We have an almost fourteen year old son.
Once a week we check his pulse to see if he’s still alive because he doesn’t speak or move from his position on the chair facing the computer screen. (He plays games that involve lots of sword fighting and hero action. At least his eyeballs are getting some exercise.)
I know he must move, every once in a while because his older sister is always complaining (loudly) that “ Muuuuuum! He’s eaten all the GOOD things….AGAIN!”
I don’t know what constitutes “good things” but I have a suspicion it’s things where you simply open a box and shove the contents in your mouth.
He’s so lazy it’s a wonder he can chew.
My son has few required household chores to attend to (when we manage to rouse him from his coma.)
One is to un-stack the dishwasher every morning.
It’s not a difficult exercise.
We’ve shown him where everything lives (a million times)
We’ve explained the importance of why the dishwasher NEEDS to be un -stacked in the morning…to avoid the inevitable accumulation of cups, spoons, plates that the children (mainly) pile in the sink throughout the day. (even though the dishwasher is right under the sink they can’t seem to find it to put dirty stuff in.)
I don’t even know how they manage to use all those plates and things because their preferred choice of nutrition is for those “good things” I mentioned earlier.
Sometimes I wonder if my son has selective blindness or is just brain damaged because almost EVERY morning he fails to unstack ALL of the dishwasher.
There are always a few perfectly clean things left in there….a random glass, potato masher…a fork, bowl, plate…
“Do you not like this spoon? Does it for some reason not match, in your mind’s eye all of the other identical spoons that live in the cutlery drawer? I ask him.
I don’t know what he answers because I can’t understand him anymore.
He grunts (I think he thinks this qualifies as speech.) or when he gets vaguely animated he mumbles things without actually moving his lips until I get so crazy annoyed (and worried because I fear I may be going deaf) that I yell at him to “Please speak in Human!”
What makes this discriminatory selection process of what he puts away even more maddeningly frustrating is that he frequently puts things away that haven’t washed properly in the dishwasher. Dirty things!
Things that we could very well all die of food poisoning from.
And for some insanely frustrating reason despite being told millions of times where things GO he constantly puts things in random places so when my husband and I start cooking its like a game of treasure hunt trying to find the lid for the rice cooker or the one and only really sharp knife for chopping carrots!
Our son has asked us countless times to allow him to have a DIFFERENT job instead of dishwasher unstacking.
One time he went down on bended knee and with tears in his eyes begged me to allow him to do all the washing up, by hand, instead of having to unstack the dishwasher.
“Ok!” I said… (to teach him a lesson.)
“But everything has to be spotlessly shiny clean….to MY standards!”
And that’s when the washing up sculptures started, because my son doesn’t understand the concept of drying things up and putting them away.
He just delicately balances things one on top of the other until they are a teetering tower just waiting to come crashing down all over the place.
They looked something like this…
It’s just the putting away thing I think he hates.
It’s like he would feel totally ok with a kitchen that has every one of it’s contents strewn about on the bench tops, for easy reach.
Maybe he has drawer aversion? Organization phobia? (don’t even let me get started on his room!)
One night not so long ago my husband was away on business when I heard some strange noises coming from my bedroom ceiling.
My son was the only one home.
Jumping from my bed in alarm I ran to the place I knew I’d find him….sitting in front of the computer playing his hero sword games and hissed,
“There’s a noise in my ceiling…Come with me and listen!”
Now this is the point where you expect your big brave hero worshiping son with a swoop of his imaginary cape to jump up and say…
“Mother….dear mother….Fear not. for thy will protect you with thou mighty sword and banish the frightening creatures of the night away so thou delicate mind shalt have some peace!”
Instead, he jumped up from the computer chair, said with absolute terror in his eyes “No!” and tried to run away.
Grabbing a hold of his T-shirt I dragged him halfway across the kitchen with me saying “Yes! Just come WITH me!” (just for moral support you know…in case *I* needed to throw a few kung fu moves.)
We struggled until he wriggled free and realizing I was going to MAKE him “come with me” he reached into the kitchen drawer to grab the sharp carrot chopping knife. (Startling realization came all at once. Ding ding ding! – Ohh…see, so he DOES know where things live!)
The two of us stood in my bedroom listening to the odd noises in the roof.
Dull thudding noises?
“Is….is it a possum?” said my big strong hero son, visibly trembling.
“No…I think it’s actually coming from outside?” I whispered.
Once again I dragged my wide eyed knife wielding boy to the front door and made him come outside with me where it became apparent that what we were hearing were distant fireworks being let off from across the other side of the lake somewhere.
Relieved and amused I fell about laughing.
“Stab those big bad fireworks son! Go on! Stick the scary things until they are no more!”
“And… go put the knife back where I now KNOW you know where it belongs!”