Monday, January 6, 2014

Lunchables and Downers: The Birth of a SAHM.

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!”
My three 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 the arm.
                        “You have to make me lunch.”
                        “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 and stuff.”
                        “So how does anyone know who packed your lunch?”
                        “Because they know you got fired and that you’ll be fixing the lunches.”
                        A peanut 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 Mohawk.
                        “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 whined.
                        He sighed. “Yeah. I guess.”
                        “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 evilly.
                        “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 corner.
                        “Dipped?” the Kid said, soberly.
                        “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 accusingly.
                        “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, Kid.”
                        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 ten.”
                        He paused and looked at me. “Loretta?”
                        “The cleaning lady.” I said, exasperated.
                        “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.


  1. DAMN !! Now I have to hang this sign over my desk.

    WARNING !!!
    DO NOT partake of beverages while reading Carmen's blog
    Doing so will result in the destruction of your computer !

  2. I'm glad you like it!!! Trying to fill space. Wish you were closer, dammit!
    I simply can't believe Nova Scotia is all THAT!! Look at all the things you can do here!!! Stamp with me, we can go to rally's to support socialized medical care, me to fight know, FUN things!!' ;) lol. Hugs, sister.

  3. Ha! This is great Carmen! Loved the part about the Dad's fashion sense! And letting go the cleaning lady! Congrats on your publication!


  4. Bwaahahahahahaha - laughed my socks off at this !!! :-D Just another typical SAHM day it seems hee hee and that teacher definitely needs 'outing' LoL
    Brilliantly funny and thanks for the lugh this morning. Good job I wasn't drinking my coffee too :-D

    IKE xx

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