Dear Offspring (aka “my children,” DBA “the people who live down the hall from me”):
It has recently come to my attention that you are both now teenagers. As such, I believe it’s time to revisit our current parent/child collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) in hopes of maintaining our mutually sustaining relationship in this residence (a.k.a. “the household,” a.k.a. “the roof over your head”).
As you know, the last time we revised this contract, you were negotiating for extra guinea pigs, cats and rabbits. Some of these perquisites are still viable; and it is important to note that, per the current CBA, these furry benefits shall continue to be fed, watered and cleaned up after by offspring and not by paternal or maternal management (a.k.a. “Dad and Mom”).
As we move forward, I understand that your representatives (“each other”) have posted on the refrigerator certain points of discussion for the new CBA. I believe some of these items can be cleared from the table — and perhaps even put into the dishwasher. As such, paternal stay-at-home management shall stipulate to the following:
Management hereby promises and covenants not to play its accordion while friends of offspring are located within residence. (Note: This provision will not be construed to preclude management’s ongoing right to hum, whistle or sing songs associated with management’s “glory days.”) However, management does promise and covenant not to reminisce about being of a certain age in a way that makes offspring seem unappreciative of the toil management endured in providing and maintaining the above-mentioned “roof over your head.” Management recognizes that such statements make us sound too much like Grand-management — which is not to say that we don’t all love and cherish Grand-management.
In turn, management wishes to add these items to the CBA:
- Offspring shall refrain from rolling eyes and sighing existentially should management do any of the following: a) request the presence of offspring at the dinner table; b) ask offspring to let the dog out when said dog is barking; c) explain why it’s a good idea to save birthday money instead of buying the next app that comes down the pike (offspring shall also refrain from sighing and rolling eyes should management ever utter the phrase “comes down the pike,” even though that, too, sounds like something Grand-management would say).
- Offspring shall practice various musical instruments for which management has laid out sizable investment to pay for lessons. (Addendum: Such practice of instruments [i.e., drums, piano and trumpet], while recognized by management as essential, shall not be commenced after 9 p.m. or during management’s viewing of certain period movies, Sweeps Week television shows or major sporting events in which the announcers must whisper.)
- Offspring shall learn to prepare one three-course meal per week, said meals not to include mac & cheese, fish sticks or pizza rolls as their main course.
The following terms and conditions shall also be addressed in the CBA: Compensation and bonuses. As before, these benefits shall be based on seniority and performance. GPA will be used as the standard metric for performance measurement — along with APA (“Attitude Point Average”).
Dispute resolution, either between offspring or offspring and paternal management, shall be conducted by an agreed upon professional mediator (a.k.a. “Mom”). In the event that a dispute arises between offspring and maternal management, “Mom” shall continue in her role as mediator.
In the event of an offspring strike, replacement offspring shall be afforded free and clear access to the premises until such point as a strike is concluded. Privacy Statement: Management understands that offspring are now entering a period known as INFP (“Increased Need for Privacy”). It is management’s opinion that privacy is both a right and a privilege (see Compensation and Bonuses).
Finally, it has come to management’s attention that Father’s Day occurs this month. Management wishes to thank offspring for their contribution to this day’s observation. Management also wishes to thank offspring for all past proclamations emblazoned on T-shirts, mugs, BBQ aprons, ties, etc., which state unequivocally that paternal management has ascended to the top of his field on planet Earth. However, in lieu of such statements, management wishes to point out that personalized, homemade cards and hugs will suffice — along with a new electric razor.
Here’s to another profitable year together!
Paternal Management (aka “Dad”)