Just Don’t Buy It?

Toys are so overrated. And expensive. And messy!

The kids play with them for about five hours less than the time they play with the box it came in. Our stomachs growl in hunger for the lunch we skipped to pay for that toy (and its box). Then, to add insult to injury, we find the toy and its brothers everywhere.

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And so, I have concluded that we need to no longer fund this operation. My husband decided that long ago, and continually reminds me of this resolve every time he has to walk in the house.

I’ll hear his voice from the boys’ rooms: Who left all these Legos on the floor! We need to put these all away till they learn to clean up!

Then there was the time of The Battle of the Art Cupboard. I’d hear everything from, Who painted the floor? to Who didn’t clean up after his papier-mâché? to Why is there confetti all over?

I tried. Sort-of. I limited birthdays and Christmases to number and cost. I encouraged thrift and order. I devoted about a decade to teaching (yelling at) our miniature houseguests the meaning of “Clean up.” I cleaned on my own; again and again and again.

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In frustration, I moved most of the mess out of general sight and set up a toy room in our unfinished basement.

As my husband and I snuggled in to immediately fall asleep all romantic-like, he said, We need to keep the kids’ toys in their closets. The basement is getting too messy.

Photo Credits:
Markus Spiske
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The Maid

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I always thought I wouldn’t have to clean the house when I grew up.

Not ever doing chores again was pretty much the only plan I had for my future. I also planned on having a prestigious career -that wouldn’t have ANY tedious parts to it.

This may be why motherhood has failed to engage my interests.

I doubt I’m alone, here. Why; just a few months ago, my husband said something similar. He’d really been trying to help around the house after work for a day or so when he had an epiphany. After sitting down on the couch, he turned to me and stated, “I think I know why I don’t really like doing housework. It’s just not that interesting to me.”

How should I have responded?

A. No, duh!
B. What a smart observation, honey! Let me fetch you your pipe and slippers and I’ll do all the housework while you catch up on your newsfeed (as usual).
C. *Laugh* I don’t think anyone enjoys housework. You still need to do it.
D. How right you are! Let’s never do it again and escape to Bermuda!

Your chosen answer is a good indication of your marital relationship. I happen to know that I should have picked E. *Put on authentic, commiserating face; full of love* I hear your concerns. Thank you so much for helping these last few days; It’s really meant a lot to me.

Instead, of course, I picked C. My laugh may have been categorized as sarcastic and derisive, and my rejoinder may have smacked of an insinuation that he was trying to get out of work.

Our interactions are why we’re in marriage counseling.

So…. who’s going to pick up the floor? Me? Him? Children? A maid service?

I tried all of those. We all know how he and I clean, and how effective child labor is. The service was even more disappointing than trying to motivate myself. They charge you at least $20/hr for light cleaning. They will not pick up your clothes, wash your dishes, or remove the crap from the floors before vacuuming. That meant that every other week, I scrambled to clean for the maid.

Unless you can afford full-time staff, a cleaning service should be used in addition to regular tidiness.

Dangit.

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Remember when your parents said you had to pick up your room before you could play? Who knew they were talking about the rest of our lives?

No matter what; life is a never-ending pile of unmatched socks, dirty dishes, dusty furniture, crummy floors, pee-stained toilets, wrinkled beds, messy bedrooms, weedy flower beds, fingerprinted glass, marked walls, stinky garbages, rotting fridges, empty pantry shelves, misplaced lunchbags, and unwashed bodies.

No wonder the rising generation is opting to stop rising and sit back down. I want to join them.

 

unsplash-logoJennifer Burk
unsplash-logoJeremy Perkins