As the mother of two mid and late teens you would think life would be pretty easy right? All those extra hands to share the chores, a cup of coffee made for me when i am studying or extra busy?
These two delightful offspring of mine barely know one end of a duster from the other and never would it occur to them to lend a hand. My son, the elder of the two, will do something for me if i ask but at 19 and Autistic the degree of effort depends on how quick a chore it is and how boring he considers it to be. Dear son has sarcastic grumbling under his breath down to such a fine art that we nicknamed him Victor Meldrew!!
Dear daughter number 2, the youngest at 16, is very reluctant to do anything unless the question of remuneration should arise. If i come home and she has voluntarily done chores i am instantly on my guard since i can pretty much guarantee that some request for funds will follow in the near future. Welcome to Bank of Panda..please insert your card!!
I have pondered the fact that is my own fault for being so exacting, for i tend to be rather fussy and if something isnt done perfectly i tend to go and do it myself, i hate mess it drives me crazy. It is a long running joke in our family that when someone claims something is clean the retort is always
”Would that be your kind of clean, or my kind of clean??”
So today as a strange yellow thing was shining in the sky i asked Dear Son to cut the front grass for me since we were in danger of being listed as a local nature reserve and the resulting sigh from upstairs should have easily shaken the rafters. My excellent hearing picked up the muttered grumble which preceded a delayed emergence from its source. To his credit Dear Son did actually cut the grass although the result looked rather like it had been chewed by a herd of Wildebeest. As he plodded back into the house a trail of grass followed prompting me to go outside and look. Grass everywhere!! From my front door to the bottom of my driveway looked like a grass bomb had exploded, a far cry from the immaculate frontages of the neighbouring houses.
To say Dear Son was most unimpressed when i asked him to go outside and sweep it up was an understatement and watching his half hearted effort prompted me to open the door and say
”SWEEP it dont tickle it”
”I AM sweeping it!!”
Hmmmmm. Yes again fussy me took over and i took the brush, rapidly sweeping the pathway to the door informing very impatient son that THIS is how you sweep. Back in the house i noticed yet again half hearted sweeping and called for Dear Daughter 2 to assist her brother. Well have you ever seen a fairy sweep a garden?? Picture one and you have the right idea. Tiptoeing carefully around the grass with brush held delicately between fingertips she flitted around managing little better than Victor Meldrew who was at this point rolling his eyes and tutting.
Cue Panda impatience and brush was whipped from Fairy fingers and rapid sweeping of the drive was undertaken with the announcement to said children that there was this strange thing called EFFORT required. 5 minutes later MY eyes were rolling as i sighed and swept it up myself before retreating into the house for coffee leaving grumpy and fairy to bin the pile of rubbish i’d made. Surely they could manage THAT!!
I have rapidly come to the conclusion that for the most part if you want something doing in my house it is far better to do it yourself unless you are prepared to live with less than perfect results. I dread to think how these little darlings will live when they leave home and i have already informed them that i will most definitely not be coming to their houses for tea until i reach the point where i am considering euthanasia and need a quick exit from this world.
Ahhh well i made my bed i guess i have to lie in it, perhaps i should have been far stricter when they were small and set a regimen of chores such i had myself when i was young. Logic tells me that even had i done so this would all have gone out of the window when my little angels mutated into carnage evoking teen demons so perhaps i can console myself with this. So as fairy skips off down the street and Victor retreats to the safety of his room and the computer games within, i make my own coffee and comfort myself with the smug knowledge that one day they will be parents to teens of their own and mommy will sit and have a little chuckle. Revenge will be very sweet!!