I’m not an especially consistent housekeeper. But I am a recovering control freak. I really like things to be done my way. You don’t have to do things my way, but I’d rather not be in the room to see you not doing things my way.
Sometimes I let the kids make breakfast. I can’t be in there when it happens. My oldest reads a recipe just fine, his daddy is a laid back supervisor, so they don’t need me hovering. It’s fine; I should let them do it more often.
One of my boys – the one who can read – asked to make cupcakes by himself and then got pretty upset with me when I mise en place(d) nearly all the ingredients and had an adult make the frosting. And he was right. He could have done it with me sitting in the other room, nearby for consultation.
I realize that, being well past the age of thirty, it isn’t fair to blame my parents but I am this way because my mother taught me to clean the bathroom. She has a system. It begins with a mostly dry rag (because the bathroom is already damp) to wipe along the edges of the room to get up all the hairs that accumulate there, folding the rag as you go to keep the dirt inside and a perpetually clean side wiping the floor. Other steps follow in precise order. It’s a good system. The bathroom gets clean. But other methods work as well. And rebel that I am, sometimes I sweep instead of wiping.
So how does one teach excellence, a job well-done, without getting stressed? Without being a nag?