There is an old song — and I mean old — called Love Letters in the Sand. If you want to subject yourself to it (and I'm not necessarily recommending this, just offering the option), here is a link: goo.gl/QkYD3P
Go ahead and listen to it, I figure you can suffer a little along with me. I've been suffering, big time, with this song running through my head, lately. Except I change the title ever so slightly in my mind. My altered title is Love Letters in the Sink, and it came to me one morning when I faced a sink that, mysteriously, had sprouted dishes overnight.
I knew that the sink was pristine when I went to bed some seven hours previously. The dishwasher — conveniently located a few inches to the right — had plenty of room for a few more items, yet the bowl, cup and spoon had somehow not made it that extra distance to their proper place.
Fuzzy-headed and in need of caffeine, I sighed, picked up the offending items, and leaned down to open our elderly, but still competent Bosch. Then it hit me. It was truly a eureka-type moment. These dirty dishes were not put in the sink to annoy me; they were a sweet token, a Love Letter in the Sink as it were. They were a subtle communique from one family member to another: "I was hungry. It was late. You were not here to help me. I found sustenance. I will live another night." Had the dear loved one not left the dishes in the sink I never would have received this heart-warming message.
Since then, I have been finding love letters all over the house. The soiled socks on the floor. The shower curtain left half-open. The bath mat not hung up. All little bits and pieces of shared information: "Look! I took off my smelly socks before I climbed into my clean bed!" and "I took a shower before I got into the clean bed and practiced safety first by using the bath mat!"
There are more, many more. The dog's poop bag not replaced? "Luna did a poop — on her walk that I took her on!" The bed left unmade? "I slept so soundly and so well that I did not have time to make my bed before I had to dash downstairs to eat a nutritious breakfast and catch the bus." Those breakfast dishes left on the table? "I cleaned my plate! I will be alert and ready to learn today thanks to eating a good breakfast!"
I suppose it is very Pollyanna of me to see the good in what other mothers might find messy, disrespectful or slovenly habits. I just can't help myself. This little family of mine is just so darn cute that I've even started to play along.
No hand towel hung in the bathroom, dears? "I trust you to find one and place it on the holder yourself!" Shortage of clean underwear in your drawer? "Isn't it fun to learn cause and effect? If you don't put your laundry in the basket, the effect is that it does not get washed!"
Try it at your house! You'll soon have a code all your own and maybe even a theme song to go along with it!