By Sandy Welch Thompson

I get that people like things a certain way in their lives, in their homes, etc.  For me, it’s not so much how something is done; it’s just THAT these things are done.

I live in a home with three kids, a husband, a couple of dogs and a lot of honey-do’s.  With that in mind, I know there are some capable folks in my abode.  Now, capable doesn’t necessarily mean dependable when it comes to the requirements I like to try to impose.  I will go ahead and let the dogs off the hook because they have no opposable thumbs, but those other creatures in my home need to get after it!

Oftentimes the honey-do’s turn into honey-don’ts, especially since it’s hunting season – which by the way, it’s always interesting to me that I’m not allowed to call David when he goes to the woods, but he will text me nonstop.   Usually it’s something to the effect of, “It’s cold out here.”  Sometimes the text is simply, “What are you doing?”  That particular one came at 5:45 am last Saturday.  Um, don’t want to hurt your feelings babe, but seriously, how can I miss you if you won’t go away?

So right now, it’s a lot of Sandy doing a bunch of stuff.  I’m used to it, but the ground rules on the simple things have never changed.  Though that is the case, I am still battling the same demons I have for years.  Apparently, I need a better teaching method.

For instance…years ago I managed to get the girls potty trained.  Kudos to mom, but there is a crucial piece of information I obviously did not manage to pass on.  I mentioned that I don’t care how things are done, just that they are done.  Here’s the missing link.  Toilet Paper.

Clearly I have not bestowed on my children just how important a role this vital instrument plays in a restroom setting because one out of every three times I go in there, the holder is empty.  This begs a question.  Who uses exactly the amount to the end of the roll?  Either you have short-changed yourself or you over-estimated the job.  Either way, you wind up with an empty roll.  If you do not have another one handy, well let’s just say it’s more than aggravating.

I guess my family has figured out how to jump this obstacle, but I wish they would clue me in.  I never see a new roll or the spare, anywhere close to where they should be.  Naturally I have to resolve each time.

Many folks will argue does it go under or over when you replace the roll.  I DON’T CARE, just replace it.  Should be simple, right?  Not so much.

While we are in the bathroom, let’s work on putting the lid back on the toothpaste too.  May I also throw in a suggestion of rinsing the sink after you spit in it.

Next item up for bid:  The Kitchen.  Let’s start with the trash.  I don’t know about you all, but I tend to buy trash bags in a roll.  When I replace a bag in the holder, I tie up the full bag and then David takes it to the curb.  Therein is the problem.  In my home, nobody wants to replace the bag when it gets full.  Flex or not, there comes a time when a trash bag can hold no more, but not one other soul in my home believes that.  They treat the trash bag like a Jenga game:  Just ONE more piece to see if it topples.

One minute I walk in the kitchen and it’s empty, the next minute, it is full and overflowing.  Adding that one last piece of trash seems to work for everyone in my home except me.  I go in, and you can’t even squish the stuff back down in there to close it, so of course I am the one to get the new bag.  I suppose they must think only mom has the expertise to do this chore.  I never was any good at games.

Second on the kitchen list:  Dirty dishes.  At least rinse the food off the plate before you set them in the sink.  Better yet, make that extra 2-foot step and pop them in the dishwasher.  It’s a giant leap I know, but help an ol’ girl out, would ya?

Nothing is more disgusting than reaching for a plate in the sink and discovering one just underneath it that has ketchup and smashed potatoes still on it.  Occasionally, I will find a bit of hamburger or pork chop as well.  I guess they figure that extra bit of food would topple the Jenga bag.

Let us now move to the utility room.  I thank each and every person in my home for taking their clothing to the laundry room.  Well…I would if they actually transported said items.  I have tried to ensure they learned that discarded clothing doesn’t belong in the living room, bedroom or bathroom floor.  Again, I have failed.  There is occasionally a stray sock under the recliner or a hoodie behind the couch.

I often say that if it doesn’t make it to the hamper, I’m not washing it.  Well, that’s an empty threat because I am the one that makes sure this stuff gets to the hamper.  Who wants dirty clothes all over the house?

Oh sure, my family does condense the items, though not intentional and certainly not helpful.  I make believe they are attempting to spare me extra steps when they leave their undergarments in their jeans when they drop their trousers in the house.  Even better, I love discovering socks in a pant leg.  It’s like a little hide and seek game (again, not a big fan).  Of course I don’t mind so much when there is spare change left in them.  Finders Keepers I say.

Just a few observations I have noted in my home.  To all of you who have similar happenings in your home, I applaud your efforts.  You may not ever get to think the world revolves around you, but you may just realize that it does revolve because of you and we gotta stick together, at least while the rest of our crews sit on their axis!