Saturday, 26 January 2008

Life's a gas

This morning there was very little in the way of breakfast to distinguish the kitchen from Mother Hubbards. This means that since last Saturday, this lot have gone through 36 pints of milk, 2lbs of butter, two large boxes of cereal, two toasting loaves, four packets of barmcakes, 16 crumpets and two large crusty cobs. (And probably a partridge in a pear tree. But I digress).

The Singer managed to root out two slices of bread.

Her: 'Mum, you know when you make toast, which one's the grill?'
Me: 'The one at the end.'
Her: 'Which end?'
Me: 'The end near the sink.'
Her: 'Right.'

There was a pause.

Her: 'Mum! It's not working.'
Me: 'You did light it didn't you?'
Her: 'Light it?'
Me: 'You did light the gas?'

There was no reply. I ran downstairs and was overcome by what I imagine a British Nuclear Fuels plant smells like on a bad day. I opened the back door and waved a tea towel around for a bit. Head in hands, I tried to explain, as patiently as possible, that gas alone will not turn bread into toast. To a fourteen year old.

The Football Fanatic arrived home at this point and asked if someone had been using a belt sander. I explained what had happened. The Singer took offence at her disdain and reminded her of the very similar occasion at Nana's. (This was henceforth referred to as 'The Fireball Incident' - unfortunately, I cannot give any details or publish what my mother actually said. Suffice to say that singed eyebrows were involved. My mother's, when she intervened.)

Anyway, all this preamble is leading somewhere. This lot may be highly intelligent, but they obviously do not have one ounce of common sense between them. Have I done too much for them? Should I have been the sort of mother who had 'chore rotas' and no watching the television till it's all done? My own take on it has always been that they've got years in front of them to cook and clean and wash, so they might as well enjoy it while they can. But now I'm beginning to wonder. Any advice?

(The Fixer would like me to point out that this post does not apply to her. She can cook a three course meal for seven people and wash up afterwards.)


Jennie said...

Your posts always have me in stitches!
I have expected my son do chores for a while now,(not rota's though, or no tv if not done, just a bit of help around the house)
I just want him to be able to take care of himself when he finally leaves home, so a couple of times a week he cooks tea, and he can hoover up very well. (Just not his room)
I am trying to do the same with my daughter but unfortunately she can whine on for England. When she is doing something like making a cup of tea, it becomes making a cup of tea by mixing it in a weird way and maybe adding some sugar and milk all over the worktop and how about some toast to go with it.. ending in 'MUM I burnt myself!!' so it appears to be easier to do it myself...
hmm so it appears I can offer you no advice in this area apart from just get them to make you lots of cups of tea/coffee and give you lots of hugs, then it makes doing things for them worthwhile.

Laura said...

My take is that my job is to prepare my children for life in the "real world"...which includes cooking, cleaning, etc. My kids get plenty of time to play with their friends, after their part is done...but there is no way I can maintain it all by myself, and remain sane.

So, my kids do laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away), and cook (simple meals), and load the dishwasher, and sweep, and vaccuum...The rest of the heavy cleaning is mine...until we move again...then everyone gets to help!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

So true and so very sad. I have a standing offer to give anyone a fiver if they can locate one instance of common sense in my three. Believe me, my money is safe.

Amrita said...

You are so funny.
a sand blet has something to do with fire or gas i suppose.

Youre like Little Women.One of my favorite classics. i 'm glad I found you.

qualcosa di bello said...


put that nice little picture on a tee shirt & wear it everyday!

more seriously...i tell my brood that if they mess it, they fix it. if they live in this house, they participate in its my discretion or, heaven rejoice, if they see a need themselves!

i have been known to take away car keys, cell phones, usage privileges for various electronics in order to get my way in this!

my favorite line..."this is not a do what i said!!"

Adrienne said...

I think your house sounds pretty normal. My Mom thought kids should be put in a barrel and fed through a bung hole until they were 18 - so what would I know about raising kids:)

You're stories are priceless. You should consider writing a book! Makes me almost wish I had kids - almost but not quite!

AutumnRose said...

I do enjoy your blog!

You might be interested in visiting my little forum ~ all girls together sort of place. It's at:

Love AutumnRose xx

Mrs. Fox said...

LOL! That is hilarious, but only because no one was hurt. I used to grumble that the only reason my mother had children was so she could have free maid service. Lil' sis and I were chastised if discovered watching TV without a basket of laundry at our feet, or peeling potatoes, or something. To this day, I have a hard time just sitting and watching TV. Drives the hubby crazy.