What’s your problem?
June 29, 2009
by Jen Bakken

The other day, my children learned the hard way not to ask a question you don’t really want an answer to.

After a long, busy day at work, I walked in the door to find proof of how incredibly lazy kids can be during summer vacation.

Child number one was laying on the couch surrounded by pop cans, food wrappers, dirty dishes, and a pair of dirty socks crumpled up on the floor.

While chatting with friends on Facebook, he was oblivious to the mess around him.

Child number two was laying on his bed playing a video game. His bedding was tossed on the floor. I’m pretty sure he was wearing the same clothes he wore the day before, (and quite possibly even slept in).

There were remnants of his activities throughout the day all over the floor. One look into his room, and I knew he had played with wrestling guys, worked on a drawing, taken all of his baseball cards out, and had Life cereal for breakfast.

A short walk down the hall to child number three’s room revealed a little girl lost in the world of make-believe.

There were dress-up clothes tossed about the room, and she had a microphone in hand while singing to herself in front of a full-length mirror.

This could have been a cute scene, but not only was her radio on, but the laptop and the TV as well. (Of course, she didn’t hear me enter the room.)

As I surveyed more of our home, it was painfully apparent why my electric bill has been so high.

Someone had turned the thermostat down to 65 degrees, and every single light was on, even though it was a very sunny 5 p.m.

Standing in the kitchen made me want to scream. Rather than put the clean dishes in the dishwasher away, to make room for the dirty ones . . . those un-rinsed dishes were piled high in the sink.

There were enough crumbs on the counters to make a meal out of, the garbage was spilling onto the floor, and there were three cupboard doors wide open.

There was a glass on the counter containing a mystery substance – it very well could have been a science experiment.

There was an empty box of crackers, along with a bag of Doritos minus the chips and, of course, they were left out because, “the garbage was full.”

Three empty ice cube containers sat in the freezer, and there were five dish towels laying around.

At first I wondered what the dish towels were used for, until I tried to move, but couldn’t because my foot was stuck to the floor.

I’m not sure how to spell what escaped my mouth, but it went something like this,


Suddenly, three children realized their mom was home. They looked at each other, as I stood there with one hand on my hip, giving each of them the evil eye.

One of them dared to be the first to speak, “Geez, Mom, what’s your problem?”

I’m not sure I can put in the newspaper what I said next, but let’s just say – my kids learned really quick not to ask a question unless you want it answered.