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Talked to BabySis today. She was venting about BabyHubby.

  • He tosses dirty clothes in the general direction of the hamper; 10% hit rate, if she’s lucky.
  • He NEVER scrapes or rinses his dishes before depositing them precariously in the sink, further cementing BabySis’ distinct lack of love for doing dishes.
  • He takes the trash out on trash days (Tues & Fri) ONLY. No matter how full the kitchen trash is, or how many of the overflowing items interest the dog.

To his credit, he:

  • Cleans the toilet…regularly. He knows if there are ‘misses’, they’re his.
  • Dotes on BabyNephew and actually does a better-than-average job of Daddy-ing.
  • Hates to mow the lawn, so he provides SecondSon with a weekly income for doing it, instead.

His only ‘domestic duty’ (besides toilet upkeep) now that he’s outsourced the lawn mowing is the trash. The other two items on the vent list are merely support tasks to make BabySis’ chores a little less chore-like. And these are but two of a very LONG list of domestic duties in her column. So, they are completely reasonable requests, in my view.

BabySis, however, prefers to circle-jerk herself in lieu of tackling the problem head on. She doesn’t want to rock boats or ruffle feathers, so she picks up the dirty laundry, empties the trash (Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat and Sun) and breaks out the jack hammer when required while doing dishes…and passive-agressively vents…regularly…ad nauseum.

When I told her she was circle-jerking herself, she was confused. When I explained my logic and proposed natural-consequence-solutions, she was unwilling. When I then revoked her right to bitch (or, more accurately, revoked my willingness to listen), she was pissed.

I enjoy a comparative drama-free life these days…at least in terms of what it used to be like. I have no tolerance for passive-agression in myself or anyone else. My stance? Grow some balls or shut the hell up. Pick one. And who needs to be that miserable when it’s avoidable, anyway?

So I advised BabySis to cease one simple activity: cleaning up after a grown man. No need for bitching or griping. Just make a simple request, with love and a smile, and then do not bend over (figuratively or literally!) Then, hide and watch!

He misses the laundry hamper? He’ll eventually run out of clean clothes. He’s obviously capable of seeing cause/effect relationships, or he wouldn’t be handling toilet upkeep. Same thing applies to getting his clothes laundered…simple…aim at and HIT the damn hamper! BabySis no longer bends at the waist to pick up stinky socks, underwear or other grown man laundry.

He won’t rinse his dishes? Not a problem. Set them aside. Do the rest, and once again…eventually, not only he, but the rest of the family, as well, will run out of clean dishes. Agan, no need for argument – just smile and let him know those are the dishes he wouldn’t rinse. As soon as he does, you’ll be happy to wash them – as it is your job, after all. Then the peer pressure will kick in, because HE is the one preventing dinner. Once is all it will take, I predict. The ridiculous spectre of all of the dishes covered in dried-on food that HE left to petrify will drive her point home: rinse the damn things, and God forbid, scrape ’em first if they need it.

He ignores the overflowing trash if it’s not trash day? A couple of options here. First, similar to the above, ask him nicely to take it out, and if he does not, DO NOT take it out. Let it overflow. He will notice…eventually…and probably gripe, but most likely will empty it…eventually. Or, if the idea of overflowing trash on the kitchen floor being strewn about the house by the dog is too much, begin BabyNephew’s trash training. He’s 4, so he’ll probably think it’s fun, anyway. If BabyHubby notices, just tell him it’s time to pass the trash baton to the next generation, but either way the trash will be removed by someone other than the dog…or you.

At no point in the process is bitching required. A definite plus.

Keepin' it real in the bloggerhood,

Suzanne

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