June 26, 2023

Mini's home: how she brings it

I picked Mini up from ND the Friday before Mother's Day. It's great to have her home. I initially drafted this after she'd been home 8 days and her bins and plastic drawers were still in the front hall. I thought you'd enjoy a few Mini-infused moments of late.

Have we been shopping
 since Mini came
 home? Yes, we have. Is she
drawn to Kelly green
 clothing to wear for
 game days? Yes
 she is. A green skirt should be
 arriving from
 Von Maur any day now. 

When Mini was home for a few days after Ireland before heading back to school, I got a text message from a woman, Terry, whose kids attended the same Catholic grade school as ours years ago. I hadn't seen her in awhile. She and her husband have 4 boys. A few lined up with our kids. Her youngest is Curly's age.

She's a nice lady. Like me, she did not work outside the home back then. Unlike me, she employed a staff, including multiple sitters - some at home and some with her out and about. I can't make this up. Mutual friends once met them at the beach. She walked up to the meeting spot and a few minutes later they spotted her husband, looking like a sherpa. He had a gazillion bags, a beach umbrella, and their toddler. 

When we decided to switch the kids to public school from Catholic in 2011, Terry called me. WE WILL JUST PAY YOUR TUITION. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. THE SHENANIGANS ARE CENTRAL TO OUR SCHOOL. WE CAN'T HAVE FAMILIES LIKE YOURS LEAVING. IT ISN'T RIGHT. WE CAN JUST COVER YOUR TUITION FOR A FEW YEARS. She didn't want to take no for an answer. 

I thanked her profusely and we really DID want to stay. We could not afford it anymore, but we also didn't feel comfortable accepting that offer. We were touched by the number of people who reached out and begged us not to leave. Her generosity was mind blowing. We didn't share the same lifestyle, but her boys were always very well behaved and very sweet and she is obviously a kind person.

Anyway, Terry texted in mid March, asking if Mini or Curly would be interested in cooking or cleaning for her - for $25/hour. Surprisingly enough, my mind instantly toyed with how I could manage to cook and clean for this other family, while also managing my own home front duties and my daycare. 

I read the text aloud to the girls, assuming they'd say NO WAY. 


Curly cringed a little, but decided to give it a try. She hates caddying. Like HATES. Coach and I are like, well, that's too bad - but you still gotta do it. Great money and the scholarship possibility is impossible to ignore. 

Unrelated, but I meant to include this in
 my last post about Ego. Ed sent it
to Coach and I in a text. Ego is a known
 socialist and Coach fully supported Ed
 texting Coach this meme,
but that didn't happen. 

Curly has gone over a handful of times and emptied some basement cabinets and cleaned the patio furniture. Vacuumed the dog beds, etc. She's run into the boy her age a few times and that is not her favorite part of the arrangement. They played on a soccer team together as little 3rd or 4th graders. He's very cute, by the way and when she was on the team with him we all noted how she relived every pass and every high five he gave her after the game. Wink, wink. 

Recently she was vacuuming in a room where he was playing video games. He had to pick up his feet so she could vacuum under him. *eye roll*. Both girls have gone and they both say it's weird to help clean a house that's already so clean. They say this as they glance around our house, eyes raised. Yeah, I hear you. Maybe try to explain how it is that when I asked Mini to clean my bathroom counter last week, she cleaned THE counter - but skipped the sinks. What now? 

A few weeks ago, Mini didn't want to caddy. She had evening plans with friends and she worried that she'd not be finished with her loop in time to meet up. I suggested she reach out to Terry to see if she needed anything. *up until this point, only Curly had gone over there* I was like, that way you're guaranteed $50, better than doing nothing.

She came home and walked in hollering TA-DA! As she did this, she held up a bandaged, bloody finger. I was like WHAT? DO YOU NEED STITCHES? DID TERRY KNOW?

She explained that Terry asked her to do some dinner prep. She wanted her to chop veggies. While Mini was chopping, Terry told her to go look on the front step for an Amazon package. Sure enough, her knew vegetable chopper had arrived. She showed Mini how to work it and after she left the room, Mini promptly cut a chunk of skin off of her finger. 

