Instead of talking about how great my mother is, (which she is, as always…Marge – we ALL love you) I’ve decided instead to write up a quick cheat sheet for kids on how to really show your mom that yes, you were listening.
I’ll start with one for sons.
The Bathroom: The bathroom is a very complicated space with so many different elements that somehow are not yet on your radar. In an attempt to help your mother, let me explain:
Toilet: The toilet has many parts: the seat, the lid, the handle, the base, the back, the outside of the bowl AND the inside of the bowl. There is a standard set of common courtesies that accompany the toilet, and these are as follows:
Toilet seats are for sitting. If you are not using it to sit, feel free to lift it out of your way, but never forget to return it to its original, natural position.
Toilet seats sometimes provide a more challenging bathroom experience. No need to prove your accuracy by keeping the seat in the down position.
If your mother ever asks you to ‘clean the toilet’, chances are she’s not just asking you to close the lid and then close the door to the bathroom. My guess is that she would like you to find cleaning spray and paper towels (not the hand towel) and perhaps even a bowl brush.
If you’re living on your own, it really is important to understand that you will need to clean the toilet. This could be the deciding factor of whether a girl wants to have a relationship with you or not. Trust me.
Toilet Paper: There is a thing called a toilet paper holder. It holds toilet paper. Sometimes, the toilet paper holder does not hold toilet paper, but instead, just a cardboard roll. When you are in the bathroom, and you encounter such a cardboard roll, try this: unlatch the toilet paper holder, remove the cardboard roll, and replace it with a full roll of toilet paper.
Sinks: Have you ever noticed that when you wash your hands, brush your teeth, wash your face or just run water in the sink that sometimes, just sometimes, you might make a mess? No? You haven’t noticed that? Hmmmmm. Well, let me help you. A ‘mess’ around a sink may consist of the following: spitting toothpaste on the side of the sink and leaving it there, squeezing toothpaste on your toothbrush, missing, and then trying to pick it up off the counter with your toothbrush, washing dirty hands and splashing all over the sink & mirror. If any of this sounds familiar, do your mom a favor. Grab a paper towel (to be explained in a minute) and wipe down the sink.
Paper Towels: Paper towels are a great invention which provide the ability to clean up a mess and not have to then clean the item you just used for cleaning. If you don’t know where paper towels live in your house, please ask your mother (or father) to show you. If you are living on your own & you don’t have any paper towels in your possession, do yourself a favor, and buy some.
Your Possessions: annoying as it may seem, mothers care about how you treat your possessions, ranging from your clothes to any equipment/toys/etc that you use on a daily basis. While it may seem natural to neatly pile dirty clothes on your floor, your desk or a chair, and while the heap of clothing may seem logical and efficient to you, most mothers will only see a pile of dirty clothing. The easiest solution is to find a laundry basket and put your dirty clothes in there. The best solution, however, is to find the washing machine and take care of your laundry on your own.
Trash Casn: Trash cans have a limit of what they can hold. It’s important to understand this. Part of your possessions happens to be the trash can in your room. If it happens to seem like it may be over-flowing with…I don’t know…empty Gatorade bottles, it’s a good sign that you should take care of this and empty it.
Doing Laundry: Mothers have a distinct concept of what ‘doing laundry’ really means. If your mother asks you to ‘do your laundry’, and you don’t understand why she gets upset with you when she finds your clothes in the washing machine two days later with that special odor of sour milk, here’s why: For mothers, ‘doing laundry’ means the following:
• All dirty clothes in your room are separated from the clean clothes
• The dirty clothes are collected in a laundry basket, and the clean clothes are neatly folded or hung on hangers in your closet
• The dirty clothes are put into the washing machine in reasonable amounts. No need to attempt to win the guiness world record on how many items you can fit into the washing machine at one time.
• The washed clothing is moved to the dryer after it is done in the washer
• The dry clothes are removed from the dryer, brought to your room and either folded or hung in the closet.
• If you are ready for advanced laundry, let me know. It involves dryer sheets & fabric softener.
Sports Equipment: If you happen to play sports, please note the following: No one wants to touch or smell your clothing or equipment after you’re done using it. Please find a remote spot in your house to air out all equipment and instead of stuffing your sweaty clothing into the same gym bag over and over again, please see ‘doing laundry’ and follow the instructions.
Making your Bed: We’ve had a lot of discussions in our house about making beds. When your mother asks you to make your bed, she is asking for you to make your bed look like a picture in a catalogue. Sometimes this requires you doing more than flattening your comforter and finding your pillows.
What Mothers really want: What mothers want more than anything is for you to be happy. They want you to hug them in public, laugh at their jokes and not be embarrassed by them. And every now & then, just let your mom know that you think she’s pretty.
Hope this helps…next up, a list for daughters.