I’ve trained my husband very well to put away his laundry after I fold it, to wipe the kitchen counters, and to put the toilet seat down after flushing. But the one thing I haven’t tackled is his socks. He leaves socks wherever he feels like taking them off. I’ve found them under his desk (one even clogged up the vacuum hose!), on the piano bench, and in front of the toilet, for heaven’s sake!
What curriculum for this annoyance would you recommend – before I lose my mind?
Sock it to him
You had me at “I’ve trained my husband well,” something I feel is a lifelong task, like plucking chin hairs and regrouting bathroom tiles. Anyone who does it well gets my utmost respect. The task is Sisyphean.
As for the socks, I believe this is one of those situations wherein you have already asked him numerous times not to leave his socks all over the house. How about a sign on the piano bench, under his desk (may not see that one) or in front of the toilet that says, “Please don’t leave your socks on me!” That’s what I did when my children were little, which is just about right, developmentally speaking.
That may do the trick. Or, you could just say, “For every sock I pick up off the floor, I will be buying myself a precious gem. Just so you know.” Or lastly, you could stop picking them up and eventually he will run out of socks and have to hunt for them himself. (Or, more likely, they will pile up, he won’t notice, and then he’ll go out and buy more. Stick with the signs.) The training never ends…
My 10-year-old is a huge baseball fan. He wears his baseball cap absolutely everywhere – to the point that it’s practically a part of him. The problem is that my mother-in-law is old school and believes that it is disrespectful for a boy to wear a hat in the house. We live nearby and often he forgets that he has the hat on when he enters her house.
She takes this as a sign of disrespect and becomes angry at him and demands that he removes the hat. He immediately takes it off, even though he doesn’t want to and doesn’t understand this seemingly arbitrary rule.
This is beginning to affect their relationship. I’m afraid that she sees him as disrespectful, and he sees her as a cranky grandma.
What is your advice?
Dear Three strikes,
Four words: Get With It, Granny! He’s 10, you’re….you’re…well, you’re gonna be irrelevant if you keep this up. It drives me insane when people cling to rules and regs that seem completely unimportant (though not to them, obviously). Sure, she is old school, I get it, but is she willing to risk losing her relationship with her grandson over this? She shouldn’t be asking him to take his cap off, she should be asking him what he thinks of the idea of bigger bases and pitch timers.
But that’s just me. But since you asked me, I am going to suggest that if you don’t feel that you can have this convo with your mother-in-law, you should strongly encourage your husband to explain that your son means no disrespect because he is TEN and just plain loves baseball.
How wonderful that he has something that he loves so much! If she doesn’t come round, explain what’s at risk. And then, if that doesn’t work, why not invite her to a game? And by a game, I mean a White Sox game, since a Cubs game will cost you a second mortgage.
My name is unusual; it is also a common ice cream flavor. I have come to like my name. When I introduce myself, people often do a double take and ask me to say it again. That makes sense to me. However, some people feel compelled to comment on it – “Did your parents actually name you that?” “Wait, are you making that up?” “Mmmm, ice cream!”
I don’t really have a good comeback for these kinds of comments, even after all these years. Any suggestions?
Yes, I do have a suggestion! Try this:
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at email@example.com.