Her Teen Was Treating Her Like Hotel Staff — So This Author Got Creative

From a minibar sign to “greenhouse tour,” Jennifer Weiner on the “mom notes” she’s been leaving her daughter

Katie Couric
May 7, 2020 · 3 min read
One of author Jennifer Weiner’s “mom notes” for her daughter during quarantine.

Ahead of Mother’s Day, our Wake-Up Call newsletter (subscribe here!) sharing how bestselling author Jennifer Weiner — whose new novel Big Summer is out now — is coping with having her kids at home all day. For anyone whose kids are treating them like hotel staff, see her creative solution…

Like many things in my life, the “notes from mom” began as an attempt to amuse myself. When we were about three weeks into quarantine, I was making my teenager’s bed. (Me: “Make your bed!” Her: “Why? I’m just going to get in it and mess it up again.” Me: “It looks messy.” Her: “So don’t look!”). They act like this is a hotel, I thought. And at least hotel cleaning people get tips!

Which was when it hit me: I could leave a tip envelope on her bed!

So it began. I realized there were plenty of other opportunities for me to gently remind my kids that they are not, in fact, living in a hotel by leaving hotel-style notes around, complete with hotel-style punctuation and phrasing.

If I’m cleaning my daughter’s room, I’ll leave a note on the door to tell her. Can’t find something? Before you yell for mom, check under the sink! Don’t just eat junk food; have a piece of fruit instead! And if you’re bored, I’m offering greenhouse tours — i.e., I’m showing off the vegetable and flower seedlings that I’ve grown from actual seeds.

So far, no takers. But I haven’t given up. Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and maybe one of the kids will indulge me.

As for those notes…

Here’s where it all began — the tip envelope on Lucy’s bed.

Yes, I have made tot waffles for breakfast. I’m not proud.

I am, indeed, offering greenhouse tours. So far, no takers!

I made the minibar to amuse myself (I actually have a dorm-size refrigerator in the basement — maybe someday, if this keeps dragging on, I’ll do it for real).

Follow Jennifer Weiner on Instagram and Twitter. Her latest novel Big Summer is out now.

This appeared in Katie Couric’s Wake-Up Call newsletter. Subscribe here.

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Katie Couric

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Founder, Katie Couric Media. Newscaster: Wake-Up Call. Podcaster: Next Question. Doc filmmaker. @SU2C founder.

Wake-Up Call

Katie Couric and friends talk career, culture, politics, wellness, love, and money

Katie Couric

Written by

Founder, Katie Couric Media. Newscaster: Wake-Up Call. Podcaster: Next Question. Doc filmmaker. @SU2C founder.

Wake-Up Call

Katie Couric and friends talk career, culture, politics, wellness, love, and money

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