I have this neighbour who only ever sees me when I’m loading my kids into the car. Three out of four times, I’m yelling at them. Example:
Jane: It. Is. 11. A. M. And. I. Am. Already. Sick. Of. You. Will. You. Stop. Fighting. Before. I. Go. Raving. Mad?
I suppose she thinks I’m a terrible mother.
I think I’m providing a public service. No matter how bad her day goes, her Super-Ego can reassure her Ego by whispering to it,
“Well, at least you didn’t call your children fucking assholes this morning…”
(I didn’t actually call them fucking assholes, but the phrase was strongly inferred in the yelling. And yes. I thought it.)
Jane: Your job, now, is to look out for a coffee shop. Starbucks, Second Cup, Tim Horton’s, I don’t care—I need to be caffenaited. NOW.
Cinder: You know, Mom, you’re not supposed to drink coffee after 10 a.m.
Jane: Do you want me to yell at you again? Find me a coffee shop, now. Starbucks! Yes! Wait here. Don’t drive away. Don’t let anyone steal the car. If the dog jumps out through the window, don’t follow her. I’ll be right back.
Flora: Mom? Have you ever thought that you might have a problem?
Yes. Yes, I have. But you know what? I only have three vices right now, and this is the least troublesome one of them. Caffenaite me. Now.
Hell is being trapped in a car in traffic while three children sing “What does the fox say.”
Heaven is this rocky river bank I know. Bald eagles and ospreys fly overhead, the water is fucking cold but blissful. The children roam free, and there are no other people.
The bitch of it is—to get to heaven, you have to first endure hell.
A stranger wanders by.
Stranger: Having a good day?
Jane: No, not really.
FYI: pretty much the best way to get a person to walk away from you as quickly as their knobbly legs can carry them.
Flora: Feeling better, Mom?
Jane: Gods, yeah. Thanks, babe. But that doesn’t mean you guys can start acting like little jerks again.
Flora: No, we’re all feeling better too.
We have lemon meringue pie for dinner. Then lazy sushi* for dessert.
On the way home, after I stop to pick up the lemon meringue pie and cucumbers for the sushi, I swing by the liquor store.
Cinder: Jeesus, Mom, how much wine are you planning to drink tonight?
Jane: That all depends on you.
I’m joking. Really. A glass, maybe two with dinner. That is not one of my vices. Although, between June 22, 2013 and June 21, 2014, it was definitely one of my more common, yet least effective coping techniques.
Flora: I wish I understood Ender’s fascination with dog’s butts.
Cinder: I can explain it to you.
Jane: Please wait until I’m out of the room…
Exhausted, Ender falls asleep on the couch. Excited, Flora packs her lunch for camp.
Jane: What do you want to do, Cinders?
Cinder: Take over the world with Paul and Sam.
Jane: Go to it.
Cinder: What are you going to do?
Jane: Come up with creative excuses not to work.
Cinder: Go to it.
I actually kind of feel like working. Magic combination of afternoon coffee + wine with supper + chocolate for dessert for the win.
P.S. Lazy sushi: Make rice. Shred carrot. Cut a cucumber into long pieces. Ditto avocado. Put basil, cilantro or something like that on a plate. Shred crab meat or left-over chicken. Cut seaweed paper into squares. Put everything on the table. Have everyone make their own sushi cones or maki rolls. It’s like tacos… but different.