to be upset about dh not clearing up hot chocolate - so trivial, so annoying

(48 Posts)
LargeLatte Tue 05-Feb-13 11:24:23

Weekend before last I was working upstairs while dh looked after dc. DS1(7) knocked over hot choc on table. DH called up asking what to do, so I gave instructions on what I use to clean table, where cloths etc are kept. I don't think I specificly said 'can you check if its gone on the carpet, and then clean that' but surely if something is all over a table and running down the sides, you naturally check the carpet as well.

Last night I sat on the sofa and noticed a sour milk smell. Put light on and hot choc is dried all down side of sofa, and on carpet under table. Hadn't seen it before as don't sit on sofa until night time when light's not great there.

DH says didn't know what to do so he'd just left it for me.

This has tipped me to the point of dispair. It is only hot chocolate, but honestly was it too much to ask for dh and ds1 to clear it up together?

yaimee Tue 05-Feb-13 11:26:43

Erm, no, it isn't too much to ask. Why on earth doesn't he know where the cloths are kept?

If your DH does not know how to clean up spilt hot chocolate he has a serious problem.

More like he can't be arsed!!

yaimee Tue 05-Feb-13 11:27:32

and why doesn't he know how to wipe up a spilled drink, are you married to a toddler?

RudolphLovesoftplay Tue 05-Feb-13 11:28:02

No, it most certainly was not too much to ask, I would be cross as well. I think it's odd he had to call you to ask how to clean it up from the table in the first place. And you had to tell him where the cloths were shock does he not do any cleaning normally?

MrsBethel Tue 05-Feb-13 11:28:56

I'd be livid.

Pilgit Tue 05-Feb-13 11:30:08

a grown man doesn't know how to clean that up? WTF? YANBU. at the very least he should have told you he hadn't done it! He should have asked how. Not silly - he is a grown up and should equip himself with some life skills. I would be livid.

fuzzysnout Tue 05-Feb-13 11:30:11


CailinDana Tue 05-Feb-13 11:31:12

It is seriously weird that a grown man would ask how to clean up a spill and then leave it for you to clean up because he didn't know what to do! Surely he's had to live on his own at some point in his life? How can an adult not know how to clean something up??

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 11:32:14

is he four?

CailinDana Tue 05-Feb-13 11:33:04

Hully - my DS is two and he knows where cloths are kept and can clean up spills!

Ah but then you would be depriving them of the fun of a father and son rug doctor activity at the weekend. I have put the same bit of dh's mail into his hands about 6 times, and still he has left it lying around, now it is tucked up on his side of the bed for him to deal with tonight, passive aggressive moi?

Adamit Tue 05-Feb-13 11:33:45

oh i'd be mad as hell. idiot hadnt even the cop to say" oh i didnt see it" but said he left it for you????? feckin cheek!

i'd be spilling something with milk on his fav football jersey or coat and say you didnt know how to clean it!

JohnBender88 Tue 05-Feb-13 11:36:16

Is he able to wipe his own arse or does he leave that for you to do?

I'm more worried about your comment "this has tipped me to point of despair". This suggests that there is more going on than a spilt drink. If your DH is generally helpful etc and this is a one off then I wouldn't get too worried about it, but it sounds like more than that and I think you may need to address whatever is at the back of this.

LargeLatte Tue 05-Feb-13 11:40:04

CailinDana - no he has never lived on his own, and no he is not a grown up. I think that is why this incident has upset me so much, because I have realised he will never grow up.

He knows where the cloths are, but always asks me something before doing anything for himself.

We have lived together for 11 years. I only found out last week that he didn't know how to clean a toilet - 11 years he has been saying (occassionally) that he had cleaned the bathroom - he had never cleaned a toilet.

After ds1 was born, he tried to be helpful and put a wash on but he had to ask me so many questions I really lost it with him - because we had had that washing machine for 2 years and this was the first time he had tried to use it. I don't know why that incident just sticks in my mind.

I am going to have 3 kids forever aren't I? Maybe I should train him up like I am with the kids. Like tonight instead of getting cross about hot chocolate, I will say, let's clean it up together.

LargeLatte Tue 05-Feb-13 11:41:28

Just to clarify - my dc are not this needy - they would help me clear up / know how to do it themselves. If I had been with ds1, he would've helped me do it, but I can understand him taking his cue from dh of a shrug of the shoulders and mum will do it later.

CailinDana Tue 05-Feb-13 11:41:50

Is there a reason for all this asking though? Anxiety? Laziness? Unwillingness to do his fair share? A controlling mother?

CailinDana Tue 05-Feb-13 11:42:58

BTW if DH did this I would mock him so much that he would regret it forever more. I would absolutely humiliate the life out of him that he "can't" clean up a spill.

Absy Tue 05-Feb-13 11:42:59


As he's clearly incompetent. Or a toddler.

LargeLatte Tue 05-Feb-13 12:27:33

He has never ever had to do anything for himself. When he lived at home his dsm was making his lunch for work even when he was into his 20s because it was her kitchen and she didn't want anything touching. There were rules about the times they could have showers, when they could have the lights on, who was allowed to sit on the sofa (not me), where they could drink a cup of tea (only the kitchen) - everything. He has never adjusted in the sense that now there are no rules like that he really enjoys the freedom of being an adult, but in no way has he taken onboard any of the responsibilities.

