The Unbearable Banishment: It’s the little things that haunt you

Monday, July 19, 2010

It’s the little things that haunt you

8-Year Old Daughter has developed a peculiar sleeping habit. When she goes to bed at night, she sleeps on top of her covers. She refuses to get under the sheets. Refuses! I had an epiphany the other day and realize where this behavior was born.

I do housework. Shut up. I just do. Among my other duties, I take care of making and stripping the beds. Daughter’s bed is almost impossible to make. It’s against two walls in the corner of her room and a chest is at the foot, which leaves just one side open. I get into terrible wrestling matches with the mattress trying to get everything tucked in properly. Sometimes I get so angry it’s comical.

It has come to pass that Daughter will not get under her covers because, in her words, “The bed is too hard to make.” Do you see what I did to that poor little thing? She won’t sleep under her sheets because she’s afraid it will displease me. I can’t tell you how bad I feel about this.

This is a small matter as things go, but I wonder what other little time bombs I’ve unwittingly planted inside of her head? I worry about how the world is going to hurt my kids but I forget that they hang on every single word that comes out of my mouth. I don’t want her to inherit my neurosis.

* * *

Front page story from today’s New York Times:

Pakistan’s Elite Pay Few Taxes, Widening Wealth Gap

Call me an old Pinko but that’s exactly what’s been happening here in the U.S. for many generations. Why would they expect Pakistan to be any different? Did you know that in 2009, General Electric made a global profit of $10.8 billion (That's billion with a "b".) and paid exactly $0 (that's ZERO) in taxes?*

* Money magazine

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awe, just explain to her that sometimes we all get upset and don't say what we really mean. That is a tough one; it's funny how girls are always trying to please their daddy's. She will get over this and move on to the next dilemma before you will.
MT

July 19, 2010 at 8:51 AM  
OpenID daisyfae said...

teach her to make the bed. she's 8 years old. why doesn't she have a paying job by now?

July 19, 2010 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Sid said...

Can't help but laugh at the daughter's reasoning about not wanting to sleep in the sheets. But Daisy is right. When are you planning on teaching her to make the bed?

July 19, 2010 at 9:53 AM  
OpenID kyknoord said...

Hammock?

July 19, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
OpenID livingladolcevita said...

When inn doubt, remember Philip Larkin: They fuck you up / your mum and dad / they may not mean to / but they do.

Even if you were perfect, she'd then have all that horrible expectation to live up to.

You do housework. You've taught her plenty. And I mean that in a very serious I-still-live-in-a-gendered-society kind of way. You get a gold star in the dad department in my book.

July 19, 2010 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MT: I don't want her to worry about pleasing me. I just want her to be normal and happy. Can I convince her of that?

Daisy + Sid: Until you mentioned it, it never dawned on me that she could make her own damn bed which, of course, she is old enough to do. I wonder what else she's getting away with?

kykn: If there's a hammock going up in my house, I'M sleeping in it!

Dolce: A gold star in some things, a tin star in others. Don't look under the rocks.

July 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Just have a loose blanket to toss over her... no tucking required. And yeah, make her make her own bed! She's definitely old enough to take on that responsibility.

$0 taxes for GE???? That is just plain criminal...

July 19, 2010 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

Your kids take in the good and the bad and you just have to hope there is a lot more good. I agree with the fact that you do housework goes in the good column. I count my lucky stars that Yankee's dad did the dishes every night because that is one of the many good things he learned from his dad.

July 19, 2010 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger TechnoBabe said...

Do not get me started with how corporations run things and get the ride of a lifetime to squash the rest of us little people one at a time.
It is a good thing for you to open your eyes to how your actions affect your children even when you don't mean to or don't think it could possible affect them. Ha. The little boogers can remember every little tiny way your mouth turned down or your eyes turned away.

July 19, 2010 at 4:46 PM  
OpenID moreidlethoughts said...

You are, I hope, teaching her(them?) the true value of money?

July 19, 2010 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

GE paid 0 taxes???? That's hard to believe. Gobsmackingly so!

July 19, 2010 at 6:02 PM  
Anonymous neeeekole. said...

hm interesting. parents do mold their children. dont worry im sure in the winter she will want to get under those sheets. lol

and one reason why i dont want to have children; this world is crazy! i cant imagine bringing such an innocent being into this nonsense!

July 20, 2010 at 3:35 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ponita: I hate GE. They picked Uncle Sam's pocket.

Cat: I sure HOPE they can separate the normal behavior from the psychotic. For their sake.

TB: I spent most of my career in investment banking. It's been a challenge, to say the least. Those guys have a sense of entitlement.

MIT: Yeah, I think it's time for an allowance. She should work as hard for her money and her parents do.

Ellie: Don't take my word for it. Click on the link and read the article. It'll make your blood boil.

Nick: You are far too young to decide whether or not you want kids. Look how long I waited!

July 20, 2010 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Eryl Shields said...

Give her a sleeping bag, or you could try fitted sheets, they have revolutionized bed making for me: no more hospital corner angst.

July 20, 2010 at 7:55 AM  

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