I tried. Please, know that I tried.
My goal in raising these two boys was to raise them to be successful orphans. Well, that was step one. Step two was to mold them into young men whose future partners wouldn’t want to smother them with pillows in the dead of night.
They can do their own laundry. I’ve made them do it for the last several years (including bedding!) and I can’t tell you what a relief it is to not have it on my to do list. They might be doing it in the middle of the night, when they wake in a cold sweat, remembering that they’re out of underwear and it’s crawl out from under the blankets at 2 am or go commando, but they do their own laundry! Putting away is a different story, and let’s not even go into ironing, m’kay? In their defense, I think ironing is of the devil myself, and only iron my concert blacks if they’re bad.
Both boys have a love/hate relationship with the dishwasher. They love that we have one, for it means that they’re not hand washing dishes after dinner. But I swear they must think it’s possessed or is trying to capture their souls, because the act of emptying and reloading requires an act of god most days.
They understand that the toilet seat has a primary position and a secondary position and that the primary position is the preferred. BOTH SEATS ARE DOWN UNLESS ACTUALLY IN USE. No one wants to gaze into the maw of an open crapper, so thank god they took this lesson and ran with it. Just…don’t look too closely around the base. Or the baseboards. Or the wall behind the toilet. Just whip the Clorox wipes at their heads and move on with your life. But hey, they know that you hang toilet paper with a beard, not a mullet. Win some, lose some, win some.
Cooking…can be accomplished under duress. They know how to cook, the breakdown is in the doing. They can read a recipe and for the most part follow it. But the executive function difficulties are considerably more apparent in the kitchen: multi-step instructions, sharp knives, open flame. A recipe (heh) for disaster. So we prep freezer meals and they make sure the crockpot is plugged in and the Instant Pot lid is on tight. They won’t starve but they might have minor vitamin deficiencies. Maybe.
Last year they got much better at getting themselves up and moving in the morning. I left for work at 6:30 am, long before they were downstairs grunting at the coffeepot. This fall, with the rolling online starts for our three different schools (middle for me, high school for Jack, and college for Andy), we’ll just see how it all shakes out.
Both have bank accounts with positive balances, are
painfully cautious drivers, and know how to mow a lawn AND blow a driveway clear of snow.
But ohhhhhhhh nellie. Please don’t blame me for the shit that will drive you bonkers. Random collections of things that should have been chucked into the bin long ago. Piles upon piles of books and papers, resembling nothing so much as a Matterhorn of Mess, from which they can unerringly retrieve the exact paper for which they were searching. Computer parts. So many computer parts. The smell…you know…just count on Christmas gifts of incense, candles, and essential oils, because damned if I know how and why their rooms stink the way they do.
Please believe me when I say I tried, I really tried. I did the best to nurture what nature threw at us, but damn, there were only so many hills I was willing to die on. They have a good start on young adulthood, with gaps they can fill on their own; YouTube can teach anything. On the bright side, live-in tech support is da bomb.
And if you do end up smothering them with a pillow in the dead of night, it’s probably because…wait…you know what? Don’t smother them with a pillow in the dead of night.
Smack them with it instead.