Home > Uncategorized > If You Want Something Done Right…

If You Want Something Done Right…

You’d better just let me do it.

So, over Spring Break, I paid my children staggering amounts of cash to do menial chores around the house.  I don’t know why I bother doing this, ever, because I’m now spending my days off fixing everything they did.  Two reasons:

  1. They are really very bad at housecleaning of any kind.  They don’t understand the difference between “sweeping the floor” and “getting the floor clean.”
  2. I am a control freak and it causes me great distress deep down in my soul if things aren’t done exactly the way I want them.

Since I don’t want to break my children’s spirits (on purpose), I’m fixing these things on the sly.  I do call them out on some things, like my son’s dusting.  He dusted the house Saturday.  On Sunday I made him do it again.  He said, I already dusted!  I said, but there’s still dust there, right?  Point taken.


Other things, I’m being sneaky about.  For instance, my daughter reorganized my tupperware cabinet and my pots and pans cabinet.  She did a fine job, but it sets my teeth on edge, because it’s not RIGHT.  The tub of tupperware lids is supposed to be on the bottom shelf, not the top.  The little square tubs are supposed to be on the front left.  The iron skillets should be near the front, because they’re too darn heavy to drag out of the back.  And, also, because that’s where they go.  So I spent the morning reorganizing everything in the kitchen and I’ll say nothing about it.  I’m sure they won’t notice, because any child who thinks the toilet that she “cleaned” is actually clean isn’t capable of any sort of attention to detail.  For the record, she also believes that “putting away clean laundry” means “throw everything in a wrinkly pile on the chair in your room.”

I gave up long ago on getting Hubs to do things the way I wanted them done.  He is, after all, a grown man, fully capable of telling me to do it myself if I’m going to be so damn picky.  Point also taken.  The kids, though.  I thought I had a shot at training them properly.  When they are told to clean something, the unspoken command is “clean to your mother’s satisfaction.”  I have certain standards.  Whether those standards are reasonable or sane is debatable around here, but, hey, it’s not always easy being my kid.  I am trying to train them in my image here.  And I am failing.

It’s hard to teach this kind of thing, and I’m coming to believe that it’s all just a part of my special brand of crazy, which my children did not inherit.  It’s sad to see an era come to an end, but that’s part of being a parent.  Sometimes you have to let go of your dream of making your kids neurotic like you and let them find their own kind of crazy.

  1. April 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I do the exact same thing. I just clean everything myself because I like it done a certain way. However, I have started to get my 6 year old daughter to fold her own clothes. And bring in dishes after we eat, etc. I can’t do everything. However, my family always say that I do too much and why doesn’t my husband chip in, blah, blah. I always say, cause I am anal and I like things done my way. It will take too much time to bitch at him for doing it wrong and then redoing it, vs just doing it myself.

    • April 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      I’m with you. I have completely given up on trying to get anyone around here to do certain things. Apparently I get quite shrill if they don’t do it “right.”

  2. April 23, 2013 at 4:21 am

    The best example I have was when the wife reprimanded my son on why his room was not properly cleaned and he replied very sincerely: “But it is, dad even helped me…” Guess it is something only woman can do…;-)

    • April 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      This exact same scenario has happened more than once around here!

  3. April 23, 2013 at 10:24 am

    1) Tupperware kitteh looks just like my Buddha-Belly, who also likes to reorganize my cabinets.

    2) I FEEL YOUR PAIN! I think it’s hereditary, too. I once reorganized one of my mother’s cabinets based on what she used most often/accessibility – I thought I was doing her a huge favor, and she asked me to please, please, never ever do any reorganizing of her house ever, ever again. And set right to work fixing it. At least you waited until your daughter was out of the room! I remember battling with my dad as a kid over the “proper” way to vacuum and fold towels. When my kids vacuum, I have to turn my back to the room and never look back. I’ll get it right & proper the next day when they’re at school. 🙂

    For their rooms, though, their rooms have a very specific standard and I am pretty uptight about it. I made them checklists (thank the STARS they can read now!) with every last task that needs to be done, and when they tell me they’re done, we consult said lists.

    I. Love. Lists. You can’t argue with a list. You can’t negotiate with a list. You either do the list, or you don’t. It’s a beautiful thing. 🙂

    • April 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      I love the list concept! I try to avoid putting things in writing, since my children love nothing better than loopholes, but possibly I could draft a detailed list…

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