We have a rule in our house that every Sunday morning the boys have to clean their rooms and bathrooms.

Unlike many expats, we don’t have a helper (FDW, maid, whatever you want to call them) so the boys are responsible for their own mess. I feel that at the ages of 13, 15, and 16, they are more than capable of cleaning their own rooms, changing their own beds, wiping down their bathrooms…in all their disgusting boy glory, throwing out trash, etc. Not only are they capable but, considering the fact that in a few years they will all be heading off to university and will have to take care of these things on their own, they need to master these tasks now.

I’ll start adding in the laundry soon, but with my microscopic washer, it’s just easier if I do it for now. Actually, part of it is that I’m not willing to wait for them to flip loads. I know, I know. Patience is a virtue I don’t have much of.

Anyway, back to the rooms.

So, here’s my issue. This weekend, as I was checking to see that they had done what they were supposed to, I noticed that one bathroom was not up to spec. Not only was it not up to spec, it looked as though it hadn’t been touched in more than a week.

To be fair, I was tired and somewhat cranky (or extremely cranky) and wasn’t cutting anyone any slack but what got me was this…

I actually saw this teenager take our industrial steamer into the bathroom and, get this, wave the cleaning head at the toilet.

Yes, you heard me, he WAVED it at the toilet as though it were a magic wand. He hovered that bad boy over the toilet seat as though all the nasty bits were going to disappear just because he willed it so. Poof! Be gone! Who does he think he is? Harry Potter?

If he could have wiggled his nose like Bewitched’s Samantha, he probably would have tried that as well.

He then put the steamer away and tried to call it a day.

Yes, I was tired and, yes, I lost it.

It’s not pretty when I lose it. It’s like ugly crying, only yelling. Zach likes to call it “rage mode” and sadly, that’s probably pretty accurate. I’m not proud that it happens and, fortunately, it usually takes a fair amount before I freak, but stand back when it happens.

This was, clearly, a stand back moment.

I don’t know if this was the beginning of him trying to let it get so gross that I’d break down and do it for him but, if so, he was sorely disappointed. If he hadn’t have of sucked it up and done it properly with the steamer and bathroom cleaner that Neil quietly got out and handed him, my next suggestion would have been to try using his toothbrush.

So, here’s what I want to know. Is it teenagers in general, teenage boys, or just my boys that are adverse to cleaning properly?

I mean, seriously, it didn’t take him much longer to actually clean the toilet than it did for him to wave the steamer at it. And now, at least, it’s not disgusting to use all week.

Ugh! Boys!

Sometimes, I just don’t get it.


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10 Responses to “Who does he think he is? Harry Potter?” Subscribe

  1. Cory November 28, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    No, teenage girls fall into that category….but here’s my beef! My girls have been making their beds, loading/un-loading the dishwasher, prepping their lunches since they’ve been 8 ish….Imagine me being knocked down 20 notches when my neighbor commented last Saturday morning ( IN FRONT OF MY WELL TRAINED ) children….that she had not time to chat as she had to run home and make breakfast for her daughter….why would I freak you ask ? Her daughter’s at Mc Gill !!! urgh…haa haa haa Ya Kennedy and Riley have confirmed that I ‘must’ be the harshest mom on the planet…

    • NikiC November 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

      Seriously??? She’s making her university student daughter breakfast??? I’m hoping it was a special occasion, like a birthday.

      My boys think I’m harsh too. I’m glad to hear I’m in good company! LOL!

  2. Rachel November 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    I, too, believe in making the kids do a lot of chores and was shocked when I heard some moms at the gym do everything for their growing kids. Something wrong with moms cleaning cereal bowls for teenagers. I am glad you made him do it properly and kids need to take pride in up keeping the environment they live in. There is a good article about the importance of letting our kids do what they can and for us parents to let them.

    • NikiC November 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      Hi Rachel! Was that article available online? l’d love to read it.

  3. Toni November 29, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    Niki, believe me, you are not alone! Justin believes that cleaning his room involves making neat piles on different pieces of furniture. Heaven forbid that he would think of sifting through these piles to toss some junk out. I am on his case regularly. He even had the nerve to ask me in one of my raging moments if I have “always been this stressed?!”

    • NikiC November 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      So glad to hear it’s a common problem. I find piles as well but it’s the bathrooms that usually drive me more insane.

      Do they not realize that when they make snarky comments while we’re raging they’re only making it worse??? Justin was a brave young man! LOL!

  4. Michele @ Malaysian Meanders November 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    What do you mean you don’t have a helper???!! That’s one of my favorite parts about being an expat. Sure, I worry that my kids are getting spoiled since chores which they used to do are now done by her. But I’m getting spoiled, too. I consider it my one person Jobs Program.

    Well, I guess the kids are still expected to do some stuff. My 9 year old claimed he was going hungry waiting for me to make him breakfast one Saturday morning. I pointed out that since he had made a batch of homemade ice cream the night before, he was certainly capable of pouring a bowl of cereal and a glass of milk.

    Oh, and I do know one woman who found out that her (now ex-) husband was still going to his mom’s house for mom to make him breakfast, even after they were married.

    • NikiC November 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

      Hi Michele,

      We discussed the whole helper issue and I just couldn’t do it. Between the boys being older and me not wanting to have someone else living with us, it wasn’t the right thing for us. If the boys were younger, we absolutely would have one.

      I can’t believe that woman’s ex-husband went home to mom for meals! Really??….wow.

  5. Diana December 1, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Harry Potter–I love the analogy! I can only imagine!

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