June 07, 2011

A Pet Peeve of Mine.....Don't Hand Me Your Stuff

Some of you may know that I come from a family of Dentists.  A long line of them actually.  As a Dentist's child we got zero candy in my house.  Captain Crunch never graced our breakfast table, and our Halloween stash was sold to our Dad for a nickel a piece.  We also had the unique opportunity to work in his office starting at a very tender age.  We would start at around 12 yrs or so emptying trash or filing charts.  We'd move up to answering the phones and confirming appointments.  Sometimes we just got paid to sit around and read People Magazine.  The salary wasn't much so I didn't feel too bad.

By the time I was old enough to assist my Father in dental procedures I was about 17 yrs old.  It was then that his impatient nature really stood out.  If you didn't have the right instrument waiting for him on time, his hand would make a grabbing motion as if to say "why isn't my hand full right now?!"  He didn't like waiting even half a second to have that explorer or plugger or drill placed in his anxious hands.  Efficiency was key with him.  Every thing is a race to my Dad.  Driving home for lunch was no different.  Choose the fastest lane and 'get ahead at every chance' was his motto.  Snap your fingers 3 times at the red light to make it turn green.  He was a terrible tail-gate driver.  We once got in an accident (surprise!) on the way home and then every day following that fender bender, when we would pass that same spot, my Dad would say "I remember when" referring to our accident.  My teenage self would roll my eyes but my 43 yr old self now smiles at the memory.

So you may think that I am going to say that his chair-side impatience drove me crazy, but that is not what I started to write about.  Although, yes that was bothersome at times, I understood that need for speed.  I actually love to be efficient if possible just like my Father.  Something that is part of my make up perhaps inherited from dear old Dad.  The thing that irritates me to all ends of the earth is people handing me stuff. This always reminds me of those assisting days.  When someone comes up to me and hands me something I get irritable.  Like, what am I?  Their own personal assistant?  My Dad used to do this with his wife a lot (it bugged her too) and I assumed he did it because he was accustomed to having an assistant in the dental office taking things out of his hands.  I notice this habit crosses over to children and their mothers as well.  Something as easily taken care of by the children will often end up in Mom's hands simply because she is there.  Because she is the lady of perpetual servitude.  Because when you shove something in someone's mid-section the instinct is to grab whatever is there kicks in, and kids will take advantage of that.

Most recently I was annoyed at this by my son at church.  It was at the end of stake conference and Big Boy had played his violin with the youth choir. He had disappeared to go and get his violin case and music binder that had been put in classroom somewhere.  When he came back we were sitting on a nearly empty bench waiting.  Instead of placing his binder on the bench (we were still in waiting mode for my husband...), he handed it to me.  I looked at him in a way that stated "are you serious?" as I placed it on the bench for him... one inch away from our transfer spot.  My look went right over his head as he then plopped the case in my lap.  I know, Moms are here to take care of things for their children but whatever happened to every kettle resting on it's own bottom?!  And how, HOW for heaven's sake can I teach this to my children?  Do I schedule an alone round-trip overseas flight for them somewhere?  Do I empty a box of cereal in the center of the floor and leave for a week myself?  Those seem like extreme ideas but these are extreme conditions right?

Or perhaps a better solution would be to decide to write about this pet peeve in the morning while my 2nd grade daughter completely gets herself ready for school.  I was, just now, so engrossed in writing this post that she picked out her own clothes, poured her own cereal, and made a lunch of "snacks" for herself.  Yes... I think blogging may just be the answer.  However this situation has led to another pet peeve of mine (maybe I have too many) and it is this...

See the ripped Life Cereal box?  It means a child opened it.... and it drives me nuts.
At least she attempted a tape repair to sooth her mother.


Cherie said...

Oh boy - I am hiding and raising my hand as "guilty"!!
Yes, my children hand me things but I am SO guilty of handing things to my husband and my children too. I never even thought about it before so this was an interesting read!!

I love that you got to help your Dad in the Dental office when you were younger and got to spend so much time with him - that is wondeful!

Kelly said...

Perhaps it's not so bad when the situation warrants itself or if you ask "can you hold this a second" but when someone treats me like I am the only one who can do a thing it bugs me.

I think it was Spencer Kimball who said that he tried never to ask anything of anyone something that he could just as well do himself. He must have had some mother!

Amy said...

Even when my children ask me to hold something, if it is obvious to me that they can hold it themselves (like when we're hiking and my 9 year old decides he doesn't want to wear the sweatshirt we told him to leave home) I tell them they're old enough to take care of it themselves. I also hate being handed stuff, unless asked, and I usually tell the person they can carry it themselves. I'm torn between thinking I'm a selfish mom, and thinking I'm smart.

Every day I struggle with feeling like the servant around here, and so this particular thing sometimes just sends me over the edge. Because I am not a personal valet!

Phew. Didn't know I needed to get that off my chest:)