And in no way could I discuss this as a cause of current situation as he would get very defensive. Similarly if I mocked him for not being able to clear it up he would go to town on all the things I do badly which would just make me feel awful, and I would still have the mess to clear up, so usually I just keep quiet and get on with it.

I don't know why this one thing has prompted me to question it, but it just seems so obvious that he should've done it himself, and it seems by all your reactions that it was fair to expect him to do it.

Normally I just do it all myself and am grateful for what he does do, and try to ignore what he doesn't - but this has made me realize instead of just getting quietly upset about being the household skivvy, I really need to start training him up like I am with the dc.

CasperGutman Tue 05-Feb-13 13:28:16

Your DMIL sounds like a nightmare; her strange ways seem to explain why he doesn't know how to do the simplest of household chores. From what you say I'm sure if he tried cleaning up a spill his mum would have shoved him out of the way/told him he was doing it wrong, so it's relatively easy to see why he might be worried about doing things wrong and leave it to you.

I think your idea of "training him up" is a good one, TBH. If he's a decent bloke in other ways, he needs to learn to be a decent bloke in this respect too. Be nice to him and don't try to patronise him while training him! He might feel a bit infantilised by the process but this might just help him make more of an effort if he realises how childish he seems.

Andro Tue 05-Feb-13 13:42:37

It's not too much to ask.

I've just about got my head in my hands here, in a few years when my brothers eventually marry their respective wives will be in a similar (but probably worse) situation...neither of them have ever so much as made a cup of coffee! My mother has actively taught them that it is the wife's job to cater to their every need!

diddl Tue 05-Feb-13 13:48:25

TBH, even never living on his own doesn´t excuse not knowing how to mop up a spilled drink.

I mean seriously-he´s never seen it done before?

Couldn´t figure it out for himself??

LargeLatte Tue 05-Feb-13 13:50:27

Oh Andro can you slip little notes of warning into their handbags?

Thanks Casper - he is a great Dad in the sense that is happy to spend time with dc, play with them, do Lego, and read together etc.

I thought that after 10+ years he would've manned up a bit, but looks like I am actually going to have to teach him.

bigbluebus Tue 05-Feb-13 13:53:44

andro be sure to warn the prospective SILs before they agree to marry your brothers, won't you!

AThingInYourLife Tue 05-Feb-13 13:56:04

"Thanks Casper - he is a great Dad in the sense that is happy to spend time with dc, play with them, do Lego, and read together etc. "

Wow, I must be a great Dad too then, because I'm happy to do all that shit with my nephews, nieces and children of friends.

For my own actual children I am also prepared to do the work of raising them.

How can you fancy someone who acts like a child? Eugh

Andro Tue 05-Feb-13 13:58:31

LargeLatte - any female with ANY common sense will get the picture the first time she meets my mother! My brothers are her perfect little angels who can do no wrong, deserve to be waited on hand and foot and must never be distressed in any way...they make no effort to cover their attitudes either. Of course, if either one ever has a partner who asks me about them then...grin

CailinDana Tue 05-Feb-13 15:33:32

A great dad is one who does the work of bringing up children, part of which is clearing up their messes. Playing and reading are pretty basic, enjoyable things that I would expect anyone to do. How is he for doing other housework?

Would you be able to sit down with him and explain why this incident has annoyed you so much?

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 05-Feb-13 16:15:20

I am totally gobsmacked that you have been with this man 10 years or so and have never expected him to pull his weight. It does not need a degree in home economics to know how to pick up a cloth and wipe, it should be instinctive. I guess you have taken over from his mother and do everything for him. Do you work outside the house too? why is he not sharing chores, you are a partnership, actually scrub that, you clearly aren't why don't you go the whole hog and have doormat tattooed on your forehead. sorry but this makes me ver ver cross.

Selks Tue 05-Feb-13 16:23:27

Men behave like this because they are allowed to, basically.
As well as 'training him up' you need to get tough on his ass about actually taking some bloody responsibility around the house. He clearly regards you in the same vein as his mother - that he has no need to do anything because you will. This is about his behaviour but it's also about yours, OP.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 05-Feb-13 16:27:42

Training... ffs he is not a pet dog. Men do not need 'training' they are capable just like us women to see stuff when it needs doing and get on with it. Does he work? presumably he has to think for himself there.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 05-Feb-13 16:28:43

selk that was not in response to you by the way I agreed with your post, just cross about issue in general.

MrsKoala Tue 05-Feb-13 16:34:48

I feel your pain op. dh does not know where any cleaning stuff is kept, well he does, but asks repeatedly. He has never cleaned anything in the time we've been together and actively makes thing 100 times worse. When he finishes the loo roll he chucks the cardboard cylinder on the floor, despite being right next to the bin etc.

His mother never allowed him to do anything for himself as he would mess it up, so he has no idea what to do. He also finds it impossible to learn as he doesn't see the difference of rubbish on the floor or in the bin. I now don't work because looking after the house and ds is a full time job and we have a cleaner too.

