posted by Mel
Now that Eric has been with us for a little more than a week, the honeymoon is drawing to a close– you know, the period where I wanted as much family time as possible because, damn it, the three of us are a family now, and I want to get started making some good memories. Walks in the park. Grocery shopping together. Waking him up to the smell of bacon frying so that he feels like this is home.
And then I was slapped with the cruel reality of the situation. He is 19-years-old, but he has never done his own laundry or balanced his own checkbook. He primps in front of the bathroom mirror like a suburban princess on the night of her first cotillion, and he requires more creams, gels, astringents, lotions, and other things that come in tiny tippy plastic bottles in one day than I’ve used in my entire 31 years. He takes 30 minute showers and 45 minute craps (his word not mine). He stuffs our refrigerator full of highly caffeinated beverages in 24-oz PLASTIC bottles so that there’s no room for anything else. In 5 minutes he polishes off the guacamole you thought was going to last the three of you two nights and leaves the unrinsed bowl on the counter. There is no civility, people.
So after two trips to the big recycling bin in Garfield Park, at least a dozen loads of laundry, stepping into a swampy hairy smelly shower, and resorting to B.M.s at work for a week because I can’t get bathroom time at home, with Vanessa’s full support I have started a list of things I think we can reasonably expect from a 19-year-old of sound mind and body. It follows:
-Plan ahead to complete homework assignments and study for exams.
-Get good grades. (totally achievable in his case)
-Record your financial transactions in your checkbook, and balance it regularly.
-Pay your cell phone bill on time.
-Rinse out dishes when you are done with them
-Do your own laundry (I have performed a demonstration.)
-Mow the lawn (This one is your special gift to us.)
-Make environmentally-conscious purchases (aluminum not plastic. That’s all we ask.)
-Remove your hair from the drain after showering. Also squeegee the shower floor toward the drain.
-Scoop the litterbox every day (just the one for the two cats he brought with him, not the one upstairs)
Those are the reasonable expectations. (Tell me if they’re not.)
Here are the perhaps unreasonable ones I wish we could add to the list.
-No staying out past 11:30 PM on schoolnights.
-Your baby-voice girlfriend should not be in our home for longer than 3 hours at a time, nor should she ever again park in my space. Also, stop spending all of your money on her. She has her own car and a job.
-We will provide an egg-timer for your “crap” time. Please do whatever you need to do to exit the bathroom within 10 minutes. Unless you’re really constipated, it should never take longer than that. Leaving the cellphone outside the bathroom will help you achieve this goal.
-Please cut your hair at least as short as ours so that it will stop clogging the shower drain.
-Stop buying all that soda and try some water. It’s good for you.
It’s safe to say that a state of parenthood has been achieved– the baby’s just not as small as I thought he would be.