“From now on, just call me Slave. And if you need to find me I’ll be sitting in my slave corner.” All I did is ask her to do the dishes. You see we have this agreement. She wanted a cell phone, the essential communication device for all teenagers, but she had no way to pay for it. So I pay for the cell phone, complete with unlimited texting, and she does the dishes: every day, for every meal. No dishes. No phone.
I came home on a Friday night to cook a family meal, only to be met with a kitchen full of dirty dishes. I refused to cave in and do her duty, but I also draw the line at cooking in a dirty kitchen. So I did what any self-respecting mother would do. I ordered out.
After dinner, we were in a rush to attend an opera, so there was one more excuse to delay the deed. I made it clear that those dishes were to be dealt with before the next meal would be served. I got that pointed teenager look and I knew it was going to be an interesting night.
“Just so you know, my name is now officially Stupid.”
I sighed, and played along. “So, when I introduce you to the opera patrons, I should say ‘This is my daughter who was formerly known as Slave, but now calls herself Stupid?”
“Yes, that is exactly right.”
I smiled, “OK, as you wish.”
At the opera intermission we were surrounded by patrons and the opportunity presented itself.
“Oh, is this your daughter?”
My daughter looked at me and smiled. She wanted to see if I had the nerve. “Oh, yes. Honey, why don’t you introduce yourself?” I looked at her and smiled slyly back. She gave her real name and politely held her hand out as she smiled at the strangers.
When we got home, she said, “Mom, wake me up early. I have to do the dishes.”
“But, what if I want to sleep in?” This Saturday was going to be my catch up on my sleep day.
Teenage sigh. “Do you want the dishes done?”
So, on my Saturday morning I am expecting to be roused out of my slumber by the sound of banging pots and pans being washed in the kitchen and I will try to sleep through it wondering just who the stupid slave really is.