An Open Letter to My Sons. Re: Household Chores

Dear sons, Sam and Nate, 

You are young, this is true. You are just one year old and two weeks shy of three, respectively. I will put this in terms that you can understand — you’re welcome. The theme of this letter, something accessible to you both, will be Minions. 

Our house is filled with minions. I should know, I tripped on one — I believe it was Dave — this morning in the kitchen. He uttered a “bedo!” cry as my toe nudged him, causing me to stumble a bit. I’m not sure if his cry was in protest or exuberance, but it annoyed me. We have stuffed minions, one of which/whom speaks, plastic toy minions, minion yogurt, minion crackers and fruit snacks (Weak moment purchases at the grocery store. Note to self: stop taking Nate with me. He’s no help at all), minion t-shirts, minion hats (very popular in public), minion socks, minion underwear, a minion watch, even a minion tent. But I have no REAL minions in my life. And I would like some. Why must I do everything in this house by myself?

Can’t someone else fold the laundry — even just match the socks without “accidentally” knocking over the basket of ALREADY folded clothes? I was so pleased with my efficiency on that particular load yesterday after lunch. Yep, all neatly stacked and sorted in less than ten minutes. Perhaps I can set a goal to better that time as I tackle folding this load a second time.

Nate, can you please go to the bathroom without leaving a trail of peanut butter throughout the house? And why did you have to go the most indirect route EVER to the bathroom? You had to stop at the refrigerator first? Ok… You didn’t even open it. You just stood there moving the magnets around while awkwardly alternating the foot you stood on and squeezing your inner thighs together. You know, because you had to PEE! Well, I guess that’s partially my own fault for carelessly leaving the refrigerator in the kitchen where it would disrupt your trek. Oh, well — please research whether running the refrigerator magnets through the dishwasher or washing machine to remove the crusty peanut butter will de-magnetize them. I’m not exactly sure how that whole polarization process really works. We’ll go ahead and label this an “educational chore.”

And once you eventually make it to the bathroom, please stop peeing on the rim and onto the floor. Hold your penis and aim for the water! Oh, good and now you have peanut butter on your wang. 

Well, then can you at least help pick up your toys? Big boys clean up their messes, you know. Oops, you got distracted by the Thomas train you forgot you had until just a moment ago. Yep, you haven’t touched that in literally months. Hmm, let’s see who can clean up the Legos the fastest! Ready, set, go! Oh, Sam — why am I finding Pop-Tart residue on these Legos?

It would be NICE if one of you minions could do the grocery shopping this week. I’ll even write the list for you. The car keys are hanging where they always are, on the small hooks by the back door. I’m sure, however, it will take you several minutes to find them — you know, because they’re right in front of you. “Where, Mom?” And please don’t forget the re-usable grocery bags. They’re actually already in the back of the car, but I’m sure somehow, you’ll forget them.

Sam, perhaps it’s time you start learning to feed the dog, particularly since you seem to enjoy snacking on Purina and Milk Bones anyway. Maybe you and Wally can just have all your meals together. On the kitchen floor. From the dog bowl. Lots of protein and fiber there, I’m sure. This will thankfully spare me the thrice daily — sometimes more — task of cleaning out the high chair. I found a green pepper in there this morning, though I can’t actually recall the last time we had green peppers. Fajitas perhaps? That was at least two weeks ago.

Take out trash — We can negotiate this one. Perhaps you can take turns. It seems entirely fair, though, for this to be your task each Wednesday night. If I just glance into the kitchen trash can, for example, I see your banana peels from breakfast, the eighteen tissues that you’ve gone through today, and some dirty diapers. Also: my library book. Not sure why that’s in there, but I’m pretty sure that’s not something I would dispose of. Intentionally, anyway. Maybe you can look into composting and growing some nice organic vegetables in the backyard. You both seem to have much more recreational time than I do. You did manage to find the time to color on the curtains and decorate the refrigerator with Disney stickers after all. 

Clear space after meals. This would include, but is not limited to: taking dishes to the sink and loading them into the dishwasher, putting all food scraps — which is usually most and sometimes even all of your meal — into the garbage disposal (again, perhaps it is time to begin composting), wiping down your placemat, and sweeping up the crumbs on the table, your chair, on the floor, on the dog, and on most of your clothing. 

Your dad feels that you should be “earning" money for all your help around the house. Apparently, we need to be teaching you to save! And appreciate the value of a dollar! I feel like this would be excessively generous of us. We are, after all, your parents. We’ve already given you life — is there a greater gift?? We’ve sacrificed evenings out and a social life; I’ve given up my job — which I thoroughly enjoyed, by the way — AND I had just been offered me a very nice new position; we’ve both sacrificed sleep and immeasurable sanity and dignity; I gave up my flat stomach and just this afternoon at lunch, I shared part of my apple with you. Shouldn’t that be enough? Maybe we’ll just say that you’re earning the right to live here. You’re welcome. I’m pretty sure Gru doesn’t pay his minions.

Ok, you both go upstairs and discuss this while I fold the laundry. Again. Stay up there for at least two hours. We’ll call it “nap time.” And please be quiet — I’d like to check my email and turn on CNN to confirm that the Earth still spins.

Love, your Mom