I am most admittedly a spoiled brat.
My husband is a great help around here…he does many things; he vacuums, a task that he took over almost completely when we introduced Labrador retrievers into our household. This is something that I am most grateful for because I loathe vacuuming. I remember as a child when my mother ran the vacuum, she would grumble and complain that we children were messy and in the way of the chore. (Mind you, we were probably draped all over the furniture at the time, watching TV and sneaking snacks into the living room, which was against house rules) I always say that my negative childhood exposure to the chore gives me flashbacks! He doesn’t seem to mind it at all, as a matter of fact, I almost think he enjoys it. I have no problem with that at all! He even does it when I am out of earshot, as even the sound of a running vacuum makes me tense. What a guy!
He also packs my lunch every day. (I know, I know – I told you I was spoiled!) It is a ritual that both he and the dogs enjoy. Each day when he makes me a salad to eat at my desk they get treats…bits of romaine lettuce or yellow peppers…they love them more than biscuits!
There are some things, however, that he does do that I swear are meant to drive me around the bend. You know- the little things…like hanging odd items up and away from the dogs and forgetting about them. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone out on the front porch of our house only to find a half chewed Frisbee hanging on a nail that was meant for a wreath or other decorative item, or an old dirty towel (used for cleaning dirty dog paws) hanging on the coat rack right by the entrance door. I know that these things were originally put there only temporarily, but sometimes I swear he knows that it annoys me so he takes pleasure in leaving them there. The coffee cup (or beer bottle, during summer mowing season) that is left on the window sill by the door – right there for anyone who visits to see!
Another one is putting garbage in the freezer. I can’t tell you how many times I have come across a bag of food of questionable origin on the freezer shelf. He tells me that this is to keep it from smelling up the place, but it still throws me to find chicken wing bones in a bag in there!
Then there is the habit of opening the center console in the car after we have started to drive down the road. This bothers me because I then have to lean to the right so that he can rummage around – while still driving – looking for something that he keeps in there. In the meantime, I am freaking out telling him to watch the road. He will then find said item and use it (usually eye drops or chapstick) and leave the console open so that I still need to lean to the right. It’s maddening, but I think he secretly takes great joy in my distress.
It seems that these little things bother me much more now that the kids are gone. The items that I pick up are more bothersome because the rest of the house is usually fairly tidy without all of the extra bodies around to pick up after. The freezer items are much more noticeable because the freezer is not overstuffed with leftovers and quick frozen pizzas like it used to be. I am more sensitive in the car because I am not engrossed in conversation with one of the girls about gossip or boys or other exciting things, or busy singing along with the radio at top volume.
But while I sit here complaining, I am starting to realize the trade-offs. The extra cup of coffee that appears at my side as I sit here in the early morning, writing or paying the bills. The napkin that is always included in the aforementioned lunch because I ALWAYS spill when I eat. The bottle of wine that miraculously appears in the refrigerator after a horrible day at the office.
Now that the kids are gone I notice that we are a bit more focused on each other. Our days are no longer a whirl of other people’s activities and schedules. I have to admit that I enjoy being the center of attention when I walk in the house at the end of the day – after the dogs go out, that is.
I guess that while I have much more time to notice the things that bother me there is also much more time and attention coming my way as well. I like that! It IS the little things.
As long as I don’t find my shoes sitting high on the shelf in the back room because the dog wouldn’t leave them alone!