I’ve mentioned before how like chalk and cheese my two offspring are.
One is going to be an ambassador for climate change and studies rocks out of choice (!) whilst the other is going to become an international rock star.
And because they are chalk and cheese in both interests and personality (as well as certain neurological conditions), they rarely communicate. NC is three years older than Kurt, and as girls are far more mature than boys, in reality there is approximately nine years of maturity between them.
Occasionally you might hear them exchange a ‘fuck off’ or ‘get out of my room’ but that is usually the extent of their relationship, like a lot of siblings I imagine.
But last night, family history was created when the two of them collaborated for the first time.
You see, NC is rolling in money at the moment, after scoring this great job in a local bar where the tips seem particularly generous. SUSPICIOUSLY GENEROUS!. I’ve been meaning to check out exactly what goes on in that bar for a while now, but unless they talk dirty in the language of geology, I don’t think I have too much to worry about.
Kurt, on the other hand, is completely broke at the moment because we’ve made the tough love decision to block all his financial resources until he spends his money more responsibly – I’ll leave you to work out what he has been spending it on, but suffice it to say, (and most of you know Kurt), it’s not Coke and lollies.
So yesterday, after I had one of those irrational, menopausal outbursts about the state of the pig pen at the back of the house that is NC’s room, (that would be just after I had trodden on the plug of her hair straighteners and spotted a mouldy Big Mac on her desk), she decided that she needed to appease me.
Her brother, for all his loveable faults, has one very handy little co-morbidity with his ADHD – he has just enough OCD which means that in general his bedroom is as tidy as a hotel room. He is also paranoid about cockroaches and has been known to break the Olympic record for high jump if one dares to enter our abode.
So big sister summonsed little brother into her room. Actually, he stood at the door, holding his nose and turning white while she explained her plan.
In short, she would give him $15 if he tidied her room.
He had to think about it, of course, but his addiction to nicotine sugar eventually overcame his fear of mould, rancid fruit, vintage water bottles and girl germs and within five minutes he had agreed.
There were a lot of retching noises to come out of that room during that half an hour but eventually we all heard the comforting sound of the vacuum and we knew that Kurt had earned his money.
I have obviously passed on some valuable life lessons to my kids. Kurt has finally learnt that you do need money to survive and that learning how to vacuum is a plus for appeasing the opposite sex, (before you get discovered and become a famous rockstar) and NC has honed the managerial skills she has been working on her parents for years.