Okay, in the scheme of the world situation I know what I’m about to talk about is very small. And for those of you who will advise me to not sweat the small stuff, let me give you some advice: DON’T! I hate when people say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I hate that book. I hate that concept. Besides, all I have is small stuff. If I don’t sweat that, then I won’t sweat. And sweating is healthy. Ask your doctor. So do NOT say that to me. Got it?! Thank you.
So here it is: a butter knife. With butter on it. What am I talking about? I’m talking about my lovely daughter who never ever EVER cleans up after herself. No matter how much I beg, plead, threaten, yell, bribe. Nothing works on her. Now in her defense I will say that whenever I bring this up she earnestly agrees and says she’ll do better. And the irony is I believe she means it when she says it. It’s just that a nanosecond after she says it she doesn’t remember saying it, so nothing ever changes! Normally I hate change, but this one I would embrace.
Here’s the current stand-off. My wife and son are away for the weekend, so it’s just the girl and me. Friday afternoon she came home from school, made some rye toast, buttered it, ate it, then left the crumb filled plate and globbed on butter knife on the kitchen counter. For me, I can only assume. After inwardly exploding at this oft-occurring site, I calmly said, “Hey, Honey, would you mind cleaning this up?” She sweetly answered, “Oh sorry, Daddy. I forgot. I’ll do it.” “Thanks, Darling,” I responded. It is now Sunday morning. The plate and knife are still there. Taunting me. If this were a battle of wills, she’d obviously be winning, but the sad part is I’m alone in this battle. She doesn’t even know it’s going on. Now I could scream at her to clean it NOW! And she would jump up resentfully and do it, but then I’d have to hear how hard her life is, what with school and friend drama and that the season’s almost over for “16 and Pregnant.” I hate lame excuses. I love giving them, hate hearing them. And I have to leave shortly to get my wife and boy from the airport and if my wife sees the plate and knife she will blame me, even if I try to blame our daughter. So I loudly clean the friggin’ plate and the stinkin’ knife and I grumble to myself, say some unparent type words about my own daughter (under my breath of course), and we all go back to our roles in this family. I want a different role.
At least tomorrow’s Monday. And if one of my co-workers leaves a dirty coffee mug somewhere I won’t care at all. I wonder why that is.