Always something new to remind him.

A bubble flood in our kitchen several years ago started a sticky note tide in our house. That sudsy event showed me that I needed to be more vigilant. It was time, past time really, to attach little reminders around the house for Peter. First were the under-kitchen-sink soaps. Then came notes on certain light switches, followed by color-coding to match keys to doors — red for one set, purple for another.

Soon, tv remote, wastebaskets, dog food bag, garbage disposal switch, bottle of hand soap, toothbrushes all had instructions stuck on or  near them.

A small dry erase board propped near the coffee maker each morning announces the day, DSC00769_2date, and year with reminders about activities and appointments for that day. Several years ago I tried an extra large calendar for Peter to fill in, but he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do it.  Calendars were useless, he complained. In truth, in years past when he wanted to keep track of things or plan a trip for instance, he did an engineering timeline. Fair enough, I never understood his timelines anymore than he understood calendar squares.

Now, once again, a large calendar resides on the kitchen counter. Difference is, I fill in the spaces and I outline significant dates in red — birthdays, Valentine’s day, Christmas, our anniversary. Waste of red ink, that idea.

Every few days Peter asks if I need something from Kroger’s. He’s always Screen shot 2015-01-17 at 4.03.05 PMliked grocery shopping and he can walk there with purpose and, more importantly, he doesn’t get lost. I give him a little sticky note, even if there’s only one thing on it. Three items are his limit, but even so, most of the time he doesn’t remember he’s got a list and will come home with an odd assortment he thinks we might need — yogurt, a few bananas, a Hershey bar. He always insists the latter must have fallen into his bag because he certainly didn’t buy it. I laugh at the thought of all those Hershey bars jumping onto the check-out conveyor and sliding into his bag.

Now, I’ve started putting bright notes inside some of the kitchen cupboards to remind him where certain things go. The salad spinner for instance. I use it several times a week. It lives conveniently in the cabinet toDSC00756_2 the left of the sink. Peter always empties the dishwasher, but lately he’s started stashing the spinner wherever he sees an empty space — in the cupboard where seldom used things reside, or maybe in the laundry room pantry. When I’m fixing dinner I do not want to look all over to find this essential tool. One day I’ll break something with all the door- and drawer-banging that accompanies my searc

I do know that washing lettuces for a tossed salad is significantly less of a problem for me than trying to cope with his tossed mind is for Peter. I try to keep that thought in my mind when I get frustrated with him over something so silly as a salad spinner.Screen shot 2015-01-17 at 3.58.28 PM

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 

7 thoughts on “Always something new to remind him.

  1. Really nice! So good that he can do a few helpful things like a tour through Kroger’s, even if what comes home isn’t what was on the list. I think it’s very demoralizing for anyone if they don’t feel they are contributing much. Mom can get her shirts on hangers to help put laundry away, and she winds yarn for my knitting projects…she loves that.
    Like the picture of the person covered in sticky notes!

  2. I go to the store armed with a list of 5 things. I come out with 4 bags and $150.00 lighter!! I still haven’t figured out how to get those Reese cups to jump into my bag though!! 🙂

  3. Not for nothing but Carolynn still can’t find her salad spinner…maybe Peter put it away for her! Peter isn’t the only one needing Post it Notes…. I quite frequently have notes on my counter say for groceries I need and yes low and behold the list is still on the counter when I am in the store. And I know what he is talking about with that wild chocolate jumping into carts….. it really is a site!

Comments are closed.