I have two daughters of middle age. When they were something like eight and ten they did, among other things, the dinner dishes. We did not have a dishwasher then. The two of them would horse around for hours doing a job that could be completed in twenty minutes. They sang and danced after each dish, argued about who would put the dishes away, argued about who would wash and who would dry, (washing was deemed best since you could quit earlier), flicked wet towels at one another and raised a genial hell. If I heard "Henry the Eighth, I am, I am" once, I heard it twenty times a night. Finally, because this drove me crazy and they knew it, I would go out and say "Finish this job in the next ten minutes and do it QUICKLY, QUIETLY and WELL !" Of course they not only expected this reaction, they waited for it, and savoured it when it came. At least we were all consistent, and there is something comforting in the expected. You recognize that this is us, and this is what we are! It's important for young women to make a stand early in their life career, and they safely experimented with their father. When you think about it, if they wanted to make the job tolerable or even enjoyable, who cares? Quickly,quietly and well may be a good credo for a surgical operation but it's a bit stiff necked for parenting. They knew it instinctively. The pianist tolerated horsing around better than me. Today as I reflect on the work habits of my daughters, I can see that they carved careers with work habits that arose out of goals, not pedantic cliches of mine that prized work for it's own sake. I should have remembered this when I was impatient. My work habits only took off once I had the prize to aim for. They both work quickly and well today and are impatient with those who don't. They are however, not quiet, and thats because our family always had a lot to say,some of it sensible. It's the way we are.
I have just left the hospital with pneumonia, now under control. I received a get well card from my second oldest grandchild ,Jonathon, to be twenty one in a couple of weeks. The quote is " Dear Grandaddy, We would like you to heal QUICKLY , QUIETLY and WELL. What goes around , comes around !