Monday, February 08, 2010

Sometimes we remember the craziest things from our childhood - and then realize there's a point

Each time I put a few drops of dish soap into a bowl to wash it (instead of in the sink for a whole load of dishes), I think back to my friend's stepfather (a very uptight and non-friendly-in-my-eyes man). One time he got on my friend's case the moment he walked in the door because while she was trying to be helpful and please him by washing the dishes, all he saw was that she used enough soap in one bowl to wash the entire load of dishes and she had that much in a number of the bowls in the sink.

This may seem like sound parenting on his part to teach her to not be wasteful, but I'll never forget - and I keep reliving, in fact - the feeling of condemnation from his remark. She was clearly trying to please this man who was very hard to please and all he could do was nitpick at her.

And I seriously think of this each time I put dish soap into one bowl to wash it! (this mostly happens at work) And I have to wonder why I remember this so clearly. Then I realize that I am a champion nitpicker of Kevin, always reminding him that he could do something better, cleaner, more efficiently and more responsibly. Get a grip, woman - just tell him "thanks!" and "you're doing a great job!" sometimes. Even if he is using half a roll of toilet paper to clean up a quart of water spilled on the floor. At least he's cleaning it up without being asked. Because of all of the previous times you nitpicked him to clean it up for Pete's sake.

1 comment:

donna said...

As a recovering nitpicker (and one who was sincerely nitpicked as a kid) i commend your decision to make the more positive investment of regular "Atta-boy!"s...we've found these really are better - in the long run - for building permanent, positive, healthy habits (as opposed to the OCD compulsions i've been working for YEARS to eradicate from my own behavior...3 drops of regular strength dish soap per sink load, 4 squares of toilet paper per use, shirts are hung in order of color, socks color coded-in-bins-neatly-in-drawers, all carpets should be vacuumed in one direction so that the "lines" and fringes are straight, etc.) ;o)