The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 7, 2013

Mike Pound: Children can’t out-complain parents

JOPLIN, Mo. — I am nothing if not a kind and gentle parent.

Recently, our 15-year-old daughter Emma, as she was getting ready to walk out the door and go to school, stopped and opened the drawer in our refrigerator where we keep drinks. She then said in a very frustrated manner, “Oooooh, there isn’t any bottled water in here!”

I immediately rushed over to the refrigerator and looked inside the drawer.

“My gosh, you’re right,” I said. “I feel terrible. I have let you down Emma, and as God is my witness, you will never go thirsty again.”

Actually, that’s not what I did.

First of all, I didn’t jump up and run to over to see if she was correct. What I did was look up from behind the newspaper I was reading. And then, instead of going all Scarlett O’Hara for Emma, I went all Mike Pound.

“You know, Emma, we keep the bottled water in the pantry right behind you. If you want bottled water in the drawer, put some in yourself. If not, I don’t want to hear you complain.”

Emma looked at me as if I had just asked her to rotate the tires on my car.

“OOOOOOOH,” she said and stomped out of the kitchen.

I could have taken the time to mention to Emma that we probably shouldn’t even have bottled water in our house, what with the plastic being bad for the environment.

I could have taken the time to mention that, when I was a kid, if we wanted water we got it from the kitchen faucet. And if we complained about that, our parents would tell us that when they were kids they had to get their water from an outdoor pump.

We learned at a young age never to try and out-complain our parents.

I don’t think my wife and I ask a lot of Emma. We ask that, after we eat, she put her own dishes into the dishwasher. Sometimes we ask her to sweep the steps leading to our upstairs. We suggest that she pick up enough clothes in her bedroom so that she can actually see the floor, and we ask her to bring her clothes down to the laundry room when she wants them washed.

When I was a kid my parents asked much more of me and my six brothers and sisters.

As you can imagine, my mom was kind of busy. Sometimes by the end of the week our house would resemble Times Square after New Year’s Eve.

So, every Saturday morning, my mom would assign each of us a particular cleaning chore that had to be accomplished before we were allowed to leave the house for our Saturday-related fun.

We would all work very hard to do exactly what our mom told us to do. That hard work would continue until our mom got distracted with something else and then, one by one, we would sneak off, leaving the cleaning projects about half completed.

My mom would always pretend to get mad when she would discover that we were gone, but I don’t think she really was. I’m pretty sure that, rather than being mad, my mom was glad. For one thing, we were out of her hair for a while, and for another thing the house was at least halfway clean.

When you have seven kids, halfway clean is about all you can hope for.

I thought about those Saturday mornings as Emma stomped her way out of the house.

I first thought about telling Emma the sorts of things around the house I had to do when I was her age. But instead, I put the paper down, walked into the kitchen and put some bottled water in the refrigerator.

What the heck, I thought. When Emma got home I would make her sweep the steps.

Text Only
Local News
  • Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison

    A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screening of MSSU presidential applicants to wrap by end of April

    The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University could be in a position to name a president as early as the end of June, according to a timeline presented Friday by the co-chair of the presidential search committee.

    April 18, 2014

  • Teams from Carl Junction, Diamond advance in Destination Imagination

    Student teams from Carl Junction and Diamond will be traveling to Destination Imagination finals May 20-24 in Knoxville, Tenn., after being top finishers in competition this month at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 18, 2014

  • Neosho Dogwood Tour reset, after false start

    The 53rd annual Neosho Dogwood Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The event, presented by the Neosho Rotary Club and the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, originally was scheduled for Sunday, April 13.

    April 18, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pittsburg Farmer's Market to open in new building, new location

    The official market season in Pittsburg, Kan., will kick off in the market’s new pavilion-style building at a new address, 11th and Broadway, on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Market hours will continue throughout the season on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with some Wednesdays or other special days throughout the season as announced.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read


A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter