Many people say my son Garret marches to his own drummer but I say there is no marching or drums involved in Mozart’s slow Sonata for Two Piano’s in D Major. I on the other hand charge through life to the beat of John Phillip Sousa’s Semper Fi.
At church I have four different callings and in my community I am involved with three different organizations. Professionally I just finished writing my second book and I work part time at two different jobs. At home we have four generations living under our roof,which includes five grandchildren. We also have a dog a garden and a huge house.
Garret, on the other hand eats—many times a day--sleeps for hours on end, works according to his schedule, goes to the gym, and does stuff on his computer. Amazingly enough he still manages to squeeze some time from his frantic pace to play with his friends. Oh yes, he also has to squeeze in time to brush his teeth, two times a day for exactly two minutes no matter what, even if he makes all of us late for a personal audience with the Queen of England.
When a rocket and a wall of molasses live in the same house a collision is inevitable and there is bound to be a reaction upon impact.
It happened three days before I was to host a reception at our home for a friend who just got married.
I needed Garret to help out and do some weed eating, move his ginormus 52-inch computer screen and computer out of the living room into the basement and to clean his room
"It'll be done mom, no sweat, don't worry. You shouldn’t do so many things. It always makes you stress.”
“I never stress. I am totally capable of managing everything I do. I only stress when I have to wait on you.”
“No worries mom. You should be like me. I know how to get things done. I never stress.”
Of course he doesn’t. He is the stressee. I am the stressor.
To make a potentially long blog short, Rick did the weed eating when Garret asked if it could be done at night, after the sun went down and the neighbors went to bed. He says he can't work in the sun for six months because of his eye operation. GRRR.
Garret did clean his room. Turns out the only thing messing it up, were his dirty clothes. Without a word of exaggeration they were knee deep on his floor.
His response? “I have enough clothes that I only need to do the laundry six times a year.” Is that supposed to be a virtue? No wonder there is a lingering odor in the walls.
Garret cleaned his room and now in order for me to move in my laundry room, which is a fraction of the size of his bedroom, I had to dive in headfirst, do the breast stroke and hope I resurfaced before I drowned in a sea of stale clothes; all this two days before my party.
“No worries Mom. I'm telling you, you stress too much. It will be done. ”
He threw in a batch then went to do some computer stuff. I reminded him; ok, I straight up nagged on him, several times that his batch was done.
When I woke up the next morning, Garret was nowhere to be found but there were plenty of droppings from him and the herd he travels with. I cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes. To take my stress level down a notch, I threw in a batch of laundry then ironed some clean shirts he had thrown in a basket. Plus I did the gazillion other things I had to do which included making dessert and salad for 120 people.
No sign of Garret. I did some more laundry. He strolled in the door about two in the afternoon to change a batch. He didn’t have time to move his computer from the middle of the basement floor where he had left it, smack in the way of the party, but he made his friends wait while he did his two minutes with the toothbrush.
He smiled as he left. “You’re stressing Mom.”
I wanted to stress him right between the eyeballs. I changed his laundry batch several more times that day. What choice did I have? I couldn’t throw them on the lawn or leave them dirty. I wanted my house to smell fresh after all and a bonfire would have brought the fire department breathing down my neck.
The long and short of it all was that he did the last couple of batches and hung up his clothes just before party time. He was right. Why should I stress. Everything got done in time just like he said.


Debbie Davis said...

oh boy your son Garret sounds just like my son Michael. He has me tearing my hair out, he shares a room with his two brothers and you have to take you life in your hands as you go in and hope you come back out a live. The laundry and well whatever is piled at least 2 feet off the ground, higher in other places. My son is always saying don't worry mom, and he tells his freinds he loves stressing me out, that he thinks it's funny. so I totally relate, oh he is 16 just so you know. =0)

Jenica said...

Haha oh wow, this is Garret perfectly. I talked to him this weekend and was asking him what he was doing. His response "I'm cleaning my room." I asked "Why? Did hell freeze over?" During the last 3 years at college, the only time Garret's room was clean were the days I cleaned it for him. It went something like this...

"Nica! I can't find this. Where is my homework? Why does my room stink?" So I would spend the next while cleaning the apartment so I didn't have to suffer through any rot or smell dirty clothes on his back. Then, after I would clean his room he would say he couldn't find anything and that's why he never cleaned his room. "I always know where on the floor I put things, so when you put them away, I don't know where to find them." Sounds a little backwards right? Yeah, that's what I thought. Good luck Jane!

Annie Bowlby said...

This kid is living in Fat City. I thought after a mission it was time to get into the real world...can I move in with you? Will you do my laundry? :) Annie

Susan C. said...

We had a "Garret" of our own. When the smell from the pile of laundry got to be too much for him, he would Febreeze it. Seriously! When my husband didn't get what I was complaining about in regards to my stepson, I decided to go to the vacation house for a couple of weeks and finish the book I was working on and leave him to be the one who got to clean up after this son. Shortly thereafter my husband had him in the dorms at the University. I immediately cleaned out his bedroom, painted the walls pink and turned it into a writing office/guest room so that coming back would threaten his masculinity. I bombed the room but did not turn up even one dead cockroach. Turns out even cockroaches have their standards.

Jane Isfeld Still said...



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