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Kids make lousy housemates (Article)

You have kids, then you will be able to relate to this…when talking to parents about their kids, we need to see the funny side of much of what happens.

Living with people is hard. You have to take into account their habits and foibles and constantly re-negotiate the terms. Sometimes, when there is a personality clash, you just have to accept that you shouldn’t be living together. Here are 7 reasons my kids make lousy housemates:

1. They talk to me before I’ve had my coffee

Anyone who lives with me should know this is a non-negotiable. I can’t human until I’ve coffee’ed. Despite explaining this a million and one times to my kids, they still insist on talking at me first thing in the morning. Granted, my explanations are expressed in grunts, but, sheesh, they should get it by now, yes?

2. They talk with their outside voices

In a former life, I was a librarian. I understand the need for silence. And inside voices. Not so my kids. They all talk over each other, at the same time, and at 200 decibels. It’s especially bad when they think they’ve said something funny. Then, not only is it said at 200 decibels, it’s repeated 7 trillionty times for maximum impact. I would have had strong words with any other housemate about this by now.

3. They suck at washing the dishes

Okay, not all of them. The 15 year old is fairly good at washing the dishes… every 2 weeks or so…. But my 12 year old seems to have a visual disability when she washes them: she doesn’t notice that she’s left half of supper on the plate before putting it on the drying rack. And my 8 year old can’t even figure out how to stack the drying rack. What’s that about?

4. They allow weird things to grow on crockery

I’ve often asked my 15 year old whether his arms were broken, because he hasn’t managed to carry dishes from his bedroom to the kitchen for days. When they do find their way back to the sink, they have things that look like science experiments attached to them. Seriously unacceptable behaviour for a housemate.

5. They don’t understand the concept of personal space

A friend has implemented the arm’s length rule. At the end of any given day, her kids are no longer allowed anywhere nearer than within an arm’s length of her. She got this rule from her mother, a very very wise woman. I’m going to implement the same thing. If I don’t, I fear my body will become fused to my 8 year old son’s arms, or my face to my 12 year old daughter’s lips. They’re IN MY FACE wherever I go: on the couch, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, hiding in the closet (What? Don’t you do this?). This is unacceptable. Any other housemate would have been out by now.

6. They eat all the treats before I get a chance

My treats are no longer my own. I’ve been reduced to hiding in my room when I want to eat a bar of chocolate. Treats last a total of 3.5 seconds after landing on the kitchen counter. I’m seriously considering building a secret entrance to my house and a treats cupboard in my bedroom, just to avoid the ravening eyes of my children.

7. They don’t practise personal hygiene

I have to tell them every day to shower and brush their teeth. Um. Do they have daily amnesia? Surely after hearing it every day it becomes a habit? Plus, my 8 year old stores dirty underpants under his bed and my 15 year old’s socks smell.