I Do What I Do They Do What I Say

The only good thing about being trapped at home is I have the girls doing dishes.

This is attributed to a difference in style between me and She Who Must Be Obeyed. Because SWMBO is a native Japanese she ends up complaining a lot about the girls lack of initiative. In other words, rather than telling the girls to do something she complains that they haven’t done it, hoping the suggestion and the shaming will lead to action. Some of this is cultural. The Japanese don’t like direct confrontation which leads to a lot of suggestions and complaints rather than a lot of “get your ass to the sink and do disheses”.

However, since my daughters are biracial they inherited a certain amount of sass and backtalk and stubborness from two different national gene pools. This leads to long arguments with SWMBO that end when I officially “lose my shit” at the circular and noisy nature of the argument going on next to me.

I have tried to encourage SWMBO not to take the bait when the girls are backtalking and to instead stay on message. Translation: Tell them”Stop talking to me that way and go do XYZ”. This has led our oldest to try a “What? What did I say?” strategy.

However, with me at home during the day, I’ve got our youngest washing breakfast dishes and our oldest hanging laundry in the morning and washing supper dishes at night. (Note: She has to do the latter for five more weeks because of something she did a couple weeks ago. I don’t actually remember what she did but I do remember that sass back talk and stubborness led her to try to call my bluff and that made four weeks into six weeks.)

In short, I dared our oldest to backtalk me and she did. She hasn’t done it since, though.


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