|My vision of hell is a sink that always has dishes|
First, a few ground rules. My daughters are utterly and completely wonderful people. I'd do anything for them, spend the most time with them of anyone, shuttle them to gymnastics and swimming and take walks with them for ice cream pretty routinely. We play with the puppy (yes, we have a puppy now, and he's working out well), go to parks, shop and so on. They get a bedtime story every night and it's the best hour of my day. I wouldn't change them for anything. Well, OK, I would. But more on that later.
Second, I know that I'm no bowl of cherries to live with. I am far too often negative, have the peculiar paranoia that afflicts many work from home types, adopt a martyr complex about the housework and require many hours of Alone Time to make the writing happen.
So take the following with a shaker of salt.
I would like to live in a house where each person has one bowl, one plate, one fork, spoon, knife and cup. All duplicates are kept in a safe, or don't even exist. We simply go out every time company is over and buy them a setting.
Anyway, back to the plan.
Each of these individual kit items is monogrammed, so that we always know who's it is.
And when this monogrammed item is lost, or left in some random location, or deposited in a sink for someone else to scrub and deal with...
It goes into the trash, and would only be replaced for a birthday or Christmas. So that I can watch you try to eat cereal for six months without a bowl.
Oh, and the same thing would go for socks, and shoes, and coats, and toys.
And once we've implemented this policy, and my wife and I get back the 10 to 20 worst hours of our week back, and the kids scream bloody murder and move out as soon as possible and rebel by filling their drawers and closes spaces with duplicate items...
We'd smile, nod, and be sure to give any future grandchild way too much stuff to leave all over the house.
And know that, on some level, we've completely done our job as parents, in that we've made the future therapy sessions fun...