I adore my kids and love having them around this summer, but the constant mess is getting to me. Emma, 16, and Nick, 19, leave clothes strewn artfully over railings and countertops, shoes scattered around every room in the house, and dishes and empty packages of crackers and chips all over the couch. It's driving me crazy! But apparently, I'm not such a pleasure to live with either. My nagging is getting to them.
"Wow, so much nagging, Mom" drawled Nick, my soon-to-be sophomore at Michigan, who's only been home for a few days. "Do you just walk around the house looking for things to complain about?"
All I could do was huff in exasperation.
"Why don't you just write a list of everything you want us to do," he continued, "and then you can stop talking about it?"
Fine! I wrote the first six things I could think of on a large post-it and slapped it on the fridge. Nick scribbled his own note and slapped it above mine. Here's the result.
I had to laugh. But come on, we moms know that even when our kids are in college, we DO need to nag them sometimes. Or absolutely not one damn thing will get done. But I closed my mouth and tried not to issue a single directive or negative comment. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy. I had to roll my eyes a lot for relief. Then I sweetly asked those rascally teenagers to pick up a few things at the Jewel just to get rid of them for a half hour.
Look what they returned with:
Apparently this cake was Emma's idea. They put candles on it and lit them and sang me a song, chortling with how hilarious they were. Then they posted a video of it to Instagram. Nice.
The house is still a mess, but at least our family has a sense of humor. And it's hard to be mad when you're eating chocolate cake.