My roommates are messy.

And by roommates, I mean my wife and son.

I feel like the butler.

I used to blame my son, chalking it up to him being a kid, or a boy, or whatever.

But with my daughter out of the house, it has become apparent my son spent too much time with my wife during his formative years.

He takes after his mother, and the characteristics he has that can't be blamed on my wife can be blamed on my father-in-law.

It's become comical.

Last week, I came home from work and walked into the family room and knew the dynamic duo had had lunch together. I could even tell you what they had because their dirty dishes were left right where they ate.

It was probably a conspiracy. I can picture one of them getting up and grabbing their dishes to take upstairs to the kitchen sink, and the other one saying "Hey, stop. Let's leave our dishes here, and Dad will pick them up later."

They were right. I did.

This is definitely a trait my wife passed down, and she probably learned it from her father.

Even my wife has to laugh sometimes at how much our son takes after his grandfather.

She was vacuuming last weekend, and she entered his bedroom. Alek promptly told her the vacuum was making too much racket, and he couldn't hear to play his video games.

"Racket." That's my father-in-law's word. When my wife related this story to her parents, they laughed. It is obvious Alek takes after his mother and her side of the family more than he does me and my family.

For a kid who lived in another state from the time he was 1 until he turned 8, and only saw his grandpa a few times a year, he sure resembles him.

They both mumble, have trouble keeping their pants up (Alek says it's the style; Grandpa just doesn't care), are good with their hands and can figure out things on their own.

All this only goes to prove my wife spent too much time with her dad, and it's rubbing off on our son.

My wife is one of four girls, and their father taught them things he would have taught sons if he had any.

My wife can change a tire or tile a floor.

So I guess it is a good thing my son has inherited some of these traits. Someone had to teach him. Lord knows the ability to work with your hands was not something that was passed along to me.

My father was not the mechanical type, so there was nothing he could teach me.

If opposites attract, that must be us, so it only makes sense that of our two children, one would follow my path and one would follow my wife.

Our daughter, Claire, is stuck with my qualities, which equates to the short straw.

But since she is off to college, it is two against one. Not that Claire spent any time picking up for the rest of us, but I am definitely in the minority.

My wife spends a lot of time cleaning the house from top to bottom the racket of the vacuum making it hard for me to watch football and then it's my turn to pick up around the house after that.

I guess we're even. Not sure what Alek's excuse is.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is the former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.