Thursday, September 1, 2011

Communication 101

My daughter is a slob: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. Just look at her room.

Her books are scattered across the floor, adorned with underwear, shoes, a Mr. Microphone, and toys of every sort. My in-laws have a favored picture from The Boss’ childhood. It’s a pair of nylons draped across a football. My daughter is headed in that direction. You can see a baseball cleat a short distance from the girl’s polka dotted Minnie Mouse dress. There’s a reason our daughter is called “Mini-Me.” So, I wasn’t surprised that her room was trashed when I entered it yesterday. She was playing on her bed when I stood in the doorway.

“Hey, Captain, why did you throw all your books on the floor?”

“Because mommy told me to,” she replied.

“Your mother told you to? I don’t think so.”

“Yeah, she did.” The Captain jumped off her bed and walked to the pile of books. Pointing at them, she said, “Mommy told me to put all my books on the floor right here.”

The problem was that she was so earnest in her delivery that I doubted she was lying, not that my daughter isn’t capable of looking me straight in the eye and denying something I watched her do. Her survival instinct is well developed.

“That’s kind of strange,” I told her. “We’ll have to talk to mommy, because you have a perfectly good book shelf right here with empty shelves where your books should be.”

“You do that!” she sang, before returning to her bed.

Now, the reason she was so confident in her mother’s instructions was because her mother did indeed tell her to stack all of her books on the floor in front of the book shelf. They were cleaning the room together while the boys and I were camping. My wife told our daughter to pick up all of the books that were already on the floor and stack them in front of the book shelf. The Captain missed that critical portion of the directions, “that were already on the floor.” Confidently believing that she understood her mother, Captain Chaos happily pulled all of the books off of the book shelf and dumped them on the floor where they remained until I cleaned her room today. I needed to do something while waiting for my tattoo appointment.

So, today’s homeschooling lesson comes from Communication 101. Make your directions perfectly clear the first time, or your husband will be stuck cleaning up the child’s understanding of what you meant.


  1. Arby! Quit stalling and show us the picture of the tattoo!

  2. Relax. You'll see pictures tomorrow. When I wrote this post I still had the bandage on my arm. The General took pictures this morning. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

  3. I have to say I was disappointed to hear her room is not always this bad. Mr Music's is worse. Maybe he thinks that is where things belong? I don't know but it is not safe to venture in there except in good light.

  4. Toby, that cleaning job she did with her mother? It lasted a few hours.