Two boys. That’s what I thought I had. In varying degrees they thought they had a maid, a personal ATM, and a short order cook.
After throwing out the garbage they left on the kitchen counters, cleaning up the hair from where they shaved, loaning the youngest money for gas as Amazon made yet another delivery to him, and making two separate meals based on personal tastes, I realized that they were living the good life. The life I secretly want.
Now don’t get me wrong. They aren’t bad guys. If I ask them to do something, they will. No one ever forced me to do all the things that I have done for them. It just evolved from the time they were little into the behemoth of privilege that they are living in. You like that? Behemoth of Privilege. I came up with that myself. Feel free to use it. I guess the hair they left behind from shaving was a pretty big clue that they are not little boys, but grown men. The fact that they were born in a different century and can legally buy beer was also a good tip off.
Being the avid Googler that I am…do you think Googler could be listed as a hobby?...I went online to research rules for adult children living at home. Apparently I am not the only one to have Googled this. It popped up as fourth in line when I started to type in “adult chil”. After exhaustive research, here is what I learned:
Adult children are guests in your home.
Child/Children does not refer to an age, but rather the familial relationship position of the individual.
Any adult child over the age of 18 should have a contract outlining the rules, expectations, and financial obligations of living in the home.
You do not get complete freedom and the support of living at home at the same time.
The adult child that does not want to grow up will nitpick every term and point and in general balk at the idea. Hello Son#2.
After cobbling together a contract from numerous sites, I presented it to Son#1 and Son#2 along with a detailed list of bathroom and kitchen rules. Yes, sadly they needed those. Here is what I learned:
Both felt it applied to their brother more than them. Nothing like a little blame shift.
Son#1 took it much better than Son#2. He even went and cleaned his guest room, and then approached me later and asked what areas he needs to improve on.
Son#2 took offense at the words “guest” and “child” and “rules” and “contract”. That is just the short list.
The stoppage of purchasing an annual ornament two years ago for each of them involved many text messages this year by Son#2 suddenly stating 720 days later that not buying him one, like the contract, makes him feel like he is no longer a part of the family. (BTW, I stopped buying them when he said they were too old for ornaments.) This required a lengthy discussion explaining how their living at home is a choice, not an obligation, thus the term guest. That we are trying to instill the skills and resilience for when they move out on their own. They will always be loved. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
The desire to leave packing boxes in their guest rooms was suppressed. Sort of. For now.
Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They are cleaning up after themselves, everyone knows the expectations, and I have had time to tackle some of my own projects. Son#2 is on board. Thanks for joining the train to adulthood son. The best part is that I feel when they go out on their own, they will succeed and not be living out of a cardboard box unless they want to. I also have a new line. “The buck stopped way, way, way over there. Don’t bother asking for any more.”