The Teenager wanted to work at the local Ben and Jerry’s and waited patiently until she was 15. We went over the whole job applying process very thoroughly from start to finish, and when she started was teased because she had never mopped a floor. She came home a little forlorn, and I said “It’s my fault, I never taught you how.”
It can be argued that I employ a “different” parenting style with The Teenager. Much to the chagrin of my husband and increasingly myself this focus is not on house cleanliness. In my mind I am arming her with different information. Information on how to move about this crazy world with empathy, self-confidence, kindness and fun. Some of these lessons are impossible for a person of the male persuasion to understand, and I understand his confusion.
Our conversation that mopey mop day continued and the topics ranged from global politics to the difference between baking flours. Weeks went by as they tend to do and I began to see large gaps in my parenting agenda. Most of the problem areas are related to cleaning, and we begin to imagine the messes we will make in her future home. Tea bags in random places, smoothie cups drained dry but not rinsed, blender stuck to the counter. I will most definitely leave my underwear on her bathroom floor tangled up in the soaking wet towel that I took from her hook. I relax thinking about it, my eyes twinkling.
I am startled out of my reverie when I realize that I also making these same mistakes with The Associate. I temporarily talk myself up and deny my faults. “If she knew how to clean up after herself, than we wouldn’t know what the sneak is up to. We can hear her eat sugar from the bowl because of the clink of the fiesta ware as she puts the spoon back in. I cannot hear the brown sugar container open or close, but I can always read the telltale signs of a powdered sugar meltdown. The sprinkle of dust goes all the way down the cabinet, under the burner on the stove and into a little heap on the floor. There is no good way to justify this behavior in her or me, especially when a steady stream of ants invaded for a couple of days.
What to do now, how do I right this wrong? Now that I am finally seeing the light, The Husband can stop banging his head against the wall (which is good), but The Descendants aren’t thrilled with the change. The Associate yelps out NO! like she is two and The Teenager smirks and lurks off to work or dance or something else of vague importance. What to do…..? I know! Demerits! (stay tuned.. he…… hee…..)
Why is this in the fridge?
Evidence that The Associate has been trespassing in my studio.