From: email@example.com (Mumthra)
Subject: Day and a Half
Date: 20 May 1999 00:00:00 GMT
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.