From: (Mumthra)

Subject: Day and a Half

Date: 20 May 1999 00:00:00 GMT


Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free



Half school days are apparently greeted by every other mommy as

something other than a chance to slack off. I traditionally just let

the girls play during the "extra" time, but yesterday was a BIGGER day

because of it.


Yesterday, As soon as Sparky reappeared after school we were back to

the shoe hunt and hairbrush wrestling that precedes most outings.


We had a date with another family. Little Max is in Spunky's school

and Mary is in Sparky's so it was somehow supposed to be a Harmonic



Lulu called just before I left and reassured me. Sunflower is her one

of her favorite mommies, she said, very laid back, smokes pot on

occasion, down to earth, and so forth.


Okie dokie. That's a dandy resume, alright.


Meeting new mommies is much like dating; we know we may have ONE thing

in common, but beyond that is mystery. Sunflower is most definitely

not my type, and I suspect that she's on some sort of powerful



Sunflower's children are delightful, and it might work out in the long

run, but she is the most exhausting person I've spent time with since

the Chinese pool children tried to hijack my attentions last summer.

"Lookit me!! See this?!? Is this good?!?"


She is bigger than me, but that's typical. I had already seen the

latent clean-cut hippie chick ensembles she's displaying as her

fashion agenda, but she could just as easily been dragging golf clubs

and wearing a bad hat. In any case, I wasn't scared of all that peace

and love stature.


Sunflower is all about being friendly and educational and busy-busy

with high-speed quizzes. "Oh I see it," she said to the kids, "Do you

see the legs? What do we call a tadpole when it has legs? Do you

remember, Mary? Do you remember what we call a tadpole with legs?" I

couldn't remember, either. It didn't seem to be terribly important for

their enjoyment of the discovery.


Maybe she's on crack.


Really, in terms of helpfulness and heart-on-the-right-plated-ness, I

can't berate her. I would let her watch my kids and drag them to any

oh-so-educational activity of her choice. Her momminess is very much

at the front in her priorities.


I just don't know if I can listen to the stream of high-speed,

irrelevant chatter ever again. The only times I spoke, I spoke OVER

her--she would not give up and gavel and let me interrupt even once.


Her voice wasn't irritating, in fact it was as unremarkable as the hum

of a properly functioning fan. The only time she varied it was when

Max or Mary would do something particularly dangerous. At those

instants she would bark their names so forcefully that I had to stifle

the reflex to look on the ground for any teeth she might have lost.


I began to get the feeling that I was traveling with a frustrated tour

guide. There wasn't one plant or rock or stretch of path that didn't

inspire some association for our Sunflower. I didn't feel as though I

were being educated, however.


Her intense, fixed gaze as she spoke was sucking later minutes of

tolerance for blather away from the end of my life. By this time

during the year I'm eighty-one years old I'll be turning down my

hearing aid and muttering, "Oh, just shut yer YAP!" at whoever happens

to be the blatherer then.


She said she had a terrific time. I managed to say, "I'm g--," before

she bounced off to describe her other terrific times.


Maybe I need to develop a stutter or a really disconcerting tic.