Perhaps you’re expecting too much of him, of them all. It’s a miracle you got them to help at all anyway. They always swore you never would but you persisted and got there. They’ll thank you for it one day, when they need to be able to do it and you aren’t around.
The youngest one, well she tries hard doesn’t she, but it’s not always that successful. That cake for your birthday? The others wanted to ditch it and buy one, but she said you’d prefer one made with love not with Tesco or Asda or Sainsbury mass-produced sugary sweetness. They were probably right and shop-bought would have been better, but maybe you could start with fairy cakes or those little ones with angel wings and buttercream on top?
And the eldest one, she should be a bit more capable by now, granted. This time next year she’ll be away at Uni somewhere and having to fend for herself every meal. Imagine how wan she’ll look living on beans on toast and fried egg sarnies for a year. Even one-pot meals would be a start. Maybe get her one of those “Now You’re A Student” cookbooks and set her cooking duties once per week?
Now the guys, they are another thing entirely. First the lad. He’ll probably never empty the whole dishwasher and put the crockery away in the right places, even if you stand over him watching. It’s just not going to happen, especially if you ask him to keep up to date with it himself. Maybe you could do it together, so you can show him where it goes. And when he’s got the hang of it, you can leave it more and more to him. He’ll be up to it one day. Maybe.
And then to him, your man. Did you realize for better or for worse meant quite so literally? But perhaps he’s not that bad at some stuff, is he? He makes a good cup of tea. He manages to get his socks in the hamper about a third of the time. His mother almost never comes to stay. He fetches a takeout when you’ve had a rough day at work, sometimes without even needing to ask you. If you could get him to hang damp towels on the radiator and close the hall door after himself, that would be a start, wouldn’t it.
One step at a time, gently does it.