Why Part One? Because there will surely be more to come. The sampling below includes just a few that came to mind today. In general, I am easily irritated. At eight months pregnant, irritation is my main state of mind.
Pet peeves? Everybody’s got ‘em. Let me tell you about some of mine.
1. Too-cold house: I walked in the door this evening after school to a frigid house (the girls were at my mom’s house). My husband, whom I lovingly refer to at this time of year as Father Winter, insists on turning the thermostat down as low as he possibly can without freezing the pipes, whenever we leave the house (50 degrees), and when we go to bed at night (61-62 degrees). I get the rationale behind this, I do. It saves money, right? When I complain, he tells me to put on a hat or a sweatshirt. I think he gets this from his father, as this was likely the way things worked in his household growing up. Me, I prefer a balmy 68-70 degrees at all times. So, we compromise when we’re home. This compromise looks like Liam turning the temp down to 64 and me turning it up to 68 and so on and so on, back and forth and back again.
And so now, I’m sitting at the dining room table, typing away on my laptop, with my scarf and jacket on, still all bundled up, and fingers in danger of getting frostbite if the temp doesn’t rise here quickly enough, because when he left for work this morning, on a record-breaking cold day, Liam did his usual turn-down to 50.
2: Placing used, wet towels on the bed instead of hanging them up on the bathroom door, or any place really, so long as they’re not on the bed.
3: Clothing that’s left around on various household surfaces (rocking chair, floors, bed, dresser tops) instead of being hung up, put away into drawers, or thrown in the dirty laundry basket. I will admit to being guilty of this one at times, but only briefly. For example, I might leave a pile of clothes on the floor at night, but the following morning, I make sure to put them where they belong.
I went through a passive-aggressive phase once, for a couple of months, where after a week had passed by without any putting away of clothes, I began to madly stash all of said clothes in a heaping pile on the floor of my husband’s closet. Clean, dirty, folded, a mess—it didn’t matter—into the closet they went. After a time I realized this was pretty immature and stopped. It annoyed the hell out of my husband, I’m sure, and maybe fixed the bad habit for a time, but mostly we are back to piles everywhere. I guess this is something I’ll just have to live with.
4: General kitchen clean-up and inefficient use of dishwasher. My husband and I do a fair share of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. Usually, when one person cooks, the other will clean up. When I make dinner, I try to clean as I go, taking advantage of any down time to wash and/or put away dishes and food items. When Liam cooks, he takes his time, dabbles here and there, making a mess and piling up items on our limited counter space.
When I clean up after he cooks, I’m left with many various-sized dishes and spills. I insist on washing the large dishes, pots, and pans by hand, and only putting into the dishwasher the smaller items, so as to make more room to accommodate more dishes in the coming days.
When he cleans up after me, Liam’s likely to only have a few large pieces, as I’ve already done most of the hard work, yet he’ll force-load everything in the dishwasher, instead of washing by hand. This makes it so that when I get stuck again on clean-up duty, I can’t put a fucking thing in the dishwasher because of the three or four large-ass items he refused to clean himself, and are now taking up all the storage space. Clearly, this is not upsetting to me, even now.
5: Girls interrupting. There’s nothing I like more when Liam comes home from work, than to sit down to dinner with him and the girls and talk about the day. There’s nothing I like less than when I’m really into the telling of a story or event and the girls—who’ve previously been silent—start busting in on the conversation with demands and screaming and whining. It’s enough to make me want to pull out my hair, scream at the top of my lungs, and get in the car to drive as fast as I can, away to Mexico.
OK. Peeves off chest. I should counter now and admit that I am extremely grateful to have a partner who shares very equally the duties of parenting our children, if not all the housework and cleaning. He spends one day a week at home with the girls, all by himself, since he has to work on Saturdays. He is super hands-on and chooses to be so, without any pressure from me. He’s on board with using, changing and laundering cloth diapers, which can get straight up nasty when soiled. You can’t simply throw them in the trash, even when you would very much like to. He gives baths, reads bedtime stories, puts the girls to bed, gets up early in order to let me sleep in, and as I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, plays the best make-believe “Daddy Cat” the girls have ever known. Also, it should be noted that he is an amazing, talented cook. So while cleaning up after him might be a chore, I always know we are sure to enjoy a gastronomic feast when he’s in the kitchen.
And the girls—even though they are capable of making hurricane-force destruction with their toys and arts and crafts supplies, and also shrilling, screeching noises that could render any sane person loony—I wouldn’t trade them for anything else in the world.
And now, nearly two hours later, after on and off writing, I think I can finally remove my jacket and scarf. In just another hour or so, it will be time to don the bedtime hat and sweatshirt necessary for our nighttime arctic temps.