Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Maid Tax

The Scotty is really quite pleasant to have in our family's home. He is polite, sincere, kind, highly entertaining, and then, there are always his abilities to reach things that we can't get to without a ladder - like the extractor fan cover on the bathroom ceiling. It was so handy to be able to have him retrieve that so I could give it a good scrub and bleach. Handy!

But as we have discussed, The Scotty is also forgetful. I know he is not lazy or a slob, because his room is immaculate. Therefore, I deduce he forgets that he has put washing in the machine 10 minutes before he leaves for the week, and forgets that he has made a lot of dirty dishes...and forgets that he has left the door to the treats cupboard wiiiiiiide open to betray what he's been up to while Haki and I have been out.

Even on the basis of these things being forgotten, I occasionally shake my head and whisper things under my breath as I hang out the damp, forgotten washing...bring it in again...and fold it on his bed. I wonder to myself if it is all really a master plan, and we're underestimating The Scotty. Then I remember it's Scotty we're talking about.

My thought process when I am doing such things goes something like this:
  1. Oh, Scotty. You forgot.
  2. I'll do it for you. It's service.
  3. Is it really service though? Because when you get married, your wife will probably not thank me having done all these little things for you - so it's not a service to her.
  4. But it's still service.
  5. I'm doing it. It doesn't take that long.
  6. Haki said I shouldn't mother Scotty.
  7. But his washing/dishes/bathmat/item/window/food can't just sit there/open.
  8. Scotty is a big boy.
  9. I think I'll leave it in his room.
  10. That's mean.
  11. Do I say something to Scotty?
  12. That's awkward. That conversation would make it sound like I'm really annoyed about him forgetting, when really, I'm not...I'm just hopeful we can help him establish some habits that mean his washing/dishes/bathmat/item/window/food won't get smelly/moldy/stained/bleached/broken/crushed/stolen/cold/rotten.
  13. I don't think I'll say anything. I'll just do it. Because it'd be rude not to.
  14. But the future wife!
  15. I wish there was a way I could bring this up that wasn't awkward.
And now, there is an answer to 15!

Instead of saying, "Hey, Scotty - I'd love it if you latched your window before you go away...because our TV got stolen that time, remember...and I just by chance felt it was cold, and so went in and found your window open a smidge...but I really don't want to have to go into your room, because I shouldn't. So if you could close your window, that'd be great" (see item 12, above).

Now I say
, "Feed the jar, buddy!"

I am much more comfortable with a fine system. Then I can tease him a little about it instead of inadvertently lecturing him. I would rather see him slap his forehead when he realises he owes me some more shrapnel, then hear him apologise again for leaving me additional chores/things to do. No apology - just, "Drat!" And then when I find I will have to hang out an extra load of washing before I can put Esky's poopy washing on before leaving for an appointment, I won't say, "Aw", but rather, "Muaha! Yesah!"

And that turnaround works for me.

In fact, sometimes I won't even say something...I can just leave a slip. Of course I made slips.


They match the jar, of course.


Haki was quick to leap to my support in true Haki fashion; "So how are we going to spend it?"

Me: "Ahem? 'We'?" I shook my head in disapproval. Yet another one of my husband's ploys to get at my hard-earned / well-saved cash.

But in answer to his question (incorrect personal pronouns or not), I'll tell you the answer now; "On op-shopping, most likely. Or Oreos - it could go either way."

Now if only such a system would work on my some-day older children.

P.S. I can hear bagpipes from my living room. That's right, somewhere close by, they're playing. Bless Dunedin. Also, Esky says, "/l/bm/jk."
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