One time while I was assigned to mop the kitchen floor on my hands and knees I thought I was finished after working on it. Big mistake. Mother, the eagle-eyed inspector, thought I had done an awful job and told me to do it over again. Ever since then, I have had a subliminal prompting when doing similar jobs that asks me to ponder: "Would Mother think this job is good enough?"
Mother always expected no less than our best. When I was in the fifth grade, I missed school from December 1 until late March with mysterious after effects of chicken pox and mumps. Louise brought my assignments, lessons, and materials home for classes. Mother, who had taught elementary school before her marriage, was my teacher. I can guarantee that I got straight A's (we were graded 1's, 2, 3, 4, 5) in every subject. I wonder what I might have learned if Mom had home schooled me all the way through school, much of which was a waste of time. I could have learned more in two hours a day than I did all day in school. The main thing I learned in sixth grade, for example, was to draw and color a map of France. I have disliked France ever since and, especially, when I had to pass a reading knowledge of French for my Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. I thought then of that map of France I spent so much time on in the sixth grade in between pestering the girl who sat in front of me. We learned to color inside the lines in the first grade and, besides, Louise taught me to read before I went to school so there wasn't much to do but piddle around. I got expelled (promoted?) out of the second grade. By Junior High, I discovered I had a "bad attitude" which kept me out of the National Junior Honor Society even though I had one of the highest grade averages in the class. Problem was, I had no idea I had a bad attitude until I got my report card.
I still wonder as I mop the tile on the kitchen floor if Mother would think I had done a good enough job, or if she would tell me to do it over. "Any job worth doing, etc., etc., etc., is worth doing well." It wasn't worth trying to put anything over on her again. Another teaching ingrained for life.