Take A Deep Cleansing Breath

At least that’s what I’m telling myself, but it doesn’t seem to be working as well as I’d like.  They can push the buttons, can’t they?  Oh sorry, I’m referring to children here not anything even remotely quilting.  If it were a quilt, I could take out my angst by ripping out seams like the Incredible Hulk ripping his way out of his shirt.  Maybe that Tommy Jordan guy of YouTube fame had the right idea when he plugged his ungrateful daughter’s laptop full of 45 caliber slugs.  Grrrrr!!

Co-Def #1 is on the cusp of teenage-dom and there’re days when I’m fairly certain I should’ve eaten him at birth.  Today he informed his father and I that he’s ‘tired of being a slave’…we asked him (brace yourselves) to please put out the place settings for dinner.  Quick, someone alert CPS!  Wrong thing to say especially since I’m PMSing all over the place and packing enough hormones to level a third-world dictatorship.  But, I digress.

This post is actually about action, not words.  Every parent gets a tad, ahem, aggravated with the offspring and we wind up griping to our friends (or perfect strangers….thanks blog readers!) and nothing really gets done.  Not so this time.  Last week I finished up a mountain of laundry and doled out the parcels to the various family members with instructions to put ’em up where they belong.  To an adult (and my daughter) this is a fairly clear and simple task. 

Three days later, I found the neatly folded clothes in the bottom of #1’s hamper, covered by dirty socks and boxers.  Picture steam coming out the ears of a cartoon character and you’ve got an idea of what I looked like.  Did I yell?  I think not.  Did I plot?  You bet your heinie!  I very calmly approached him, drummed up my cheeriest tone (side note here: if a Texas girl is talking to you with a cheery tone of voice and you know good and well she’s mad, you should run like heck ’cause she is plotting her revenge) and said Guess what…Mom’s gonna teach you something fuuuuuunnnnn!  His eyes twinkled as he contemplated what delights might be in store, silly silly boy, when I singsonged I’m gonna teach you how to do your own laundry!  



He folds…

He grouses…

He collapses in a heap…

If this makes me one of those Mean Moms, may I revel in it because dammit I’m tired of fishing dirty boxer shorts out from under the bed and wadded up sweatsocks that made their way through both the washing machine and dryer only to come out a smelly sodden mess because he’s too ‘busy’ to be of a little help.  I’m not your friend, your maid or your banker.  I’m your Mama and as Ms. Aretha says R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me!


  1. I LOVE YOUR STORIES! I go through the same dilemma, as I am sure most of us has that has kids and a husband! I am proud of you for keeping your cool! Well at least not showing it!Renee

  2. I am madder than a smashed cat. I got wireless at home Sunday, but for some reason I cannot reply to your blog! So….this is what I said on Sunday.My sons are now grown men of 28, 25 and 21(next week) – God help me. Or, as number two likes to tell me, "Mama, we are all grown a$$ boys." While they were at home they griped, whined, wheedled and generally had a bad attitude about household chores. I made them practice them all.They have now all lived with a hand full of other males. These experiences had a profound affect upon all of them.Each of them have expressed disdain for these room mates that have no idea how to do laundry, wash dishes, fix a simple meal or clean a bathroom. For some reason the latter bothers them the most.I promise you are doing the right thing and some day he will thank you for it. Every one of mine has.

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