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by Abigail Van Buren

Nuts to Those Who Don't Rave About This Dessert

DEAR ABBY: I have a problem I hope you can help me with. My husband is a terrific guy and I love him dearly. He is well-educated, clean, well-groomed, handsome and, most important, he is a good daddy. However, he insists on "helping" me around the house with everything from diapers to laundry, cooking to clean-up, the yard work and even homework. Too good to be true?

Well, it's true, but nothing is done to my liking. The diapers are thrown into a trash can in the baby's room, not taken to the garage where they belong. The laundry is "dingy." Meals are either underdone or overcooked, and the clean-up is a "lick and a promise."

How do I tell this wonderful, thoughtful man, "Thanks, but no thanks?"

I appreciate his efforts, but it's often more work undoing his mistakes than just doing it myself. Please help. -- HIS WIFE

DEAR WIFE: Your husband deserves high praise for his efforts. But if his results are not to your liking, it is your responsibility to show him how his efforts can be improved upon. Examples: If the diapers are creating a problem in the baby's room, explain why it's important that they be taken to the garbage. If the laundry is "dingy," explain that it is necessary to wash the white and colored items separately. Showing him how to follow a recipe and use exact measurements should improve his culinary skills. It may take patience, but the results should be spectacular.