Well I knew that it would happen. Despite my best intentions, despite my careful planning and organization. I knew that while the Prince was away, I would lose my cool. However I did not think it would be so soon in the game... I only made it 9 days.
Friday night was the night, and the situation that lead to my meltdown has a bit of a back story. So follow along as I grow the story of life in the kingdom, of the Land of Half Way.
My dwarfs are all wonderful, amazing, thoughtful, kind and generous with their time... when they are with others. But in the kingdom of the Land of Half Way, this is what daily life tends to look like:
A pile of clean towels stacked outside the closed and locked bathroom door, with a wet, yet clean, dwarf on the other side of the door yelling that there are no towels, when they clearly had to hurtle the towels to get into the bathroom.
Dirty dishes coming out of the dishwasher, dried and crusty with food residue, being replaced in their proper, or close to it, storage spots, as such unclean... and dwarfs melting down about how disgusting it is that there are dirty utensils, bowls etc coming out of the cupboards when the go to get a snack or breakfast.
I can't find my _______________(you fill in the blank). Socks, gym uniform, ear buds, sneakers backpack, lunch box... however if each dwarf used the tools available to them to be successful in storing and staging their belongings and not being too lazy to use the shoe rack, the bag hooks, the separate personal laundry baskets, these conversations would be almost non existent in regular day to day conversation.
Taking the trash out of the can in the kitchen and walking it to the garage, not placing it in the out door cans and not replacing the bag with a clean fresh bag in the inside can.
Standing in front of the sink in the bathroom, with a toothbrush in their mouth, but never really brushing and having to go back multiple times to do the job completely.
Dumping all their clean laundry that is sorted and stacked in one drawer, vs separating it out into the appropriate spaces; socks/underwear, PJ's, tee shirts and pants drawers, and then freaking out because they have no clean socks. Which upon closer inspection one will find the socks are all in the bottom drawer where the pants should be, along with all of last week's clean laundry.
Closing a door, but never latching it - this can be the sliding glass door, the garage door into the house or the fridge and freezer doors.... any door is subject to not being latched (car doors are oft found hanging open the next morning from the previous evenings sports practice or evening activity.
Oh, I could go on but I think you get the picture. So fast forward to Friday - I have a great system set up for the storage of Rubbermaid storage containers. You stack the like size containers inside one another and there is a basket to collect ALL lids. After a hectic and later than anticipated dinner because of afternoon doctors appointments and running dwarfs to work, I sent all the remaining dwarfs away from the kitchen so I could regain my sanity. Cleaning up from dinner is often a good time to get some quiet time and refocus. Not the case on this particular night as I reached into the cupboard to retrieve the containers needed for storing the Chicken Alfredo leftovers.
The chaos that met my eyes was shocking. Things just tossed into the space, falling out on the floor as I opened the door, scattering everywhere. The harder I tried to contain the overflow, the worse it became. Sadly, this only escalate my exasperation and frustration. In one of my non finer moments, I came up off the floor to a standing position ranting and raving about how I was going to begin doing things HALF WAY. Oh, I wish I could say it stopped there... but because of my loud grunts and groans of frustration most of the kingdom had already appeared in the kitchen to see what was wrong... and so with as much calm as I could muster I laid out for them how things were going to start to change in the Land of Half Way, when I started doing things for them half way:
The conversation, one sided as it was, went something like this... "I am going to start doing things for each of you only half way, because with the few small things you are tasked with doing it takes you too much effort to do them correctly and to completion, daily you short step your responsibilities and you only do them half way. So, be prepared, as I take you to church, work, school functions or baseball practice I will drive you half way there, pull off on the side of the road and make you get out and walk the rest of the way. Understand that when it is your laundry day, I am only going to do your laundry half way. I will wash it, but will take all the wet laundry to your bed and lay it in a heap instead of finishing the job and placing it all in the dryer. I am going to prepare your dinner, but not cook it, you will be required to eat it cold, raw and crunchy. I am only going to help you find one shoe, if I find them both, I keep one, you wear the other. I am only going to give you half an answer to the question that you ask, I am only going to help you half the time that I feel like it, the rest of the time I am going to ignore you." While clearly this outburst had been building over time and was not pretty to witness, by the looks of shock and awe on their faces, I felt that it needed to be said.
We did chuckle about the fact that if we all half stepped things in life, we would have significant and burdensome consequences to face. The visual picture that I presented to them was vivid. Since they had not thought much about how every time they half step their way through an activity/chore that they know needs to be completed in a specific manner, they are making more work and increasing stress in those around them because eventually someone does have to step in and fix what they left undone. Leading to a conversation about taking the time to do something right the first time actually saves time in the long run. Did I get through???
I wish that I could say the message got through, however as of this
morning, I was looking at the last four pieces of bread because no one
indicated that they were eating from the last loaf of bread, and a dwarf stepped
over an entire basket of his clean laundry when leaving the bathroom
today, in search of something to wear to school... but as the Prince is fond of saying life is a marathon, not a sprint.
Really, you can't make this stuff up!