Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to Live with Your 'Adult' Children

OK, not really - I really do not know how this is supposed to work.  Beth and Tim moved in about a month ago, and we're all going to have to figure out how to make this work.  The good part?  We get to see Jason every day!  The bad part?  Beth is still Beth.  Oh yes, we love her - she's ours; I guess we're supposed to - but oh! is she hard to live with.

It hasn't been too bad so far, probably because I haven't said much - just let her do (or not do) what she wants to do.  Then today I went downstairs for a bit to look some stuff up and print some coupons.  When I came back up she was making scrambled eggs for breakfast, which is perfectly fine.  Except that she was using a too-small pan and had splashed egg out of the pan and onto the burner and underneath it.  I noticed and pointed it out, and that's when I got an earful about how she's been living on her own for the past two years and taking care of her own stuff, she's 21 years old and she's tired of being treated like she's 12! and of course she was going to clean it up how dare I assume she was just going to leave a mess....  Experience, I guess - the laundry that sits around and never gets quite finished and put away, the high chair that doesn't get wiped off, the crumbs under the high chair that never get swept up, the bed that doesn't get made - well, never mind about that; what's in her room is her problem, and I really don't care - the cat litter she never deals with unless specifically told it needs done, the half-full coffee cups that never seem to make it into the kitchen, the ... the list could go on and on.  How was I supposed to realize that this was the time that she would finally clean up after herself?

And so, she cleaned up - wiped up the burner.  Mostly.  Washed and put away the pan.  Of course she would have done that without me saying anything.  The cup that she scrambled the eggs in before pouring them into the skillet?  Still sitting on the counter, with the fork still in it - unrinsed.  Yeah.  I didn't need the pan washed.  I didn't need the cup washed, though it should have been rinsed so the egg didn't dry in the bottom and make it hard to wash.  I just didn't want the egg left on the burner to dry and harden and wait for me to clean up later.  Is that so wrong?  What part of her previous behavior was supposed to make me confident that she would indeed take care of it?

Later she left the room and left her computer open.  I just happened to glance at the screen - 'cause I'm nosy - and saw that she was looking at apartments online.  Maybe she'd rather move out than have me expect her to clean up after herself?  But then who's going to take care of things?  Oh  yeah, Tim!

Honestly, I really would like to believe and see that Beth is a fully responsible adult.  I don't want to have to point out the things that need to be done.  I want her to be responsible and take care of things - without being reminded or nagged.  But how long am I supposed to wait for her to step up and actually do it?
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  1. I must have spoken too soon. After I posted this, Beth made the bed, folded laundry, cleaned up the basement, emptied her coffee cup and took it to the kitchen...

    I knew she could do it - I just needed to wait a bit longer...

  2. Of my 3 kids I have one at home already and one coming back this weekend. Both have lived away from home and I understand exactly what you are saying.

    I hope Beth continues to clear up as in your comment there, I know my girls will find it hard to adapt to "my ways" again.. I'm hoping we don't find ourselves arguing over stuff!


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