Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I think I may have lied to him...

...although technically it wasn't a lie because I believed it at the time.

I started a post prompted by Trey a while back on the division of labor at our house. I sudden realize that this entry will be easier to write if I finish that one first.

...okay, I'm back.

One of the issues that Evan was having with his Grandmother was that she got angry at him for not doing things which she thought he should just do without being asked. He reported to me that that was fundamentally unfair. He thought so because (1) he can't know what she wants done unless she asks; (2) he always does what she asks him to do; and (3) he works full time and she is retired.

I'm not going to comment on the last one. Regarding #2 all I can say is that my re-reading my blog provides evidence that Evan thinks he always does what he has been asked to do, but that he doesn't. He either just doesn't remember being asked to do the things that he hasn't done, or he was just about to do it right before you reminded him so you're the crazy one, not him.

I think the first issue is fundamental, and typical of young adults living at home.* If Evan lived on his own, no one would have to tell him to take out the trash, wash the dishes, or clean the bathroom. Of course, he might not take out the trash until after it was nauseating, only wash the dishes when there were no more clean ones in the house, and clean the bathroom only for company if at all. However, he would not live there thinking that he could not possibly be expected to do any housework because nobody told him what needed doing.

Anyway, when I spoke with Evan last week I told him that it would be a good idea if he picked a couple of chores, like trash and vaccuuming, and started doing them without being asked. That of course went in one ear and out the other. (That was not the only issue going on.)

What I think probably did stick in his brain, and I now can't believe I said was, "If you are living here paying rent I won't expect you to be doing chores."

Now, I think what I meant was that he could come and go as he pleased and if he was not in the house much, then he was not expected to do chores. I did not mean that he could, for instance, eat meals with us regularly and never take a turn cooking or cleaning up.

I'm going to have to think about this, because I told him that he would not be in a situation where what was expected of him would be unclear and that he wouldn't get in trouble for not doing things that he hadn't been asked to do.

Though I would love to believe that because believes he is an adult he would act like one, doing at least some housework because it needs to be done and not because someone (me) made him do it, I do understand that to be fantasy.


  1. You know, I really wondered what was going on when you blogged before that he wouldn't have to do chores. Now you're talking sense again. :)

  2. i wondered when i read that if you had well and truly lost your mind! I can't wait for you and mr. literal to have this discussion. i find that i have missed evan, glad he's coming home.

  3. Gee, we pay rent for our apartment, does that mean someone else is coming over to do the housework? Dang and all this time we have been doing it ourselves! Naw, I am just teasing you. I do think it is really hard for parents and kids to find the balance as adults, ever. The whole parent/kid thing seems to get in the way. My kids do their own housework at their houses, but rarely, like never offer to help clean up when they have dinner here. I don't get it. And the adult kids who off and on live here? Geez, forget it, they never do anything without being asked. I have personally given up on thinking they will do anything without prompting. I am just happy if they do it without whining! Good luck.

  4.'s amazing what they will live in :) good luck with him!


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