While I'm trying to NOT HYPERVENTILATE over one of the challenges, I give you my beginning article of a series that was published in a SMALL (read: no pay) magazine. Enjoy. :)
I was the one that
proposed the luncheon, so I had no one to blame but myself.
“My dearest friends,” I
announced to the three women at my table, “It’s with great pleasure that you’ll
be the first to hear of my next HUGE career move!”
friends gasped with delight.
“I’m trading in my
Manolo Blahniks and Palm Pilot for sensible shoes and low maintenance hair as I
head into the challenging world of full-time motherhood!”
A hush fell over the
table. The two stockbrokers looked away while the attorney patted me on the
hand and said quietly, “It’s okay, honey. We’ve all been fired before. It’s
just the Valium talking.”
Okay, so I HAD been
fired but no one had been thoughtful enough to throw in any downers.
When the ax fell, I’d
thought about hitting the streets to look for another job. The only thing was,
I couldn’t take some carbohydrate free, multi-highlighted ‘it’ girl (that was
barely old enough to serve hard time, but somehow made it to middle management)
wondering if I was qualified for the
job at hand. I decided that the Kid was overdue for a full-time mommy.
Bring it on.
He woke me on the first
day with an insubordinate poke in the eye. When I could make out light and
shadows again, I asked what he wanted.
“I need breakfast and I
have to go to school.”
That was pretty astute
for a six-year-old.
“Okay,” I mentally
stepped into my Super Mom suit, “What would you like for breakfast?”
“A Pop Tart.”
“Sure. Uh, do you know
where they are?”
“In the top of the
cabinet. Daddy always puts them there.”
“Why?” I said, hoisting
my chubby leg onto the counter in an attempt to scale the cabinets.
“Because I’m not
supposed to have them for breakfast.”
“Why?” The counter
creaked in protest as I pulled myself to a kneeling position.
“Because they make me
hyper and Miss Parisi says I bounce off the walls.”
“Is Miss Parisi the one
that called Mommy in for a conference that day?”
“Here, have two.”
I felt pretty smug as I
crawled back into bed. When I’d been working, all of this had been my husband’s
duty and he’d complained vociferously.
This isn’t so bad
There was another poke. This time, thankfully, on
“You have to make me
“There are Lunchables in
the fridge.” I said, flipping my pillow.
“Lunchables are when
Daddy fixes lunch. You’re the Mommy.”
I pondered this double
standard for a moment.
“Why is it okay for
Daddies to pack Lunchables and not Mommies?”
“Because Daddies work
and they don’t know how to fix stuff so it’s okay. But even if Mommies work,
they fix the stuff you’re supposed to eat and it’s never really good but you’re
supposed to eat it anyway unless it makes you want to throw up, then you just
throw it away.”
His litany winded him.
“What do Mommies make
for lunch, then?”
“Sandwiches and fruit
“So how does anyone know
who packed your lunch?”
“Because they know you
got fired and that you’ll be fixing the lunches.”
butter and jelly sandwich and a baggie of fresh strawberries later, the Kid
gave his blessing. I grabbed my car keys.
“Wait a second Mommy…you
forgot my hair.”
“What about it? It looks
cool in a misdirected eighties sort of way.” I ruffled his sleep induced
“Daddy puts conditioner
in it and brushes it down.” The Kid was relentless.
“Fine.” I slathered
Aveda on his head. He took the brush from me and styled it himself.
“Are we ready now?” I
He sighed. “Yeah. I
“What do you mean ‘you
guess’? What now?”
“Well, Daddy never makes
me wear this sweater. He doesn’t like it.”
“It’s Nautica. It was
expensive and you’ve never worn it. There’s nothing wrong with it.” My left eye
was starting to twitch.
“He said I look like a
pansy in it. Do I really look like a flower?”
“Do you honestly think
your Father’s the last Scion of fashion? He thinks poly blends are one of the seven
wonders. He makes his fashion statement in flannel shirts and thinkshis
collection of belt buckles shows everyone what an art connoisseur he is. This
is the man you take fashion advice from?”
He must’ve seen the
twitch. “It’s fine. We gotta go.”
It took forty-five
minutes in rush hour traffic to make it to school.
“Why, hello there!” It
was a cheerful greeting from my arch nemesis, Miss. Parisi. “Only ten minutes
late. Not bad for a first time stay at home mom on her first day!” She grinned
“I have strawberries!”
the Kid said.
I smiled smugly.
“Wonderful! They were
dipped weren’t they?”
The Kid and I looked at
each other, confused. I felt my already sagging self-confidence go fetal in the
“Dipped?” the Kid said,
“Why yes!” she
exclaimed, “There’s a special wash we advise parents to use on fruits and
vegetables. It removes all pesticides and other carcinogens.”
The Kid looked at me
“Give me the
strawberries. I’ll go to Starbucks and get you a scone.”
Miss. Parisi clucked
sympathetically. “Refined sugar.”
I wondered if the Kid’s
testimony would be admitted in my manslaughter trial.
“Just eat the sandwich,
I was exhausted and
couldn’t wait to get home. I tossed my purse, keys, mace and rape horn on the
kitchen table and glared in the vicinity of my husband. He was drinking coffee
and proving his golf mastery to the world by beating Tiger Woods on the
Playstation. It took several loud sighs, stifled groans, an accidental blast of
the horn and three partial swoons before he noticed I’d returned.
“What’s wrong with you?”
He said, not taking his eyes off the TV.
“I’m going to bed.” I
snapped. “I had a terrible morning.” I waited for him to ask me to elaborate,
but he was too busy bogeying the fifth hole. “Don’t forget Loretta’s coming at
He paused and looked at
“The cleaning lady.” I
“I know who she is. I
called her yesterday and cancelled. I figured since you’re not really working
anymore, you’d take care of it.”
Bring on the Valium.