Warning: Drug-induced Sexist Generalizations Ahead, but don't mind me...
Some visitors dropped by this evening to check on how our family's doing. I was feeling a little better, so I had my husband wheel me out to the living room in a chair. I hadn't been out of the bedroom for several days, so the "completely trashed" state of our house was a bit of a surprise to me. My husband had been telling me how much housework he was getting done, saying the place looked pretty good. I was mortified, but I hoped they'd understand, what with me being bedridden and the kids being out-of-control monkeys and so on. My poor husband hardly even gets a bathroom break lately.
I don't think they noticed. They made small talk while I grimaced in pain, my children alternately climbed up cupboards and jumped off couches, and my husband dashed from room to room, trying to keep everyone alive. It must have been obvious that neither of us had showered today. Or maybe not. Our guests made ready to leave with the comment, "Let us know if there's anything we can do for you..." Gee, I'll think about it.
Then our fearless youngest, with all the energy of the crazed rugby player that he resembles, flung himself off the back of the couch, flipped over the arm, and landed BOOM on his head, twisting his little neck and emitting a LOT of terrifying screams. Our visitors waited long enough to make sure he wasn't dead, then resumed heading for the door, amid the shrieking, muttering that same mantra, "If there's anything we can do...."
By this time, my pain was so bad I couldn't unclench my jaw, or I would have screamed, "Are you blind?!" But maybe they were. They're men, and more to the point, they're men who aren't responsible for running households day to day. They don't cook, clean, and take care of children most of the time, and they don't have to care for an invalid 24 hours a day to boot. Not only could they not see the filth in our house, they couldn't see the needs to be filled.
It's probably unfair of me to criticize; it was a nice thought and I appreciate them taking the time to stop by. But I wanted to tell them that what they could do to help is send their wives next time.