My kids are pretty intelligent. Really, they are very bright kids. Except when it comes to cleaning. And picking up after themselves. And doing what needs to be done. And seeing those things.
The parenting gurus even have a name for it: executive functioning. Which is psyche-speak for "learning how to get along in life without running to your mother."
So, I'm really trying to teach this executive functioning, but I fear it may be too late. Even though I, like most moms, fostered the art of toy picking-up, plate putting-in-the-sink, toothpaste wiping-up-off-the-sink, etc. nothing seems to have stuck.
Case #1, a few days ago:
Me (reading from chore list): You need to sweep the hardwoods.
Child (actually, adult. But I'm not naming names): *Sigh* Do we even have a broom?
Me (incredulous): YES, we have a broom. The same broom we've always had. Stored in the same place it's always been! For the 13 years we've lived in this house!
Child-Adult: That's a crappy broom.
Me: It's just fine. And anyway, I'd prefer you use the stick vacuum.
Child-Adult: It's broken.
Me: What? Since when is it broken?
Child-Adult (shows me stick vac): See? It's broken.
(Dust bin from stick vac is unattached. It clicks in and removes for cleaning)
Me: Oh. My. God. Are you serious? You have obviously never used this vacuum because it just clicks right in here....(clicks dust bin).
Child-Adult: *Sigh* Well, it doesn't work very well.
(Well, not without the dust bin, no.)
Case #2, yesterday:
Me: What are you doing?
Almost-Adult (again, not naming names): What?
Me: Why are you sitting there with your clean clothes on the bed, NOT folding them, and looking at your iPad?
Almost-Adult: I, I, ....I have a system. Just....don't nag me!
Me: What? FOLD the clothes while you're waiting for the other ones to wash and dry!
Almost-Adult: I'm waiting for them all to be done so I can just fold them all at once.
Me (incredulous): That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard!! You have all this time RIGHT NOW to be folding and putting away your clothes!
Almost-Adult: Don't take out your frustrations on me! (Shuts door)
Me (opens door): I need to monitor your progress.
Almost-Adult: *makes unidentifiable sound - a growl?*
Case #3, tonight:
Teenage boy (no names!) "cleaning room" upstairs.
Me: Hears harmonica music.
I'm telling you, it's a lost cause. I know one day they will have their own houses. I can't wait to leave dirty dishes in THEIR sinks. Or wad up my dirty socks and stuff them in the corner. Or put candy wrappers under their coffee table. Or use the last of the toilet paper and leave the roll high and dry.
Oh, I have big plans!