After the minions leave the nest: A father’s to-do list 

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Welcome back kids. Please grab a metal folding chair and do not THINK about making yourselves at home…

Kids, I have a to-do list that I’ll begin taking care of when #3’s lease expires on his 18th birthday. I believe all subsidized housing should have an end date, and our house will be the headquarters of the model program. At 18, this is no longer your nest. 

1. Refinish the wood floors. You kids have ruined them. Scarred, scratched, scuffed, and scraped, beneath our very feet you’ve tattooed your childhood disrespect for building materials. 11 coats of polyurethane and one of mother nature’s hardest natural woods were no match for your combined 54 years of domestic flooring abuse. You left your mother and I with what looks like a cow-shed floor, and now you must pay. 

Take your shoes off and help yourself to a complimentary pair of fleece bunny slippers. You’re never touching our floors again. 

2. Institute a no-food policy. If you want something to eat or drink when you visit you can go out, get it, eat it, drink it, and then you may return. I’ve found food and dried up Capri Sun spills in every square foot of this house. Never again. 

For that matter, don’t bring ANYTHING here. Throughout your childhood we spent half of each passing year acquiring things, and the other half trying to get rid of them. The cycle stops here. 

3. Buy new furniture. ALL new furniture. Every. Damn. Thing. I’m going to burn any object that’s ever been sat on, slept on, or had a sticky juice glass rest upon.  No exceptions. And now when you visit, your butts won’t be touching anything except a folding chair.  And not just any folding chair, but the metal kind that they use for AA meetings in church basements. 

4. Institute a family visitor cover-charge. Recovering from raising you three lunatics comes at a price, and each time you want to visit we’re going to collect a piece of it at the door.  Don’t worry, you only have to pay when you visit. So you do have options to avoid the toll, if you catch my drift. 

5. Remodel the kitchen. By that I mean basically replace the whole thing. You’ve ripped every cabinet door off the hinges at some point, and as toddlers, somehow managed to pull the drawers down to your level each time you wanted to get your grubby little hands on a spoon or fork or garlic press. 

Now we’re getting a new kitchen and no one is going to touch it. Not even us. It will be like a museum piece. From now on, your mother and I are going out to eat. 

So come on in! It’s so great to see you kids again! 

Ahem… Twenty dollar cover. 

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