss asking him if he’s hungry knowing full well he already ate but hearing him say “no, I’m good right now” and then wandering downstairs an hour later looking for his dinner.
I hope when your kids leave a mess behind you think of Chris and take a breath and let it slide, and if you’re the kid making the mess? Maybe you want to do your parents the favor of cleaning up after yourself and give them a break for a day? Maybe clean the whole kitchen! You’ll probably give them a heart attack and they won’t know what happened. Let’s call it a “Christopher”… you can tell them Chris made you do it. :-)
Thank you for reading.