Monday, September 26, 2011

Real Leaders, Real Bosses, Failure Parents

Dad, as we drive to church while I'm ripping the kids for not cleaning the kitchen the night before:  If you grow up and don’t meet your expectations at work, you get fired.

Kid:  At work they have real leaders and people that actually care about you--unlike you two.


Of course, this statement was so ludicrous on so many levels that the 4 other members of the family burst into laughter and laughed the rest of the way to church.  A good thing too, because before then I was in a very foul mood.

I've been on a rampage over the state of our kitchen.  Those of you who follow this blog may remember that we went through a whole family rehab in early summer (read here).   Our family rehab revealed 2 things:  our kids want more money; we parents want more cooperation--especially cleaning up after dinner.

So we bumped up our kids salaries with the agreement that they would do the extra work of cleaning the entire kitchen without complaining.  This includes:

  • loading the dishwasher
  • washing cooking dishes
  • putting away leftovers
  • wiping and polishing the granite countertops
  • wiping off the Target vinyl placemats and the dining room table
  • sweeping
  • making your lunch for tomorrow

Our new plan sort of worked during the summer, but then the kids and I went to Hawaii for a month and my mother refused to let the kids clean up anything--mostly because she didn't want anyone messing with her piles of stuff.  Cleaning up meant delicately balancing stuff on top of stuff, and stuffing stuff amidst tons of other stuff in the fridge.  Even I couldn't make my kids fight that battle.

When we came home to Boston, the school year started and the younger generation felt too overwhelmed with their new schedules to clean up after dinner.  We parents (or fools) catered to them because we got how stressful this transition could be.  And when kids were actually conscripted to clean the kitchen, they squabbled incessantly about who's doing the tiniest smidgen more than the other.  

All to say at this point I'm paying 3 kids big bucks to not clean the kitchen, and spend my days regularly polishing granite and sweeping during conference calls.

So call me a tyrant, call me a fake leader and someone who doesn't really care about you unlike all your future bosses.  I don't care.

I just want a clean kitchen.


Anonymous said...
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Roland said...

Charice is a troll. Block her!

Kathy Tuan-MacLean said...

Thanks Roland--but now I have to figure out how!

athanasius said...

Ha! A colleague of mine and I were talking about this on the way home from a conference today. He's still trying to work with his college aged daughter. :-)