Being a mom took me by surprise.  Not the actual becoming a mom part – I had many months to prepare for that – but the actual day to day “being a mom” grind.  I knew there’d be diapers to change, boo boos to kiss and stories to read at bedtime.   That’s the sort of stuff that everyone expects.  One thing I wasn’t prepared for though, was the number of times I’d have to remind my kids of basic stuff.    Who knew you’d have to repeat yourself so much?  Don’t wipe your snot on the couch (seriously, if I invite you over, don’t sit on my couch).  Wash your hands after going to the pisser.  Cutting your brother’s hair behind my back is not cool.  That sort of stuff.  I still watch my 9 year old like a hawk when he’s crossing the street because he doesn’t always remember to look – and I’ve been trying to hammer that one into him since he was a toddler!  You see?   Whether it’s about health and safety or just common courtesy, some things take a ridiculous amount of time to finally sink in.

Lately, their underwear etiquette has been making me crazy.    I grew up in a household with very traditional gender roles.  My mom was expected to wait on and pick up after my father.  Their arrangement did 2 things for me:  firstly, it made me throw up in my mouth pretty regularly and secondly, it made me realize what I wanted in a relationship.  Things worked out great!  Scott is my partner not only in life, but also in housework.  Score!   Fast forward many years and these absent-minded boys of mine regularly leave their dirty goods lying wherever they happened to be when they got dressed for the day.  And of course it automatically gets my back up.  I don’t want to pick up anyone’s dirty underwear but my own.  They know this.  They know this because I remind them regularly.  When I holler “Hello?  Underwear!”, they know they’ve fucked up.  They come quickly, grab their skivvies and rush off to the laundry room mumbling, “oops…sorry, mama”.  They’re sweet.  They fix it.  But shouldn’t this be automatic by now?  I’ve only reminded them 600 times.

I know that my kids aren’t the only ones who need gentle (and sometimes loud, obnoxious) reminders about the same things, over and over.  What’s one thing you constantly have to remind your kids to do?  Come on, show me that my kids aren’t just trying to break my spirit (or completely ruin my couch).



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  1. March 2, 2012

    I hear ya! I’m constantly reminding my kids to flush the toilet. Ewww…nothing like going in there and seeing a turd!

    • March 2, 2012

      Ewww is right. That’s got to be the worst. Glad to see I’m not the only one. 🙂


  2. mary #
    March 2, 2012

    oh girl, i have a whole list of things, underwear on the floor being one of them and along with jaime, flushing….also…..rinsing their toothpaste spit out of the sink (grosses me out to see a big clump of it stuck to the sink bowl), GET A TISSUE if you must pick your nose (then throw it in the trash, don’t leave it on the floor), quit leaving your shoes lying everywhere for me to trip over, close your dresser drawers (why must stuff always be so crammed into them that they wont close?)….there’s more, i know, but i sound like such a nagger that i’m gonna stop now.

    • March 2, 2012

      Mary, with 5 kids in the house, I’m amazed you don’t go hoarse from all that reminding!

      xo to you lady.

  3. March 2, 2012

    Great post Carm. BTW you can sit on our couch just look before you do 🙂

    • March 2, 2012

      Thanks, babe. Once the baby gets over his runny nose, we should have the couch steam cleaned. For reals.

  4. March 2, 2012

    Really great post Carm! As a kid who was constantly told to do the same thing over and over again I really feel for you 🙂

    • March 2, 2012

      Thanks, Sean! Is your mom still sane? With 3 boys I often feel like my chances are slim.

      • March 2, 2012

        My Mom was fine as soon as we were all out of the house. So you’ve got at most 18 more years. Haha.

  5. jess lewis #
    March 2, 2012

    we definitely have this issue, and sometimes the opposite. a day doesn’t pass that i don’t have to remind bea to put underwear ON. then there are days where i just say whatever, go commando.

    i can only think of how different this post would look if underoos weren’t so cute. even if they are dirty.

    • Amanda #
      March 2, 2012

      HAHAHA I feel your pain, on occasion i forget, and don’t notice that my 7yr old daughter has trundled off to school camando style *sigh* she did get a harsh lesson as to the greatness of undies….ripped pants+no underwear equals and embarrassing call home to mom for more pants. Needless to say the reminders for that particular faux pas have lessened.

    • March 2, 2012

      Jess, I specifically shot the ones that were colourful/cute. Who wants to see ugly undies on the internet? Certainly not me. xo

  6. Kate #
    March 2, 2012

    Your couch isn’t the only one that should come with a warning label, ours has mystery stains on it, too. And our son STILL doesn’t know what a napkin is used for, except to be placed under his fork. So many food stains on his shirts . . . and he’s 12 . . . sigh.

    • March 2, 2012

      Ugh. At the dinner table my 9 year old uses his pants instead of his napkin. It makes laundry such a hassle. Grease stains don’t come out easily!

    • March 2, 2012

      Sean, I may just make him a pair of napkin pants. That would do the trick. Or make him eat naked and then hose him down in the backyard. We’re not fancy.