She was so embarrassed. She asked for a Band-Aid, but one Band-Aid was not sufficient and it kept falling off. At one point, Terry picked it up off the floor and handed it back to her. I'm sure you are all grateful that I'm not sharing a photo. 

What interesting summer job have you had, or which one did you hate? Any on the job injuries? I once sliced off part of my thumb while slaving working at Burger King. If you had 4 sons, would you be enlisting them to cook and clean or would you be bringing in a few girls to get it done/chop off their appendages? 


Nicole MacPherson said...

Wow, Mini is not skilled at the culinary arts!
I have had a lot of summer jobs but the worst hands down was being a beer sample girl. It was just awful, and the money was not worth it at all.
My boys both cook and clean, so they'd probably jump at the chance of $25/hour.

mbmom11 said...

I never got hurt on my summer jobs - I worked in fast food through high school and did some other things through college. I hated the temp service - I tended to get only warehouse or inventory jobs because I couldn't type. Then they gave me a job that was copying every single file for a company to snow their opponent in a blizzard of paperwork. It was nice working in the air conditioning for a few weeks!
My older sons can cook and clean; they do excel at feeding themselves and keeping their space tolerable. (My HS grad daughter - slob and messy cook. College will be an adjustment.) However, as young teens,they were not great, One made brownies but did not melt the baking chocolate thoroughly. There were large lumps of unsweetened chocolate throughout the batch. We had to throw it all away. The other ones made scrambled eggs for his brothers - barely cooked and covered in a film of pepper. No one ate them but him.

Nance said...

My sons are both good cooks and good at housekeeping. Did they always show this while living at home? No, they did not.

I put myself through college by being a bank teller. During high school, I had a paper route and babysitting jobs. None of them bloodied me, thank goodness.

Kara said...

My Dad owned a couple of rental properties. One summer, he made me and my brother paint the exterior of two of them. It was awful. At least they were only one story tall.

In high school I was a cashier at CVS, and that was fine. In college, I worked during the breaks at a property court, making copies and scanning old books to be digitized. The court job was probably my favorite- I was in the basement, so it was nice and cool, and because the books were so old, there were rarely any customers down there looking for records. The only people I saw were the history people who wanted to know more about specific pieces of land (it's Massachusetts, property records go back to the 1600's).

Kari said...

All of these "summer" job references are fantastic. I didn't go to college, so I just "worked." 🤣🤣

Terry seems to be a nice person. I'm glad she offered the kids a summer job. $25 an hour is very good pay. I'm hoping Mini's finger feels better soon. I understand because I once had to go to the ER after cutting my finger while cutting watermelon. 😘

Ernie said...

Nicole- Mini proves time and again that the kitchen is not a place she should spend much time in. . . unless she's eating. ;)

I really thought my kids would take a pass given that they aren't terribly interested in pitching in at my home- but money talks, I guess.

Bijoux said...

Well, my only summer jobs involved babysitting, which I did not enjoy. The family I babysat for had 3 girls and 1 boy and they were all rotten kids. Their parents were hippies (this was the 1970's) and insisted on them eating healthy snacks, like sunflower seeds. It was weird.

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - When I wasn't at Burger King, I was babysitting. I LOVED babysitting, especially if it meant being out in the sun, like at the pool.

I'm dying at the chunks of unsweetened chocolate in the brownies. Yuck.

Ernie said...

Nance - I'm glad there is hope for my boys. Ed is actually really good at cooking and he enjoys it. He cooked a lot for himself the semester in Budapest. Mini, well whether or not she figures it out remains to be seen.

I'm glad you weren't bloodied at your jobs. So funny.

Ernie said...

Kara - I got chosen to paint the outside of the Burger King building one summer. I worked with the owner's son - he was like 6 years older than me, but he found me very entertaining. I LOVED every minute of painting, especially because I was not stuck in the greasy kitchen.

You had some interesting jobs.

Ernie said...

Kari - It's nice that the girls have a back up gig to do when they don't want to caddy. It's still awkward for Curly when the boy her age is there. I think Mini has made a full recovery - well, maybe not her pride.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - I am laughing at you having to babysit for rotten kids. Eating sunflower seeds - they were before their time there.

Pat Birnie said...

