Accept your neurosis…and just move on

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Despite having more than 20 nieces and nephews, I’ll never be that “fun uncle” that we all hope to be to our brother’s and sister’s kids. I suppose that is because whenever I’m around them, there are so many of them that I get overwhelmed and revert to my usual, “quiet Uncle Chris who gets crabby if he gets pushed” self. This is what becomes of only children when forced to play with the entire class.

So anyway, we have one of my wife’s brother’s daughters here for two weeks helping us take care of our youngest son during the day. Back home, she’s one of 8 kids who are all home-schooled by mom. They have quite a machine there where the older kids help care for the younger kids, ranging from age 15 down to 3 months. I can only assume, each share in the household chores as well.

You can imagine my surprise then, when I came home yesterday to find her holding my son, still in his hot pajamas, and the house a mess. Dishes on the counter, crumbs all over the table, and the floor littered with grass clippings. Honestly, in a day, the three of us don’t make that kind of mess.

However, I’m inclined to cut the kid (she’s about to turn 15) some slack given that this is probably like some great big vacation for her and since she didn’t get to our house till late Sunday night only to have to suddenly get up and start caring for the baby the next morning.

While I’m grateful for her help, I have my reservations, such as:

  • She stayed downstairs watching TV till midnight last night, so as I got up to feed the baby at 11:30, I had to clothe my usually half-naked self in order to go downstairs
  • How long do I let it go before I say, “Look, we’re paying you more money in a week than you’ve ever held in your hand at any one time, the least you can do is clean up when the baby is asleep!”
  • Oh, and since she stayed up till midnight last night, my wife had to wake her up at 7:30 this morning so she could go to work.

Really people, I know it probably doesn’t come off as such, but I’m really a nice guy. Anal, demanding, a bit of a perfectionist, but all in all, a REALLY nice guy.
I think…

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