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The Icks Fixed

When it comes to peeves, we don’t have a pet, we have a whole zoo

We’re two years into this column, so it’s time to let you in on a secret; when it comes to peeves, we don’t have a pet, we have a whole zoo. In the interest of retaining personal relationships with our spouses and children, we swallow our annoyances (at least 50 percent of the time, being nice is hard, okay?); if we don’t let them out here, who knows what might happen? So consider this an exercise in familial- and self-preservation. For this one, a Mom-to-Mom challenge: Can you read this whole article without getting triggered once?

The number one issue in my house is not chutzpah, not ignoring parents when they call your name, and not dirty clothes on the floor. It’s when people leave a washing cup in the sink, and then the next person doesn’t look and pours their leftover milk into the half-full washing cup, which is now also sporting some floater Cheerios. Should I move out?

That’s certainly one solution. Might we suggest attaching the cup to a bungee cord suspended from the ceiling so it automatically recoils after a wash? Works every time, except when your ten-year-old conducts an in-depth analysis to calculate trajectory and force required to absolutely soak his brother from an uncatchable distance.

Tell me why it’s okay to play voice notes out loud? Also included in this peeve: replaying the voice note you just recorded out loud so you can revel in the sound of your own voice.

We’re with you. Is complete silence at random but very specific times in our day too much to ask for? We didn’t think so, but here we are. The only solution we’ve found is to wear noise canceling AirPods with noise canceling headphones over them. It’s not pretty, but it also does not work. Sorry.

My children are smashingly good at asking me for the food I’m about to take the first (or last) bite of. Also included on this list? The drink I’m about to take the first (or last) sip of. Why?

This is the child tax. Have you been tasting the first bite of their grilled cheese to make sure it’s not poison? That’s the parent tax. And taxes, we’ve heard, are one of the only sure things in life, so go on living and pay up.


My 11-year-old twins have a new shtick. They beg for things they know I am going to unequivocally say no to, with one catch: they only do it when their friends are over. For some reason, they think I will be embarrassed to embarrass them in front of the strangers in my home.

We can tell you’re a good parent, which is how we know you revel in embarrassing them in front of their friends. Carry on.

My teenager leaves the fridge open constantly. He “just has to quickly drizzle some barbecue sauce onto his pizza,” (which, considering it is across the house, takes many, many minutes). He’ll eventually come back and shut it when he realizes he left it open, and he has no idea why all the milk is mysteriously spoiled. Weird, huh?

If he wants to revert to times before refrigeration, that’s fine; you can do what our ancestors did with their bad milk. Teach a cheesemaking class, with mandatory tastings. Something tells us this will resolve itself quickly.

This is not about someone specific, it’s about everyone: WHY do they think that taking anything from the bottom of any pile is going to work out for them? You are not the mother. You have no lower pile extraction skills. Who is going to clean up this pile of pile?

Sounds like everyone in the family needs an exercise in timely depiling piles. Let them hang everything on skirt hangers; that always feels like a punishment.

For some reason, my kids’ shoes always go missing between 8:00 and 8:05 a.m. (bus time). Should I attach those fancy bluetooth trackery things to them?

Here’s a solution that works for us, and it actually works on more than just shoes! Repeat after us: “Honey, if I get up and *magically* find [the item you seek] in the next ten seconds you will get no [insert something good] for a week.” Wow, lookie here, the thing is now found! Fun fact: This is the only way to harness true modern-day magic since kishuf has been lost.


Why do the people in this household feel like it’s acceptable to open containers of something when the exact same thing is already open and accessible? It’s very nice that they want “a fresher one,” but I promise you, that bag of sour cream and onion crackers that was processed in a factory across the world two years ago is anything but fresh.

Who bought a second one before the first one ran out? Who doesn’t have a better system for hiding surplus supplies from probing family members? Humbly, this sounds like a you problem.


I don’t have pet peeves. I am trying to just live my life, while other people are breathing like they’re training to be a dragon. Why?

We’ve heard that some people concerned with mouth breathing find many holistic benefits to mouth taping at night. Might we suggest offering your loved ones a little tape during the day as well? This tactic also comes in handy as a panacea for: snide remarks about baby weight gain, unwanted comments about how much the credit card bill is this month, and especially, last-minute cancellations from babysitters.


I can’t ask my question because I’m too upset because SOMEONE LEFT A HAIRBRUSH IN MY KITCHEN.

This is one of those things that triggered our grandmothers and mothers, and now the trigger baton is passed to us. Chin up and accept the privilege of being a link in the chain of annoyed mothers. For solutions, see above re: bungee cording specific things to specific places. We’re off to try this trick with our kids and their beds.

Okay, I am asking this question from underneath my kitchen barstools where I am mopping up spilled milk (THE WORST, I WILL CRY OVER IT) since someone put a cap onto the carton, but very lightly. Help?

Switch to the Israeli way, milk in bags in pitchers. Those never spill. Follow us for more lifehacks.

Someone in this marriage — no need to say who — insists on leaving their shoes in the middle of the room, any room. It’s not that I get annoyed easily, but come on, they look like two random disruptors here to spoil an otherwise perfectly pleasant view of a blank floor. No?

Yes. Ban all shoes from your life and home forever.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 827)

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