Husband Training, 101
Much to our husband's horror, my girlfriends talk about them behind their backs. Nothing too intimate, you understand. We try to keep personal details to a minimum (mostly :)), but we do like to whine about our DHs sometimes. We love 'em, but let's face-they ain't perfect. One friend of mine has a recurrent complaint about her husband. He doesn't help enough around the house. That's not a unusual complaint, to be sure. But one of the problems that frustrates her is that she feels that he has a lower tolerance for the amount of mess 2 kids can make, and yet refuses to help bring the chaos up to his higher standards. She feels he expects her to do all the work to meet his demands. And she blames this problem on his mother. My friend claims that her DH's mother was the kind of mother who picked up after her kids all the time, and never expected or even asked anybody to help her. Thus, she has raised a son who expects the same thing of his wife. I heard all of this before I had a child, and I vowed, in my childless mind and heart, that I would always make my kids pick up after themselves so that no future daughter in law of mine would be cursing my name that I raised a total slob. Um, yeah. My kid is a total slob. And it's probably my fault. I really don't expect him to do anything, other than occasionally make him clear his plate when we are having a sit-down family dinner, and he is tired of the adult talk and wants to play with trains. But due to DH's work schedule, we sit down as a family erratically at best, so it's not a consistent command. He loves to spray things, and I let him go wild with the Windex on the days I'm up for deep cleaning, but again, not a consistent command. He just got a new big boy bed, and has had fun making it for the last 3 days, and I thought, "Oh. I guess he's big enough to make his own bed. Who knew." DH has stories of being paid 50 cents to wash the car, 25 cents to weed the garden, etc, etc. He tells me all the time how much his father made him work as a kid, and how good it was for him. And I have say, DH is pretty good at picking up after himself (unless it's dirty socks--I swear those things have the power of procreation!). So when and how does one begin training her child for that future daughter-in-law, to be the kind of man women dream of, the kind that knows where the vacuum cleaner is, knows how to use it, and then actually demonstrates that knowledge? And then the real question:Am I too late? Is my kid already set in his slovenly ways? I'm afraid he might be. While working in the garden the other day, Jacob brought out his small camping chair, set it up on our sidewalk, put on his shades and said, "I'm done with the garden, mom. You do the rest", and he sat for a good 15 minutes, just watching me do the work. I would hope that if he said something like that to his future wife, she would throw a dirty gardening glove at his head.