It’s all about picking your battles

There’s an ongoing battle in our house between me, the children and the empty toilet roll. Okay, so I’m pretty sure the toilet roll doesn’t lay itself BESIDE the rubbish bin, so really my beef is with the children.  How is it possible that they’re able to take the old toilet roll off the holder and put a new toilet roll on the holder but they’re not capable of actually walking the two feet to the rubbish bin to put the empty toilet roll in it? It just sits there beside the bin, taunting me. I curse it. I know I shouldn’t; it’s blameless. But I can’t help it.  I gather the troops: ‘Who’s left the toilet roll beside the bin?’ Silence. I try a new tack ‘Right, who was the last person in the bathroom?’ Silence. It’s like they have some code of honour to which they’re adhering. ‘Listen’, I say, ‘I’m not going to get angry. I just want to know who’s left it.’ Wow, these children are unbreakable. Not a word. Some even dare to make eye contact. Brazen. ‘I’m more angry because you won’t tell me. (I realize ‘more angry’ is grammatically incorrect, but fixing my mistake at this stage would be showing weakness and I can’t afford that. So I go on hoping they won’t notice and use it against me). If you just admitted it, then you’d be taking responsibility for your actions and I’d respect that.’ There’s a moment of contemplative reflection and for a brief second I feel as if I’m on the edge of a breakthrough … and very swiftly I’m brought back to earth with a chorus of ‘It wasn’t me’ and ‘I haven’t even been to the bathroom today’.  I hang my head in defeat; it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon for goodness sake! I turn and walk away. P, who’s been standing within earshot the whole time, smiles smugly and says ‘I thought you were the one who told me it was all about picking your battles? You should have known you were never going to win that one.’ He’s right … of course he is … it’s just a cardboard tube.  I need to let it go.  And I do for the most part … there’s only the tiniest bit of my brain still mulling over the ethics of installing a hidden camera in the bathroom. (2678)

4 Responses to It’s all about picking your battles

  1. Aran Woodfin
    - January 17, 2013 Reply

    Put a cardboard recycle box next to the bin?
    Not one of my battles. I am the one who leaves the tube out of the bin, along with the empty presciption packets, because the cardboard recycle is along the hall (tiny flat) and I forget to take them when I leave the bathroom.
    My battle is the empty, but unrinsed & squashed, juice containers on the kitchen counter.

    • thatfamilyfeeling
      - January 17, 2013 Reply

      I guess we all have our battles, don’t we? I’m not even sure if I put the cardboard recycling box next to the bin that it would get used. I think the children just think ‘not my job’. Never mind, I’ll be missing that cardboard tube in a few years’ time when they start going off to university.

  2. Zakia
    - February 13, 2013 Reply

    This is hilarious – and true!
    I haven’t read your ‘about’ page yet but I’m guessing that – as in my house – you are outnumbered by boys?
    I agree with picking your battles but the small wins count.
    Persevere. Your time will come.

    • thatfamilyfeeling
      - February 14, 2013 Reply

      Thank you! Yes, 4 boys and 1 girl! Our bathroom looks like a bomb site!

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