Whenever our children complain about something my husband Calvin and I have done that they don’t like, Calvin always says, “Okay. So include it your exit evaluation.” In other words, just like they get to evaluate a professor at the end of a class, Cal says that they can give us a parental exit evaluation when they move out. (They don’t think it’s funny, but Cal and I think it’s hilarious.) But I’ve been thinking about it, here’s how I’d evaluate us.
1. Food. A serious lack of junk food. When my kids complain that there’s nothing to eat, I open the fridge and say, “Eggs, cheese, milk, meat—protein! Ooo, look veggies and fruit too!! ” My kids give me a fake smile. When we visit my parents’ house, my mom always has chips, cookies, pizza, etc. When we have grandkids, I’ll buy lots of junk food.
2. Entertainment. We watch no movies that will give me nightmares. Sorry. Cope.
3. Laundry Service. Your siblings have to fold and put away laundry. This explains why your sister’s bra shows up in a pile with your manly shirts. Too bad.
4. Slave Labor. This occurs when the-house-is-too-messy-for-mom-and-she’s-losing-it. Then I yell, “Slave Labor,” and it means you are my slaves until the house is clean. My sanity is valuable to me.
5. Pest Control. When there is a gross/stinging/creepy bug, a parent (or non-freaked-out sibling) is supposed to come and kill the offending insect that has escaped from Hades. Sadly, I’ve been known to say, “I’m busy writing. If it’s not hurting you, ignore it. It’s only a wasp.”
Cal and I are hoping we're only one standard deviation away from the parental effectiveness mean. If not...oh, well.