I live in a home that is all about justice. Maybe it's because we're lawyers or maybe it's just in our children's DNA, but nothing gets done in our house that doesn't involve negotiation, reward or retribution.
Take for instance - dinner.
"Neill, pass me the fork," says our middle child.
"I will but first you have to hand me the ketchup."
"No, I'm not handing you anything because yesterday Mama told us to put up the groceries, I put them all up and you did nothing. Now pass me the fork or I'm going to hurt you."
"Try it and Mama will take your phone away."
"No she won't," she says, as she begins eating her peas with a knife, while clutching the ketchup in a death grip.
The negotiations can continue for what seems like an eternity until at some point I pass the fork and Brody passes the ketchup. I'm sure that's not the right parental response but somedays we just want to eat our pork chops in peace.
And so it goes...be it putting up the laundry, feeding the dog, cleaning the garage, nothing gets done until negotiations are complete.
And while I appreciate hearty debate and even a bit of obvious posturing, at some point the fact that there are no clean towels in my linen closet is just more than I can take!
On January 1, I decided it was only fair to switch out the chore list. Laundry, the most dreaded of chores, had been the middle child's to-do. Nothing makes my little perfectionist more crazy than things that are not meticulously folded and in their place. Yet, with five in the household it was a thankless, never ending job.
So at the beginning of the year, I gave that chore to our oldest who had previously been on kitchen duty. Our oldest is our dreamer. Life, to her, isn't about law and order but instead is about taking time to smell the roses and living each day to the fullest. Which basically boils down to the fact that for almost 7 weeks nothing has been getting washed, folded or put away. Living life to the fullest in no way, shape or form includes doing laundry. A fact I do appreciate and the reason...I make my kids do the laundry.
But after almost two months of drying off with hand towels and listening to the never ending arguments concerning the state of the laundry, I informed our household that we were reverting back to the 2013 chore list.
"Zoe, you are back on laundry duty."
"That's not fair!" she screamed out, as our oldest danced around the room.
"She did a horrible job and now I have to do it for her!"
And while I admit my actions are completely unjust, it's a fact, I've come to live with each and every morning as I reach into that linen closet and find a clean, folded towel.
As one of the great scholars of this century said "Parent's are not interested in justice. They are interested in quiet." Bill Cosby
To read more of Angel and Becky's columns go to
www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com.
Making new friends…
I decided years ago that being a little different (see: myself), is easier than trying to live up to the expectations doled out in People Magazine. Don’t get me wrong. I love People. Where else can you get the real story behind the Bernie Madoff scandal, George Clooney’s relationship status or read what Justin Bieber’s fourth grade teacher thinks about the star’s recent arrest.
A feeling of both melancholy and excitement prevails in the Kane household as letter after letter arrives for our oldest, from colleges near and far. As I watch her open each one, I distinctly remember being her age, knowing very little about life, yet believing I knew everything.
As she readies for her journey into this big, wide open world, there is so much I want to be sure I say to her, teach her, show her before she takes off, while deep down I know the real lessons in life will come from figuring it out on her own.
And yet, if she were to indulge me, I’d write it all down for her, place a copy in her suitcase and hope that when she came to that fork in the road, she’d pull out my map of lessons learned and they’d help guide her home.
I'm not sure if I should be offended or rejoicing, considering I've just been disinvited to my son's soccer tournament. Our youngest has been playing soccer since as far back as my 40 something year old brain can remember.
So the text messaging went something like this...
Me: Where are you?
Brody: At the office.
Me: Great. At 5, Denise Thorne is going to drop off half a cow. Be sure the freezer at the office is empty.
Brody: A what? What are you talking about?
Me: I ran into Gary Thorne - yada, yada, yada - I bought a bunch of meat and it's on its way.
Needless to say, I won't bore you with the "flowery" texts back and forth, but let's just say someone was surprised.
Right about now, if you're anything like the "old" me me, you've broken at least two of your New Year's Resolutions. You've not exercised every day since January 1 and you've also consumed a boatload of sugar.
And so it goes...year after year...I've made the same resolutions and within 6 days, I've abandoned each and every one of them. But this year, I've decided to take a page out of my 13 year old's resolution play book...
Anybody who truly knows me, knows that there is no one who enjoys their birthday more than me.
As a child, however, having a December birthday was almost like not having one. Each and every year, I'd be handed a Birthday/Christmas present from my various Aunts or cousins.
"Here is your Birthday and Christmas present Angel, I hope you like it!"
As I lay here on this lazy Sunday afternoon, I've decided to watch a little mind numbing television. The show I've chosen is David Blaine's: Real or Magic.
Not because I believe in magic but mostly because it's the only thing Tivo'd that isn't a Disney program or the show Criminal Minds. As an aside, we do Tivo our own shows but somehow our children have put a parental lock on our system where their shows always, always override ours!
Grades matter. At least they do for a substantial portion of your life.
To my Dad, who is almost 70, they still matter. He and my grandmother both liked to tell a story that involved my father having the highest grades in his school. The school rewarded him with a ceremony where, legend has it, he received a plaque that was placed in the entry of the school for all to see. My grandfather was exceedingly proud as he had received a similar plaque.
When I was young I wanted to be either an actress or an archeologist. Considering I never once performed in a school play nor was ever inclined to do so, I can't say that I'm completely devastated that Clooney and Pitt are not, today, part of my inner circle. (I mean, I am, but not because I'm not a starlet.)
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