Thursday, 5 March 2009

one day at a time

It has finally happened. The moment I have been waiting for for the past three years. All those years of cajoling - or as he defines it - 'nagging', have paid off at last.
Because this morning, totally out of the blue, my teenage son actually made his bed without being asked.
I am trying not to get too excited. His dirty pyjamas still hadn't made it into the laundry basket, and there's a sticky mess made by a leftover sweet on the top of his chest of drawers. But it's progress.
What makes it particularly surprising is that like all males, including his father, grandfather and uncles, he has developed that stock-in-trade response to any reasonable domestic request: 'I've only got one pair of hands'.
This simple sentence is continually repeated like a mantra by men the world over. And it's probably one of the biggest lies they tell women (along with 'Of course your bum doesn't look too big' and 'Of course I'll still love you tomorrow'.)
Because even though they can play any sport, down any drink and master any XBox or Wii game while simultaneously chatting to their mates, men continue to perpetuate the myth that they can Only Do One Thing at a time.
Therefore, although it is perfectly possible for them to eat and make a mess, they cannot then stack the dishwasher and clean up after themselves. While they can get dressed, they cannot use the washing machine or tumbledryer. And so it goes on.
So while I'm hopeful the bed-making incident heralds the start of a new domestic dawn, I suspect I'm going to be disappointed.

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