i dunno if it is because i ran the vacuum the other day.
or what.

but my mom asked me a loaded question just a bit ago.
"do you see anything different that i did in your room?"

me looking around sees nothing changed, though i noted yesterday she had moved my cactus. i assumed it was because she was spraying stink bugs out the window and moved the cactus to do so.

when my mom asks if you noticed something she did, but doesn't tell you what but has you guess......... that's a bad sign.
it's one of those mental games.
did you see i did something?
if you noticed, good for you.
if you didn't notice, shame on you. you should have seen it.
but also, if you didn't notice she takes it as if she didn't do a good enough (obvious enough) job.

"besides moved the cactus?"

"i did that too, but i cleaned the inside of your windows."

"oh!"

i lost the game.

i didn't want to defend my loss, or rub in her "didn't do a good job." for all i know, she did do a good job. i simply have not spent more then 10 minutes in my room besides sleeping. i also am often preoccupied with other things that i don't notice other things around me.

i think she felt she had to do something.
ugh. not good.
and it's all because i vacuumed the downstairs. nothing like vacuuming to make her crazy internal guilt switch on.

in our old house, me and my siblings ran the vacuum. we had assigned rooms to do. she vacuumed too. and it was no big deal that any of us did chores.

but when we moved here, and got older, and i dunno.. sometime after that... anytime i've been the one to vacuum, it's some big deal.
like she ought to be doing all the chores.
maybe her reaction has gotten worse because she can't do the chores.
she physically should not do a lot of chores.
it makes her back hurt really bad.

after graduating college, and i was living here, i used to wait for her to go to work to vacuum the house. because if i vacuumed when she was here, she'd fuss. or "supervise". like tell me how to do the thing while i'm doing it. like. i don't need to be told how to do this thing. i'm over 20 years old!
she would do this if i cooked too.
and it wasn't a "hey let me join in and do the thing together with you because two is more fun than one."
nah. it was more of a "you're not doing it right." or "i need to help you because chores are tedious and awful. and i hate chores. do it faster." type deal. or like "i ought to help you." like a grudging obligation more than a cheerful helper. (she's like this now with the cooking. and while on the one hand, i am grateful for the help as it makes dinner prep quicker, i can't shake the feeling of her guilt or obligation.)

um yeah.

so now that she's retired, i can't get her out of the house to vacuum. i just have to suck it up. figuratively and literally.

she'll avoid me when i vacuum. i've probably glared at her enough as she hovered to make her go away.
but she internally frets. i can feel it.
and after i vacuum, i usually find some chore she's done while i was occupied.
"you can't be the only productive one in the house." is what it feels like.

i don't do chores for "look what i did!"
i do chores because i can't stand how dirty something is, or in many cases, there are spiders. i hate spiders. if i see a few, i have to clean. *shudder*

my mom's chores for self-worth, validation, appreciation and attention drives me nuts.

and having her ask me if i noticed her work....... ugh.

it's a twix moment.
'cuz if you ain't know, you better prepare. ><'