If Half-Assing Things Were An Olympic Sport, I Would Have Four Gold Medalists

by Colleen Dilthey Thomas
Originally Published: 
Courtesy of Colleen Thomas

I have four amazing children. Sometimes I truly wonder how I got so lucky. That is, of course, until I ask them to do something and then I remember that my children are the half-ass champions of the world. I dare you to make it an Olympic sport; I assure you I have four gold medalists. When there is a will, there’s a way. And that have that will, but their way of doing things isn’t quite what I would dream of. And it’s not just one child — they each excel equally at half-assing.

You tell your children to put away their laundry and they do it, right? Nicely. They take the shirts and put them in the shirt drawer, the pants with the pants and socks go in the proper place. My kids? Nope, they have an eternal case of the fuck its and they just throw it all in and go. One of my darlings in particular is a master stuffer. I have never seen anything quite like it. He’ll leave one drawer virtually empty and fill another one with so much shit that it can’t even close. There is a constant sneak preview of what’s halfway inside. I used to take it out and refold it, but the fuck its are contagious and I’ve got them now too. He is a wrinkled disaster walking, but at least it all smells Tide fresh.

Courtesy of Colleen Thomas

Next, let’s move over to the kitchen, shall we? They are responsible for doing the dishes. This never happens without complaint or argument about who did it last. Once they have battled WWE style and someone gets going, I can assure you the way those puppies get tossed in the dishwasher will be a nightmare. I am not obsessive about things like that. However, I do like to make the most of the space available and get in as many dishes as I can. They are all about speed, not accuracy, and will toss together what they can and leave the rest in the sink. Why bother with efficiency if you can get back to the PlayStation, right?

I also ask them to sweep up from time to time. Nothing major, just a little broom and dustpan action. Easy peasy. They’ll sweep, no problem. They will also dump the crap in the trashcan. But that is where things end. The tools of the trade don’t make it back to the mudroom nice and tidy. Nope, it’s much easier to just drop it like it’s hot right there on the floor. Now you certainly wouldn’t want to mess up the countertops with leftover dust and dirt, so throw the dustpan in the sink. Maybe then the old bag’ll give it rinse before your next go at it.

Courtesy of Colleen Thomas

We have dolls. There are lots and lots of dolls. I spend hours dressing them and fixing their hair and using ridiculous voices. (Don’t get me wrong; I could do this all day) In the early evening when it is time to start getting ready for bed, the dolls have to get ready too. I will painstakingly put them in their jammies so that my daughter can put them in bed. We have five beds; they all have a place to sleep. I leave her to do the job and come back to find what appears to be a murder scene. They make it oh so close and yet, they are so far away.

Have we talked about trash yet? This might be my favorite. There are multiple forms of half-assery when it comes to trash. First, two story house with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. I direct them to collect the trash from all of these places.

Me-Tomorrow is trash day, please gather it and take the cans to the street.


Me-Did you get it all?


Me-The downstairs bathroom?

Them- Yes! God?!?!! Why don’t you trust us, we said we got everything!

Courtesy of Colleen Thomas

And then I go into the downstairs bathroom and not only is there trash, it is overflowing. They are already outside by this point pulling the cans to the street, so I gather the trash myself and take it outside.

I walk down the lawn, just the right of the driveway where the trash is supposed to be. There is nothing there. Then I look to my left and there are the cans, directly in front of our two cars. Not only are they blocking my ability to leave this fun house, the cans are backwards so they cannot be picked up by the automatic truck arms. This is the ultimate half-assery.

Courtesy of Colleen Thomas

I say if you’re going to do it, do your best. And they half-ass it better than anyone in the world. But you know what? I wouldn’t change it. When they are gone, I miss them like crazy. I long for the school day to end. Finding a dustpan in the sink just reminds me of how much I love them and can’t wait for them to come home.

I could go on, but alas, I have to go upstairs and put away my own laundry. Here’s hoping I don’t hit any landmines along the way. Who am I kidding? I know as sure as I am sitting here, those suckers made it half way up and are sprinkling my steps just waiting to look me in the eye and say, “Put one on the board for the half-assers.”

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