Things Mom Was Right About

As a teenager, my mother always made crazy and unreasonable demands of me. Completely unfounded, out of whack suggestions and commands that had absolutely no basis in reality. Absolutely ridiculous.

These were things like turning my clothes right side out before she did laundry, or soaking a pot before she did dishes. Unbelievable. The gall.

But then here I was, seven years later, and as I passed by one of the boy’s rooms with my laundry basket, I reminded him to make his bed.

“No!” he yelled. “I don’t want to! I do all the work around here! You treat me like a servant!”

So after dealing with that Elementary School crisis mostly by laughing, I started thinking back on all the absurd demands of my childhood. Turns out, they were actually pretty reasonable. These were things like:

  • Rinsing out the bathtub after a shower so that the soapy residue didn’t stick around, making it slippery and hard to clean.
  • Practicing piano every day before the day of your lesson instead of making excuses right up until the morning of, and then frantically practicing for fifteen minutes in the hopes that your piano teacher won’t notice your incompetence.
  • Cleaning up as you go. Hey, did you know that could save you time?
  • Turning those clothes right side out before wash. Wouldn’t you know it, it’s incredibly tedious to do it all at once.

It’s surreal, taking care of children who complain about the exact same things I complained of. The only difference is that they’ve learned to complain about them out loud.

And it’s really, really annoying.

So I’d like to apologize to Mom for being, excuse my language, a little shit. Being a functional human being is better. You were right, Mom. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Except about The Sims 2. That’s a great game and totally appropriate for someone over thirteen years of age.

 

 

Mum’s the Word

My employers are gone on an overnight business trip, leaving me with all three to six boys from 5:20 this morning until 7:00 Friday night. This is almost easier than working alongside a parent, as I can rule with an iron fist and the children have no choice but to bow down before me or suffer the consequences.

But whenever my employers leave, the strangest urges come over me. I want to cook and clean, I think. I want to play with the children and wear slightly confining dresses. I want to be, in short, a ’50s housewife, only with all the comfort and social rights afforded to me in this modern day and age.

There’s no rhyme nor reason to it. I wander around the house, new age piano music emanating from the phone in my back pocket, dusting and scrubbing toilets and doing the children’s laundry. I run errands for the family, I make school snacks and dinner ahead of time, I vacuum, and I enjoy every menial minute of it.

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Just look how clean this table is. Look at it.

And I’ve realized, over the years, that this is because I have a passion for nesting. For housewifing.

It does absolutely nothing to counter the stereotypes about women homeschooled in Conservative Christian households, let me tell you. It’s even worse to try and explain it to the people I meet over here on the east coast, where being a stay-at-home mother isn’t frowned upon, but where you’re expected to have had at least the beginnings of a fulfilling career first.

To me, nannying is a fulfilling job, and the kind of thing I want to do for the rest of my life. Mind you, I’m 20 and this is highly subject to change. At this rate, I’m just waiting for the mythical age of 25 when everyone I know assures me that I’ll be fully mature and finally capable of making decisions I won’t regret later in life.

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Yes, even all the laundry.

Because, you know, nannying is just like motherhood, only the children aren’t yours and you can clock off at seven and let someone else deal with them while you get a sound night’s rest.

Bonus: On Tuesday Mrs. Parent asked if I could run and pick her up fourteen mums. We both agreed it would be better to try and fit them into my car, since it is old and not worth more than my yearly salary.

It turns out, having fourteen mums in the back of your car is rather pleasant, like a mobile garden, and a part of me wishes I could have kept them there. I felt like a druid.

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