I laughed out loud at you wondering how you could do the $25/ hour gig! All of my kids cooked and cleaned growing up -I used to say with my 3 boys, I was raising future husbands. Terry sounds lovely and generous but I don’t think he’s doing her kids any favours by not having them doing household chores. That must be awkward vacuuming around a classmate.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This girl had year-round jobs because she had no real college. (was that bad grammar? I said I didn't go to college!!)
Mini's poor finger! If my kids didn't have a job, they'd be the ones cleaning the house instead of playing video games. My girls had house chores all summer, even when they did work.
Terry sounds like a charming person, and even wanted to help with school tuition. NICE.

Ernie said...

Pat - I think I laughed out loud when I had the thought. Can you imagine?

Good for you for raising future husbands. The boy in Terry's house doesn't go to the same high school as Curly - thank goodness. He goes to Catholic school, but still AWKWARD. Mini went there today and Curly was like WHY YOU DRESSED SO NICE? Bah ha ha. Well, there are four brothers in total.

Ernie said...

Suz - I don't think that was bad grammar . . . but a new member of my writing group suggested last night that I start to use grammerly to correct my work. SO . . . I might be the wrong person to ask. Some people show up to writers group and stop showing up after a few sessions when they realize they can't hang with us . . . here's hoping this chick is one of the quitters. She's a piece of work.

The way the girls have described Terry's house - my guess is she cleans it herself constantly, or she has her boys pitch in when they have down time. I do hope the boys are expected to do their share. Terry is a very kind person. Can you imagine offering to pay our tuition?

Anonymous said...

My weirdest summer job was through a temp agency. I was sent to package plastic fingernails and lipsticks in some cosmetic company's next-season shades. They were for retail displays. The job itself was no big deal-- it was dull, but easy. The problem with the job was the 2 guys across from me who were annoying. They would repeat the same handful of quotes back and forth to each other all day long. It got very old, very quickly.

I would want my 4 sons to clean and wouldn't hire someone to do it. But I'm also someone who doesn't like to deal with having to fight to get people to do things and tend to just do whatever it is myself. On the fourth hand, though, if I did hire someone to do the work and found out that one of my sons didn't even bestir himself beyond lifting his feet so he could be cleaned around, I would probably give him an earful pretty quickly. He should have at least gotten out of the room and out of her way. And said something! He may have been a sweet kid, but he sounds like he's in a rude phase right now.

Beth Cotell said...

I got a new chopper (I am embarrassed to say I was influenced by Tik Tok) but it works great and is sooooo sharp. The first time I cleaned it, I cut my fingers. I now use the little cleaning tools that came with.

I wish this woman lived close to me. I would love to help around her house and make $25 an hour!

Beth Cotell said...

Also, why doesn't she just have her kid help her for free?????? That's so weird to me!

Ernie said...

Anonymous - that is such a strange assignment. Is it me or does it seem like you putting together those plastic fingernails, etc. with two goofball teen boys cracking themselves up IS part of a movie . . . a movie they would then quote?

I died laughing at 'bestir himself'. Curly finished earlier than expected the other day and she texted me to pick her up. She asked to be picked up at the corner because she doesn't like hanging out in the house. Poor, poor Cinderella. So awkward to stand around waiting for a ride in a house where there are teenage boys hanging around while you clean up their home.

Ernie said...

Beth - Mini REALLY wants me to get a chopper - despite the injury, she fully endorses it. It is so tempting to ask her if I can cook a few meals for them to make a buck or two. Have you seen my grocery bills? ;0

I imagine the boys have some household duties to do too, because the girls say their house is spotless and yet she hires them to do stuff. Unlike my home - my kids work so hard out of the house they don't have much time to pitch in around the house. Not that I don't make them, but I typically choose quick chores that don't tax them much since they caddy and spend countless hours at the course, sometimes in the heat for 6 plus hours.

Bibliomama said...

Angus played in little league on the Celtics for years and years, and that was enough Kelly Green to last me a lifetime.

Everyone I ever knew who worked at the grocery store with the deli slicer ended up in the emergency room. I waitressed and cleaned hotel rooms and babysat and worked in group homes and I don't think I ever got hurt badly - I did once get a really bad cardboard cut doing a library placement and it bled impressively. The injuries were mostly emotional.