You expect 140 posts about the good, the bad, and the ugly of parenting? Here is the latest one. I am off on a tirade—or tangent—about what goes on in the average home. Every blog is part of my digital time capsule that stores the fodder of my life. And the news is not always exciting. Sometimes life is just mundane. I am stuck in a rut of work, taking care of kids (two little ones), and a bit of housework to help my wife. I must say that I am allergic to housework and pick and chose what I am willing to do.

Here is my abbreviated list of acceptable chores:

  • Occasional dishes and kitchen cleanup—no more than twice a week
  • Unloading the dryer (after someone else does the laundry) but not folding sheets. They end up as triangles or odd shapes.
  • Emptying the fridge of old, rotten food (otherwise the kids could get sick, so I have a motive)
  • Changing the water softener refill in the shower head (but not scrubbing the tiles)
  • Pruning the yard and raking leaves in autumn (one season is enough)
  • Hosing the sidewalk and degreasing the driveway of oil spills (after all, they are caused by my car)
  • Repairing small appliances like toasters and coffeemakers (or I don’t get my morning breakfast and jolt of java)
  • Vacuuming the stairs with the canister model, the only machine that I care to lift as I go to the second floor
  • Organizing my desk in the home office (or everything goes in the trash—or the shredder)

Did I say shredder? Yes, I did.  We have a compact portable model from that my wife loves to use to make mince meat out of old paper. Bills, documents, financial statements, personal correspondence, reports, etc. It is all the normal stuff of everyday life. Shredding it is fun and convenient. There is a lot less to haul out to the trash. I should add this job to my list as I actually like it. I love watching the little iron “teeth” gobble the paper and crush it to death into tiny unreadable pieces. It is such a vicarious pleasure. You can take out your frustrations or hatred of anyone by making it personal.

Crumpling paper with your hands is also therapeutic, but I love thinking of the shredder opening as its “jaws” and the documents as tasteless food. Or I think of Pacman eating his way unto eternity. It seems like we generate enough paper for an eon. I could put shredding at the top of my list so there is no mistake about who gets to do it. However, once a task is assigned in my house, it is yours for life.