Noisy Chores

My chores each have a different pitch to their whine: that incessant complaint that each makes to get my attention and ruin any chance I have of doing something enjoyable until I’ve attended to the work at hand.

An unmade bed makes a soft noise, sounds kind of like, “I want to look priiiiiteeeee.” Most days I just reply, “Hey, take a look, if I can’t be bothered with my own face then there’s no hope for you.” Then the bed changes its tune. Starts whispering, “Naaaaaap!” So I oblige. Can’t be overly cruel to the furniture.

A full laundry basket makes a low moan almost completely below my radar, kind of a “Helloooooo” as though from a mole lost down a hole. The mole isn’t really bothered about being lost down the hole, since it’s in its own territory, but it still would like some attention. Clothes must like being roughed up a bit.

I can’t hear dust. The thickness of the general household coating must result in the dust voices canceling each other out, a situation I highly recommend.

The dishes, on the other hand, have a high squeal. I can’t even go near the kitchen without being assaulted. It’s kind of an ear-piercing “EEEEEeeeuuuww! EEEEeeeuuuww!” Approaching this task requires that I steel my nerves in the same way I imagine a sanitation worker must before cleaning up a septic tank explosion.

If you haven’t guessed, I DESPISE the dishes. I would rather clean the toilet…in a gas station bathroom. I would rather clean out the fridge…in a frat house. I would rather organize the garage of the worst pack rat in the world. But please don’t make me do the dishes.

My goal in life is to learn to scream louder than they do and maybe scare them off.

I still feel guilty about a recent trade I made with my 14 year old. He was whining about having to mow the lawn, a chore which I absolutely LOVE, so I threw out the idea, jokingly of course, because who would be foolish enough to even consider such an idea, that we switch: I would do his weekly mowing if he took on another night of dishes. He accepted without hesitation.

I must stand up for him and say that he is a very smart and wonderful kid, but he has apparently lost his mind. I’m very concerned. We have gone through a whole week of this arrangement and he appears content with it! I came in after mowing, glowing with the experience of sun and fresh air, and then stood proudly at the front window where my handiwork was laid out in public, to be admired by all of humanity, and I said to him, “You REALLY don’t like mowing?” I was giving him another chance, see. I’m not completely heartless.

But he remained firm. A day later when he was doing the dishes, I expected to hear the customary wailing and gnashing of teeth that I myself always emit when faced with such horror. I came tiptoeing into the kitchen, arms shielding my head from plates that might be flying from his rage, bracing for the inevitable outcry of a tortured soul, and he turned to me and said, “Hey Mom. You okay?”

Am I a bad person for allowing this arrangement to continue? What am I going to do if Child Protective Services finds out how badly I’ve tricked my own offspring?

You’ll have to excuse me…my radar is picking up a dirty diaper in the vicinity. If you’ve never heard it, you really don’t want to know what noise THAT makes, but it is definitely NOT to be ignored.

Photo credit: Dollface-1


We are honored to host parenting prose today by Elena Margo Gould. Elena is Mama to five, writer and reader, teacher and student, currently residing in the foothills of the Appalachians. Her passion for natural and attachment parenting stems partly from lofty ideals of deep meaningful connection with family, Earth and Sky, and partly from her personal experience of N/AP being cheaper, easier and funner than the alternatives! She blogs at Wise Way Tribe about her journey of connection and reflection.

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