I encouraged Vee and Kee to join the Debate team, one of the most professional, rigorous, competitive Debate teams on the West coast. I thought it would be excellent for their public speaking abilities. I thought it would help them grow stronger spines and be more aggressive in fine tuning and stating their personal beliefs.
I did not bother to look at the cost of this all. I now have two teenagers in house who debate over --everything--. Extemporaneous Debate is now the normal form of dialog in-house. They shift to Policy Debate whenever the topic of household chores is mentioned.
Mom: "Vee, can you take out the garbage?"
Vee: "Is there an inherent value in me in particular taking out the trash? Three main contentions: Why me? Why now? Why do we place our trash inside the house in the first place rather than outside? Like, why did we move to indoor plumbing either instead of outdoor outhouses?"
Mom: "That reminds me, you need to clean the bathroom too."
Vee: "Um, you have the burden of the affirmative. You need to..."
And so it goes. They remind me very much of fresh little puppy dogs cutting their teeth on a new bone.