(This is the 8th post of this series. To read the entire series, click on the label to the left that reads "Modern Translation Series.")
* Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
Man, I sure am glad I wasn't raised by these parents! That sort of childhood sounds like a drag! Aren't kids suppose to get dirty, be creative and act rowdy?
I don't know if it's even fair for me to talk regarding this matter, since we have yet to have children but I do have a few thoughts.
"Wash their hands and faces": Okay, I get this. Yes, one should wash childrens' hands and faces when they are dirty.
"Comb their hair": Does one actually think that a working mother has time to comb the children's hair when Daddy gets home from work? And that he would actually care what their hair looks like? Sure, let's say there are 87 hours in the day and I'm a stay-at-home mom, then I'll comb their hair. Hell, I might even comb my own, but the day my husband comes home from work and complains about either mine or our children's hair is the day my husband wakes up with his eyebrows shaved off. I think that's a fair retaliation.
"Change their clothes": I have a rule in our house and that is to never, ever, ever intentionally make one article of laundry more than absolutely necessary. I can't even keep up as is. I am certainly NOT going to remove perfectly good clothes from a child that aren't dirty. Not an efficient use of my time. Non negotiable. That's like saying, "Don't forget to redecorate the living room everyday while your husband is at work. He will want to sit on a new, fresh couch when he returns home for the evening."
"They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part": Okay, children are treasures, gifts from God, I agree. How exactly, though, does one play the part of a treasure? More importantly, how does one get a small child to do whatever that is? Mothers out there, I could use your help on this one!
"Minimize all noise": <rolling eyes>
"Eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum": Okay, well, now... see, I can either remove clean clothes from the children and wash them or I can turn off the washer/dryer. I can't do both. Even I'm not THAT good!
"Try to encourage the children to be quiet": I like the words chosen here, "try to encourage." It's as if Mrs. 1950's Housewife knows this is a lost cause. While I'm at it, I think I will "try to encourage" my husband to skip his nightly beer and eat a carrot instead.
Clean children who don't play or get dirty; that sounds like a boring home without fun. Chores that must be completed without making noise. More laundry. I'm not sure this is the kind of life I want to live. It's all about striking a balance, I guess. When we do have children, I imagine there will be noisy days and quiet ones. I think I'll focus my energy on working on these rules on those days when my husband comes home with that look on his face that says "Today needs to be a quiet day."
Dear 1950s Housewife,
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like a rule even you know is impossible to fulfill!
Have a pleasant day,
The 2010s Housewife