From: (Mumthra)

Subject: Smother's Day

Date: 08 May 1999 00:00:00 GMT


Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free



It was an ugly morning here. Everyone was in a sort of shock state

from getting enough sleep, so that we all overslept and became surly

with the imperatives of breakfast and socks.


The general breakfast rule is that you eat the same thing every day

until you are SO sick of it that you remember to tell me before I fix

it yet again. Today was the magical day before the LAST DAY, so that

everyone realized a moment too late that they didn't order what they

wanted. Musical breakfasts resolved most of the trouble without my



Sparky was despondent from the start. She changed her mind about

wearing her best dress to school, concerned that she wouldn't be able

to enjoy recess properly in her finest finery. The night before, she

was adamant that she wanted to dress up for the Mother's Day Muffins

for Mom party. By morning she was just as adamant that shorts were the

proper attire.


I brought her an outfit; her last clean matching shorts and shirt. I'd

nearly thrown them out when I realized that these new clothes were

responsible for dyeing and entire load of laundry blue, but it was

just so damned cute that I thought that one more wearing would redeem

it a little bit before it was no more. I'm such an optimist.


Everyone was miraculously dressed and brushed and shod in the nick of

time when I realized that the baby was still in pajamas. Fine. She

could ride in her jammies, because we had places to BE.


First we deposited Sparky at the elementary, then booted Spunky at a

friend's house for a ride to preschool. Back home we met Gramma and

had just enough time to dress Bo before I would zoom back to the

elementary again have a muffin, retrieve Gramma and the baby, leave

the baby in the nursery and arrive in time for Mother's Day Tea with

the preschoolers.


Naturally, my car was running on empty for the entire rounds.


Gramma was blessedly on time, so I headed for my first party of the

day at 9:20. All the way to the school, I muttered to myself about

Mother's Day. Who the fuck is responsible for this mess? Why should I

have to strain myself to be in too many places just for some kind of

annual thank-you gesture? Big fucking deal. I'm a mother, yeah, and I

pay ENOUGH thankyouverymuch. Every fucking day is Mother's Day.


Muttering and grumbling, I walked through the rain, dampening my

sandals and listening to my hair frizz. I stalked into Sparky's

classroom and was almost instantly glad that I'd bothered.


The children were squirmy with anticipation, including my normally

composed Sparky. I was amazed that she plopped herself in my lap in

front of all her friends and equally amazed by the collection of

handmade mommy tributes she began to explain to me. I wondered if I

was impersonating some other REAL parent, but it was pleasant just the

same. First she showed me a page she wrote called "My Mom is Special."


My Mom is special because she is very, very, very nice. I

like it when my Mom gives me candy! My Mom can do many

things! I think she's best at singing. My Mom has a pretty

smile! I like to make her smile by doing funny things. My

Mom is as pretty as a butterfly. My Mom is smart! She even

knows how to say the longest word I know.


I was appalled at how much it pleased me. "Very, very, very nice"? She

can't be serious! That must be the "Mom" who gives her candy that gets

the superlatives. However peculiar her perceptions are, it was a very,

very, very nice description. I particularly liked the way she

capitalized "Mom" in Godlike fashion.


For being among the 50% Super Dooper Moms who showed up for the party,

I got a guided tour of the class projects and a chance to pick myself

out of a line up of stick figure drawings. I recognized my artist's

style right off. My portrait was complete with purple sneakers and red

earrings and fingers, so it was easy to spot. I don't actually wear

those, except for the fingers, but now I know how Sparky would dress

me if she was given the chance.


Sparky refused to let me bring home my chore coupons and tributes. She

wanted to carry them herself after school. Again amazed at her willing

goodbye kiss, I left thinking that it would only be a few years before

she refuses to admit she knows me when we're in public.


I was really ready for The Tea after all that. Gramma volunteered to

pay to put gas in the car and I had to reassure her that we'd make it

with gallons to spare.


We could hear Spunky's class long before we saw them. They exploded

into The Tea room. We had glittery placemats and tissue wrist

corsages, hand made pins and huge Mother's Day cards AND a potted

plant to honor our motherhood. Along with these, Spunky had made a

little book about me. It was covered with a portrait that was eerily

similar to the one her sister had made.


My mommy's favorite color is red and purple and all the

colors that she sees. My mommy's favorite foods are

carrots and celery. The thing that my Mommy and I like

to do together most is play with toys and draw pictures.

My Mommy and my favorite place to go is the playground.

What I love most about my mommy is the way she kisses me.

My Mommy looks so pretty when she wears dresses. My

Mommy is 16 years old. She is 5'4" tall. She weighs 60



There were lots of chuckles over the statistics. Lots of mothers were

described as being six feet tall and ten years old; reasonable

estimates from four-year-olds, I guess.


They fed us and serenaded us, although a little stampede of

nervousness broke up the middle of the choral performance. One at a

time, the little girls broke ranks and flung themselves at their

beloved mommies. Some were coaxed back to the group, while others just

whimpered from comfy laps through the rest of the musical program.


Spunky caught the bug and came to me, but she wasn't really

distressed. I got her back to the front of the room, but I had to stay

and kneel with her to urge her to croon "You Are My Sunshine." Gramma



I wept from laughter during the group portrait attempts. All the

mommies lined up in front to immortalize our school year of sweating,

confusing and complaining together. Three of the grandmothers were in

charge of the photography.


"No, mom, the lens cap is ON...It was blinking! What did you

do?...Mom...Mom...Turn the camera around and--here let me see that..."


Mother's day MEANS photography.


After all the nibbling and compliments, the children went back to

their class to wrap up the educational part of their morning. The

mommies fell on the clean up with gusto. In five minutes the food had

vanished, the chairs had been swept away, and a sort of disassembly

line formed to collapse the tables and haul them back across the hall.

The damned tables must have weighed 150 pounds--certainly more than

most of us were estimated to weigh. As each pair of mommies arrived

with a table, I wished them a happy Mother's Day.


Gramma's comment: "Well, that was certainly frantic."


The little girls passed out in the back of the car on the way home, so

we finally bought gas and lunch in a leisurely but vewwy quiet manner.

While Gramma browsed the deli, I had lots of time to look around at

the parking lot. I saw three different men eating and/or sleeping in

their cars. Is this what people do with their lunch hour in the

country? Have I found a secret drive-in living space? Do they EVER

leave their cars?


My Mother's Day gift from my mother was an enormous two-meal reuben

sandwich and a great deal of patience. She even had the patience to

hang around until Sparky got home with her Mother's Day goodies.

Gramma even made sure than everyone got their own man-shaped cookie,

which I noticed we all ate head first.


Following frantic cookies, there was more outdoor frantic play. I

heard someone say something about a hose. I'm pretty sure.


First I saw Spunky, drenched and dripping, and I was only mildly

annoyed. After all, she'd only changed her clothes three times and was

sort of DUE for the forth change of the day. Then Sparky flew around

the corner.


I still couldn't get properly angry, but I did bark at her to get in

the house and not touch ANYTHING. She was still wearing her sayonara

blue suit, which was, well, giving her a distinct cyan aura. Even

after a long bath, only her face isn't blue. I had to tell her that

she may be blue for days. "That's okay," she said, "I'll be Greedy

Smurf. I need some white shorts and a hat, though."



Usenet is just like FAMILY!

There's always that one ugly cousin between you and the buffet table.