Listen up kids: mom’s had a rough go of it this week. Melinda is breathing down my neck at work and trying to make me look bad to our boss even though I’ve been nothing but cordial to her the past three months we’ve been working together. I mean your mom has really bent over backwards to accommodate this hussy – a person any sane soul would also readily describe as an immature, child-girl in an 45 year old woman’s pantsuit. Some people just don’t grow up, kids, remember that. That being said, the last thing your poor mom wants to do when she gets home is to ask her kids to do their damn chores. The fact is I want you to want to do your chores and yes I know it’s from that movie “The Break-Up.”
There’s no way in hell you or your brother forgot that famous scene where Jennifer Aniston tells Vince Vaughn that she wants him to want to do the dishes and he denies her while playing Grand Theft Auto. You and your brother are Vince Vaughn in this scenario and I’m Jennifer Aniston, except we aren’t dating and I’m not going to help you do any chores and you’re two people, and I should be two people too, but your dad’s in Heaven now. Though I guess Vince Vaughn already kind of is two people. Anyways, you’re going to do all of the chores. And yes, I want you to want to do them! Jennifer Aniston’s points were all totally valid and as a parent I’m concerned that neither of you have seemed to pick up on the context clues.
You know I gave birth to you, right? All I want you two to do is vacuum the house, mop the floors, do your laundry, mow the lawn, empty the dishwasher, reload the dishwasher, clean the pots and pans, pick up the dog poop, take out the trash – these are all tasks that have been seared into your collective memories since you were old enough to pick your nose. Your dad and I made sure of that, rest his soul. So how you could not want to do them at this point is a little odd. Jeremy, I remember, when you were four years old and we taught you how to empty the cat litter you thought it was fun! What happened to that Jeremy? You know, the one who gleefully scooped up Tinker and Amos’ turds? I didn’t even have to want you to want to do that then.
And Tommy – when you put your hand on that hose and watered all the plants for the first time, it was like you hadn’t truly lived until that point! Just thinking of your smiling face as you sprayed away, watering the flowers while simultaneously hitting any object in your radius, it was a delight. You got your dad so good as he came out of the front door, he didn’t even know what hit him! Though, looking back on it, you were wasting a lot of water, and we’re in a drought now. But the point is that you wanted to do it then! And I wanted you to want to do it and then you stopped! Did I do something wrong?
Am I the crazy one here? You two used to be so different. The chores lined up and you both handled them capably. Your dad and I would have to point you in the right direction, sure, but you always did them, and you were always happy but lately you’ve been – oh.
You guys miss dad, don’t you?
Me too. Me too.