Saturday, September 8, 2007

Snaghouse Blues

Having been away for the entire first week of school, my Lovely Bride was understandably a bit overwhelmed with getting everyone back in their routines. This is only amplified by her own return to school, having found herself in the midst of a career change of her own. Understandable, but not without consequences, as evidenced by my return to a house that appeared to have been looted by rabid badgers during my absence. That, in turn, meant today was cleaning day.

Contrary to what my kids would tell you, I'm not obsessed about making sure the house is spotless. A good thing, because it's never even close. I do draw the line when my family starts considering paper plates an acceptable alternative to washing dishes, and that's pretty much where we were by Friday night.

This morning was out for cleaning, because the youngest had a soccer game, one I was coaching in my role as kind and beneficent father. Tomorrow is out, because the middle one has soccer tryouts and two games, to which I will be shuttling him in a reprise of that role. That left this afternoon.

Some children are born with a good-natured willingness to pitch in. Mine are not, something no doubt attributable to my parenting style, a combination of empty threats and bribery. Nevertheless, as I've explained to them repeatedly in the last month, we simply cannot keep the family afloat during the upcoming basketball season without their help.

My oldest, bless his crabby little heart, has already taken on a lot of the chores around the house. Not because he likes them, or even because he's necessarily supportive in the traditional sense, but more because he realizes his parents are such abject failures he's liable to catch a disease if he doesn't take matters into his own hands. Hence, he does his own laundry, vacuums, and even cleans the bathrooms with some regularity. But, again, with school and cross-country starting, he's stretched thin too.

Which brings us to the others. The middle child, while he takes some prodding, eventually gets into the groove. Today, for example, he folded and put away four baskets of laundry, exhibiting a marginally tolerable attitude most of the time.

The youngest, on the other hand, doesn't have a groove. Told first to help fold clothes, he complained so much his brother told him to go away. From there, he was assigned to picking up the dog food spilled in the storage room, a chore that stretched out from its expected five-minute completion to an hour-long nightmare replete with shrieking and gagging noises. Which promptly antagonized his brothers, which promptly led to a shouting match involving all of us, and the dog.

Which is why I've decided to put together a special playlist, something to put them in the right frame of mind. The soundtrack to the lives of my children.

1. Under My Thumb - Rolling Stones

2. That's When I Reach For My Revolver - Mission of Burma

3. Psycho Killer - Talking Heads

4. Stranglehold - Ted Nugent

5. Stuck in America - Sugarcult

6. Chain Gang - Sam Cooke

7. Take Your Medicine - Cloud Cult

8. Cruel to Be Kind - Nick Lowe

9. Nowhere to Run - Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

10. Whipping Post - Allman Brothers

Bonus track - Garland Jeffreys - Spanish Town
I'm gonna eat my rice and beans,
I'm gonna suck on a chili dog


Anonymous said...

There should be more songs about smacking kids around.

Righteous Bubba said...

There's always Dad.

Anonymous said...

We've only completed 2 1/2 weeks of school and I'm already pissed with how it and it's endless extra-curricular activities are biting into our time, including time for such extravagances as clean laundry, a clean house, and the all-important dinner together. If the sanctity of the family is so important, why in the hell don't they actually leave time for the family to be together in the wonderment of the family home???

Since the start of school I've been doing nothing, but writing endless dates down on the calendar (I'm sorry, there's no time to pee this week! Hold it until next!) and filling out endless checks for all of the mandatory optionals.


Sorry for the rant, Snag.

And a chili dog.

Anonymous said...

Apparently I'm so miffed, I put an erroneous apostrophe in my its... sorry.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

nice to see some Cloud Cult, snag. I like you, I don't care what all the others say.

fish said...

End it with Mothers Little Helper. You could play the song too...

Snag said...

Holy crap, Bubba, I feel like I need a shower just reading those lyrics.

Anonymous said...

Me too! Those lyrics scared me.

Chuckles said...

You could always disable the TV and internet until the chores get finished. My Dad did stuff like that when I was a teenager.

Righteous Bubba said...

Holy crap, Bubba, I feel like I need a shower just reading those lyrics.

The last line redeems it from pure horror show, but it's great punk rock and has more of a "no more wire hangers!" feel to it than straight misery. Or maybe I'm just some kind of sicko.

Kathleen said...

11. Life's a Bitch - Nas.