It is very frustrating, for him too, as he is genuinely baffled why I nag.

Saski Tue 05-Feb-13 16:40:51

I'd be fucking livid. I think this is really bad, because my husband is pretty bad, and I don't think he would ever do this. I hate to heap insult atop injury.

Seriously, when are men ever going to get it together in the cleaning department? It's a big part of child-rearing. I understand there are some who are prepared to act as equal partners, but my own anecdotal information says that we're still living in the dark ages.

LargeLatte Tue 05-Feb-13 18:07:46

Wasn't expecting to cause quite such a stir with hot chocolate spillage.

But it has let me have a good think about it.

Pretty sure ds1 has been on mumsnet while at school as he came in and offered to wash the kitchen floor confused so at least so far he's not totally fixated on the cleaning=woman's work stereotype.

We both grew up in households where the dad did absolutely nothing domestic except the bins and mow the lawn, so in a sense we both still live in the dark ages.
I find it hard to know whether what I am expecting is fair.

For example after vacuuming upstairs yesterday he left the cleaner in the middle of the hall - so helpful for doing it, or annoying because he didn't finish the job. Nowhere near as annoying though as when he pushed the vacuum around, but the cylinder is full so it doesn't pick anything up, and he just goes through the motions anyway, which is a total waste of time.

I feel like that episode on the Simpsons in marriage guidance counselling where Marge lists everything Homer does wrong "he wipes his nose on the towel when he gets out of the shower" (Homer, not dh), and her hair gets gradually more and more droopy.

diddl Tue 05-Feb-13 18:22:31

Well I don´t go out to work, so most of the housework falls to me-but I expect my husband to clean up spills of his, put his dirty washing in the laundry box, rinse around the sink after he has shaved...

In short, clean & tidy up after himself...

And I´d certainly expect him to put the hoover away after using it.

But perhaps by only half doing a job he thinks that he won´t have to bother in the future...

TWinklyLittleStar Tue 05-Feb-13 18:39:49

I don't know how you haven't thrown him out by now.

My DH lived alone before I moved in, and was pretty clean and tidy. After I moved in I noticed her was getting more and more slack. I went fucking ballistic had a measured and rational conversation about it and that was that. I would finish it with someone for that, my ex (female, fwiw, it's not just men) was an utter slob and I cannot live like that.

Selks Fri 08-Feb-13 00:11:12

I'm sorry if this thread is making your beehive droopy, OP (smile) but you have described rather a lot of shockingly infantile and entitled behaviour displayed by an adult! It's bound to get a reaction really, no?

LineRunner Fri 08-Feb-13 00:19:52

You also need to focus on the one thing. The 'He will go to town on the things I get wrong' needs nipping in the bud.

'You need to clean up the spill properly. It's a bit pathetic that you won't.'

'Yeah but what about when you ...'

'You need to clean up THAT spill. This isn't about any other subject. Please clean up the spill.'

Yes, it is like having another child ...

MikeOxardAndWellard Fri 08-Feb-13 00:26:49

Wow. That would irritate the shit out of me. My 3yo cleans up spills with a baby wipe. If she can do it, an adult certainly can. What a crap lazy git.

StuntGirl Fri 08-Feb-13 00:32:24

Training him up? OP I despair. You don't need to train him up. He needs to act like an adult.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 08-Feb-13 00:36:17

"I didn't know how to do this (shit job that I don't feel like doing) so I left it for you (because you are here to do my shit work) and I didn't even tell you about it (because I'm well aware it's fucking outrageous and perhaps you would have sent me back to do it if I'd mentioned it)"

OP, why does he think he's a more important person than you?

LargeLatte Fri 08-Feb-13 09:55:43

Update - it is gone. I don't know when but the hot choc is no longer stinking out my carpet. There are no cleaning items left lying around. He didn't ask me a single question at any point about it. It's like a cleaning fairy has been, which is what he must feel like every day.

This was acheived by me saying I was not happy it was still there, he offered to help, and I responded by saying if he didn't know how to do something so simple at his age, that was pretty pathetic.

I'm not going to say thank you either. I'm not going to mention it again.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 08-Feb-13 09:58:21


Where do you go from here, OP?

LargeLatte Fri 08-Feb-13 10:10:13

Not sure yet tbh, but he didn't get defensive I think because it wasn't a nag 'why haven't you done this, I'm not your cleaner....' like I did the first time I spoke with him about it, it was much more a statement 'you're responsible for the mess, you're responsible for cleaning it up, and you are capable of doing that without any input from me'.

There are whole areas of family-life that he does take repsonsibility for, with virtually no input from me, and vice versa and that works fine for us. It is just the day-to-day stuff, where he doesn't think to pick up after himself / clean up after the ds if he has been looking after them.

When we moved in together we were both the most appalling slobs, so it's not like I didn't know what I was letting myself in for.

diddl Fri 08-Feb-13 10:23:49

"It's like a cleaning fairy has been,"

Does his mum live nearby?grin

LargeLatte Fri 08-Feb-13 11:16:10

grin funnily enough, even though his dsm did everything for him when he lived there, I know there is no way she would do that.

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