|Jai's Responsibilities||Rohini's Responsibilities|
Some points to note:
- Jai likes to boast about the fact that his list is longer - the implication being that he does more work in the house. But a closer look at the list reveals that the comparative lengths of the lists are not representative of the division of responsibility.
- To start with, the magnitude of the tasks on both the lists is quite different. One task on my list (that of managing Ayaan) is bigger than all the tasks on Jai’s lists put together.
- Most of the tasks on my list are urgent, immediate and essential while most of Jai’s tasks can be postponed or done at one’s convenience. Ayaan has to be fed, clothed and put to sleep today, tomorrow and everyday but car maintenance or house repairs can be done at one’s convenience.
- Most of the tasks on Jai’s list are jobs that need to be done once a week (movie tickets, emergency groceries and bill payment) or less (car maintenance, getting rid of things). The only exception to this is the dhobi responsibility that is part of Jai’s list of to-do things – and this is his responsibility only because the dhobi usually times his daily visits at the same time that I am busy putting Ayaan to bed. On the other hand, most of the tasks on my list are of a daily nature – with the exception of groceries and packing.
- While many things show on Jai’s lists of responsibilities, they still have to remain on my mental to-do list to ensure that I keep following up and reminding Jai to get these done. Did I hear someone say ‘control freak’? Just to silence that dissident voice, here is a glimpse into what happens if I don’t:
- Our telephone line gets disconnected atleast 3-4 times a year because ‘someone’ forgot to pay the bill.
- I have been driving around without a side view mirror (it got stolen) for close to three months.
- When we come back from a trip, it takes atleast a week of nagging and tripping over empty suitcases before they are put back on top of the cupboard.
- Delegation of tasks is a one-way street – coming towards me. It is usually not a good idea for me to delegate my tasks to Jai. Often this is because I have to nag him so much to do it that it is less effort to just do it myself. Even when he does actually do the work, I wish I hadn’t asked him to, like in these examples:
- The other day, Jai decided to help me out by putting the laundry in the machine. Not only did he mix whites and coloured clothes, he also threw my sequined ‘dry-clean only’ top in for the ride as well.
- When I had gone to Jaipur, I had asked him to wash, dry and put up the curtains in our bedroom. When I came back, it was all done and I was most impressed at such levels of efficiency and compliance. However, the hooks were fixed to the curtain so badly that they proceeded to disengage one by one till yesterday they were barely hanging there. So I had to take them down last evening, take all the hooks off and put them back and then hang up the curtain again.
In the same notebook, I also came across this note I wrote to Jai. This was back in the days when Ayaan would only sleep on me. So I needed to tell Jai to get his meal ready without talking and waking Ayaan. To any other person, I would have simply written “Can you please heat Ayaan’s dinner”. Given that it was Jai, here is what I wrote:
“Boil some water. Then put it into a big dish and stand his dinner (in the plastic box lying on top of the dining table – show me if you are not sure) in it. The water level should not be high enough to leak into the food but should be high enough to heat properly."