It’s Complicated: Sharing Stuff We Don’t Want to Do

What day is it?

What made things so complicated

Doc and I have developed a system of alternating chores which is so complicated that FD has never mastered it. SD is trying to wrap her prodigious six-year-old intellect around it now. I’m sharing it with you because I think it’s an entertaining example of the lengths some married couples go to so no one feels unfairly burdened (I’m looking at us, Us) . I also understand it’s sort of insane.

We’ve been married for quite some time, and this has taken almost all of it to develop. It began long before FD, with the dishes. Neither of us wanted to do them. Days and days would go by with the pile in the kitchen sink growing higher and gnarlier and nastier and nastier.

We decided to share the odious task, swapping nights back and forth. Someone (probably the first night’s loser) noted that our catboxes also had to be less disgusting, so that became the task of whoever wasn’t doing the dishes. Thus our complicated plan began.

It's complicated, Stage 1

When FD arrived, it took a long time for her bedtime to cease being a Nightmare from Hell. Her internal clock, being set in China, was 12 hours off ours, and, let’s just say I’d rather not remember how long it took to reset it. She also didn’t always sleep through the night. Someone had to give her a bath and put her to bed, and someone had to be on call until morning, so…

It's complicated, Stage 2

(At 7 am, the overnight person was relieved of duty to snooze in peace. Later on when I wasn’t paying attention, this was changed to 6 am. I think Doc tricked me.)

As all new parents are, we soon became fried. And wanted to sleep in. Layer 3.

It's complicated, Stage 3

There are other alternating patterns — like shampooing and conditioning our current young one’s hair — that aren’t tied to the overall schema. We also never had an issue with diaper-changing; he/she who smelt it was dealt it.

If we were nicer, more loving people, maybe we wouldn’t have needed to codify all this. But we apparently are not. The complicated system, which continually requires each of us to stop and think what day it is, continues. The dishes and catboxes get done, SD gets bathed and to bed (FD long ago took over the task herself), and we each get one weekend morning to sleep in. A little.

I wonder how other, better, couples get everything done. Got any crazy arrangements to share? Leave a comment, whydontcha?


Eyecatcher by Mike McCune