The following post is written by my beautiful wife, Jenn:
Here we are two thirds of the way through April and I thought I’d take the chance to weigh in on Tony’s quest to become a Domesticated Dude. First, let me say that I do not think that he is undomesticated, like a stray cat. He puts his dirty clothes in the laundry basket, usually puts the toilet seat down and is fully capable of taking care of our girls. Actually, there is a lot around the house that he can and does do. Sometimes he fumbles through the tasks at hand and sometimes he sails right on past and on to the next thing.
Life around our house is busy. Our two-year-old Paige is a crazy, climbing wonder. She is kind of like a little super hero that climbs on, swings from or flips over anything she can find, stack or otherwise manipulate into a springboard for her imagination. She is always trying to” save the day” or at least entertain you until you forget that you were about to tell her to stop tearing the couches apart or not to jump onto the coffee table.
Maddie on the other hand is our budding artist. Whatever she can cut, color or paste together she will. It’s not unusual to walk into the dining room to find a plethora of masterpieces strewn around the table or taped to windows of our French doors. Most of the time there are snippets of paper littered beneath her chair. For her to create what she sees in her minds eye is freeing… and quiet messy!
All of this to say, our life with kids isn’t exactly what we thought it would be. We knew that they required a lot of stuff but we weren’t exactly prepared for the mess they leave in their wake as they bounce around exploring their worlds.
We wouldn’t trade it for anything but it does require us to adjust our expectations and priorities for cleaning. No longer is the order of our CD’s of utmost importance or whether the spines of the books on the bookshelf are all even with the edge of each shelf.
I would like to say that Tony’s journey to domestication is definitely a transition to seeing our world a little differently and being ok with the fact that our kids personalities definitely challenge us in all areas, including the domestic arena.
I think Tony does a great job in a lot of areas so he is well on his way to becoming domesticated:
- I love the fact that Tony is not afraid to conquer the bathrooms. Thank you to the summers of working Conference Services at Messiah College. When he is done, the toilet bowl shines. I’m not sure if there is anyone out there that loves cleaning toilets. I appreciate his willingness to do it though.
- He takes care of our girls fabulously. When I get home from an evening out, they are sound asleep in their beds, fully bellies, bathed, teeth brushed and bible story, song and prayers done. They think he hangs the moon and it’s the sweetest thing ever.
- Tony does the laundry and even irons his clothes. I love that about him! Especially when he worked at Wachovia while I stayed home with the girls. Taking his shirts to get cleaned and pressed was no longer part of the budget but it didn’t fall completely on my shoulders.
There are several other things he is completely capable of but that is not what this is really about. However, there are a few things I would love to see him learn to do. If not for the necessity, for the fact that these things would qualify as traits a Domestic Diva possesses. I would like to take the opportunity to make some suggestions for Tony to think about and maybe try in the last part of the month. So, here we go:
- Tony can cook but I’m not sure that popping a Lean Cuisine into the microwave or making Ramen in a coffee pot quiet qualifies as cooking. Sure, most anybody can boil some water and pour a jar of sauce on top to make spaghetti or stick some Eggos in the toaster and call it brinner (breakfast for dinner.) But, I would really love it if he learned how to cook one good meal. It doesn’t have to be fancy it just has to be something he chooses and can do all on his own without me walking him through it step by step. Ohhh… maybe chocolate chip cookies. That would be yummy!
- Sew a button. Every Domestic Diva, or Dude, should know how to sew a button back on a shirt of a pair of pants. Fixing a hem would be nice too… sewing the girls a skirt…that would be hilarious but defiantly do-able.
- One more thing… spend a day in my shoes. Tony is so great at so many ‘domestic things’ even though he probably doesn’t see it. He has come a long way from the day he moved out of his mamma’s house, that’s for sure! He is capable of cleaning, taking care of the girls, making something to eat, etc. But he rarely has to do it all simultaneously. I’d like to see him give it a try. I’m confident that he’ll be fine. But, I’d still like to see him do it. (He probably will only make if half a day before I miss him and the girls too much and I crash his day of domestic duties!)
Tony, you are on your way to Martha Stewart status…lets see you finish strong!