The one thing Charles Fishman refuses to do is drive the car pool. The one thing Pearl Fishman won't do is balance the checkbook.
"Other than that," says Pearl, "we share things pretty cooperatively. We never really sat down to legislate who does what. We just do it."
Much of the responsibility for their three children (3, 9 and 12) and running their Rockville home falls on whoever is in town.
"We both travel a lot," says Pearl, 35, who for the past 18 months commuted to New York one day a week to complete requirements for her doctorate in drama. Charles' job, as head of the Kinneret Foundation, which develops arts programs in Israel, requires him to travel abroad about six times a year. a
"It's usually a matter of juggling, depending on who will be around that day," says Charles, whose favorite slogan in "Nothing could be finer than a crisis that is minor in the morning."
At home with their 3-year-old (Ariel) on the days Pearl is researching her thesis or working parttime teaching Hebrew is a twice-a-week housekeeper who also does heavy cleaning and laundry.
When both Fishmans are in town, Pearl makes dinner, does the major grocery shopping and "a massive Friday cleanup." Charles washes dishes, does "pick-up" grocery shopping and yard work. The three girls make their beds and their lunches, clean their rooms, set the table and help cook and clean up.
"If one of the kids gets sick, the one who could stay home would," says Pearl. "If I had to teach or go to New York, Charlie would work at home, and if he's out of town I'd stay home.
"The biggest concern is having someone in the house with Ariel. Since I have several parttime jobs, not a 9 to 5, I can often be flexible."
"Of primary importance is the family," says Charles, noting that they schedule no outside commitments for Friday night or during the day on Saturday. This is strictly family time.
"We can both sense when the rubber band of our lives is stretched too much. We try to slow down or readjust things when it does."