As amazing as parenthood can be, I have been convinced for some time that our children conspire against us. I have suspected covert meetings in the wee hours of the morning. It’s impossible this is not happening. Below is a transcript of one such meeting. I offer this as a public service announcement. Be informed.
Annie: Alright, everybody, let’s get started. We’ve got a busy day ahead of us and not a lot of time before we wake the old man up. Now, before we discuss today, I’d just like to take a moment to acknowledge yesterday’s breakthrough performance by Amelia. I’ve never seen such creative use of a toothbrush, a hot wheel, a half-eaten grilled cheese and raw human emotion. It will be some time before the old man’s left eye stops twitching, I can tell you that right now!
Amelia: I appreciate that, but I was just doing my job.
Annie: That’s what it’s all about. Now, today we’re going to keep it simple. Everyone stick to your assigned tasks, and the old man will be a mumbling mess by 8 pm. Lucky for us, mom will be catching up on paperwork today, which makes our job easy. Ok, Evie.
Evie: Let’s do this.
Annie: Evie, you’re on dishes. Immediately after dad cleans dishes, your job is to go in behind him and re-fill the sink with dishes, cups, mixing bowls, etc. Remember: not too fast. We want the old man to question his sanity, to wonder how a family of 6 can possibly use so many dishes. Do it too fast, and he may think the house is haunted and move us again.
Evie: Got it. Slow and steady.
Annie: Great. Now, Amelia. Do you remember that time you wanted to pretend you were an angry, piano-playing poodle who would only travel via pixie dust and who had a condition that meant you had to constantly and loudly bark to survive?
Annie: Well, I need you to be that. All day long. Dig deep.
Amelia: Say no more.
Annie: Always the professional. Now, Sam.
Annie: Just do what you do. And, if you could “relieve yourself” in the tub, that would be great.
Sam: I’m already on it.
Annie: You the man. Ok, that of course leaves constant arguing, which I will take today. I have a few “promises” that the old man made yesterday that I’ll not-so-subtly remind him of today. This will be fun. Oh, and remember, between the 4 of us, we are hungry all the time. When’s the best time to ask for a sandwich?
Everyone in singsong unison: After a sandwich has been made, offered, refused, and eaten by the parent.
Annie: Beautiful. Ok, let’s have a good day. And remember . . .
Everyone in unison: “No” always means “Ask again”.