A couple days ago, Nick and I were talking while we were in the car, and I almost started a lecture on him and his dad and their lack of consideration in helping out and actually adding to my work load by that inconsideration. He's out of school for the summer, and has yet to find a summer job (I'm not holding my breath). I was telling him how it would really help me, both physically and emotionally/mentally, if they'd just be more attentive to things, like when they spill something...clean it up, or even if they think a chore is my job, they can help, clean the litter box, pick up a broom and sweep the floor, grab the vacuum cleaner, empty the dishwasher. Small things add up! I've covered the laundry issue here before, so won't belabor it again, but I told him it would be nice if they'd get their dirty laundry to the washer on a daily basis.
After this conversation, I picked up a good-sized white board, at Nick's suggestion, wrote a list of things on it that could be done daily, or any time. No comments, no action :/
Here's what HAS happened though. Nick decided to start making more space in his room. He says, "I don't want it to be so cluttered.". His room is bigger than my Creation Station. He has a double bed, his corner desk for his computers/monitors which doesn't sit in the corner because he built a huge 'box' to house his tower which is liquid-cooled but very noisy, so this was his creative attempt to cut the noise and include additional fans to cool it all contained within a sound-proofing wooden 'box'. He has a dresser and an old oak student desk, along with a side table/dresser that resides in his closet, plus a myriad of 'just stuff'.
He started emptying part of the closet. His plan is to move the side table/dresser out and put his bigger dresser in. It'll fit, but he has to clear the space. I told him that anything he absolutely, positively did not want now or think he'd want in the future, to set out into the hallway and I'd determine what to do with it. Last week, he packed up his bowling trophies and stored them up in the garage 'attic' space.
These are a few items that had been floating around in his room. He hadn't even unwrapped that pyramid puzzle from the plastic. He had another box with three of those wooden puzzles he'd never opened either. Maybe I'll re-gift them to my almost 6-year old grandson.
Oh my, will you look at the dust in that bin that he kept his Hot Wheels track in! He
And then there was laundry, and pillows...uh, THOSE pillows are going in the trash! Time to replace them anyway.
And more laundry! He hasn't finished in his room, more will likely come out for me to decide where it goes. Dust is easily an inch thick, especially in the closet. Before he can finish, I need to re-clear the space in the guest room for the oak desk, so guess where I'll be for the next however long...yep, the guest room.
Another part of our conversation, back in the car, was how I noticed something about myself and my own not-so-great cleaning habits (or lack thereof). When I was an employee, I had someone for the most part telling me what to do - though some was self-starter stuff - and I had deadlines. I knew what had to be done, and by when. I was disciplined. I had a start time and an end time. I got a paycheck and annual reviews, read that as 'accolades for a job well-done' meriting a wage increase. At home, neither of my guys have any expectations other than dinner and clean clothes. There are occasional thank yous but they're few and far between, and over the years my cleaning habits have declined. In our early years, at one point when I was apologizing to Marty about not keeping up with some of the housework (I was still working at the time, and before Nick came along), his comment to me was "you keep it cleaner than I would"...ok well then. You know how that encouraged my self-discipline, hah!
Have a great day!