      • March 2, 2012

        Haha. I like your idea better. Now Scott just needs to seek out DIY instructions for installing a professional grade fire hose 🙂

      • March 3, 2012

        When my boy refused to get in the shower, I told him I would hose him outside before bedtime if he didn’t

        He’d been outside for hours and was covered in mud.

        He got hosed off outside.

        He loved it – so a part fail but part win as he at least went to bed clean.

  7. March 2, 2012

    Don’t pick your nose. Stop digging in your butt. Do you need to wipe it some more? It’s itchy because you don’t wipe.
    Don’t put that in your mouth. Come on, let’s go. LET’S GO. Did you hear me? I said LET’S GO.
    Ah yes.
    Great post, great skivvies, great new blog to follow.

    • jess lewis #
      March 2, 2012

      ha ha ha! the itchy butt explanation. another thing no one thinks about before they kids.

    • March 2, 2012

      Emily, my kids know not complain about an itchy butt – it’ll get them dragged into the bathroom for a thorough wiping by mom. That’s embarrassing for them now, so they quietly take care of it themselves. Hallelujah!

  8. March 2, 2012

    Oh how wonderful would it be if I had a nickel for everytime I have to say “I love that you’re sharing but quit giving the dog your food.”

    The poor thing is morbidly obese, almost comically so, the first thing in this world he needs is a run and the absolute last is yet another half a grilled cheese sandwich.

    • March 2, 2012

      That’s a tricky one. Kids and dogs stick together. You’ve got your work cut out for you. 🙂

  9. lisamac #
    March 2, 2012

    “when did i become your maid???”….toothpaste in the sink, dirty clothes on the floor (though we did just put in a laundry chute..maybe that will help), clean clothes sitting ON TOP of the dresser??, empty juice boxes, empty water bottles, empty candy wrappers…need i go on…please don’t make me go on…

  10. March 2, 2012

    “Put your clothes on!” they aren’t naked, but they’re still in their jammies. And school requires clothes-clothes. And filled pull-ups from the youngest. I think he pees in them on purpose. My theory that he doesn’t try to argue against.

    • March 2, 2012

      At least yours wear jammies. Mine would live in underwear if they could. I can no longer tolerate looking at their wet spots.

  11. Laura #
    March 2, 2012

    Socks! Everywhere! Then he can’t find where he left them so he gets a new, clean pair from the drawer. And then we come to the end of the day with 4 pairs of socks all over our house… and at least one pair at yours. 🙂
    PS Love the post. I’m hooked. Thanks for another awesomely fun and entertaining way to waste time (obviously Pinterest wasn’t enough).

  12. debbie #
    March 2, 2012

    after the gadzillionth time telling my girl to put her socks in the laundry, the bajillionth time she moaned no clean socks when it was time to walk to school, in an act of utter frustration at having to repeat something so obvious, I actually served her a dinner of dirty socks.
    NO, of course, I didn’t make her eat them. but I did plate a small pile of all the filthy socks she had lying about her room and place it in front of her. she was taken aback . . . for like a day . . . and the daily struggle to find a clean pair of socks continues.

  13. Kate #
    March 2, 2012

    She just turned two; she loves doorknobs, locks, etc. She especially loves the ones installed on the inside of public washroom stalls…while mom’s still perched on the loo, she wanders over and slides that lock open. And because I have a toddler, I go for the giant handicapped stall (not the one where I can actually reach the door). So she hears a lot of “uh uh, uh uh, NO, STOP”. And if I have to say “kitty cats don’t like it when we touch their bums” one more time….I’m afraid one of these phrases will stick, and 50 years from now, I’ll be the crazy old lady mumbling shit about cat asses as the nurses’ aides settle me for bed.

  14. March 3, 2012

    You have EITHER go on the potty regularly OR at least change your pull-up! You can’t do NEITHER! That is gross!

    And the boogers and the wiping (all, butt, nose and face), the chewing on sleeves or collars, the not putting things away … ALL of it! I hear ya sisters.

  15. joelynnej #
    March 6, 2012

    My husband hates that you posted this, because it got me started again on our own underwear on the floor issues. But my boys toss them after they go, like we’re skivvy optional. And then the dog snatches them. Good times. 😉

  16. Liz Arocena #
    March 8, 2012

    Great post 🙂
    A bonding post, because who hasn’t been there?
    I keep having to remind my now 9 yo son to put his clothes on properly as in not backwards. HIs tshirts are forever on backwards, tag sticking up into his neck, sometimes even his hoodie (i don’t get it) but the coup de gras is his jeans, that’s right ladies and gents, my kid will wear the previous days jeans and slip them on backwards. I noticed this when he came home from school!
    “how do you pee?!!!!”. He replied “I just tug them down, no biggie”
    But just the other day my mother reminded me to “tie my shoes” as I walked about w/ them untied–I said to her “at least their not on backwards!”–I guess it never ends.

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