Just the Tip

Over the weekend my kids inexplicably dragged a plethora of pillows, books, and a laptop computer into my bedroom and made some kind of fort. Or maybe it was supposed to be a really plushy desk. Anyway, I'm not sure what the hell they were in there for, but they made sure to set this up:

Tips? For real? Come on kids, move that sign, you're getting B.S. all over my table.

As you can see, some sucker soft-hearted person (cough*theirDad*cough) graciously tossed 'em a few coins. But I wasn't so moved by their cuteness. ( ... This time.)

"Tips for what?" I asked dubiously.

There were a few blank glances at each other and a couple of shrugs. Then one son said, "Well ... you can borrow our books?" while another vaguely suggested, "... Services?"

Services, indeed. Like messing up the clean toilet? Providing me with squabbles to referee? Eating through the contents of the fridge like a plague of locusts? Dragging all of their crap into my bedroom? I know they weren't talking about services like, oh, laundry or cooking or chauffeuring or general servitude. Because I do all that. FOR NO TIPS.

According to my calculations, if my children were to tip me according to the things I do for them, they'd owe me like $3.5 mil (that's a rough estimate). At which point I could outsource help, and maybe devote my time to more worthy causes than scrubbing dried toothpaste and wayward sprinkles of urine out of the bathroom.

I suppose, though, that my kids do provide me with "services," so to speak. Maybe not such practical applications as cleaning and laundry (although I'm just waiting until the day I can trust them around bleach), but less tangible things. Moments like this, for example, when my heart feels like it's going to explode with motherly love.

I guess those are pretty valuable services.

But, kids? Put your little money-collecting cup back in the cabinet where it belongs. Your "tips" are coming in the form of clean underwear and hot meals.

... You're welcome.


  1. Haha! That's something my daughter would probably do.

  2. We had a tv ad in New Zealand where a child asked his Dad for a tip. Dad said "work hard, be nice to your Mother." Loved it!


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