‘So that’s what grownups do all day’ is excerpted from my book, “Fairly Odd Mother: Musings of a Slightly Off Southern Mom:”
I got up Friday morning hoping Baby Girl would still be asleep. I derive most of my day’s pleasure from repeatedly yelling: “Get up or we’re going to be late for school!” On a good day, she is sleeping so soundly that I get to go into her room and nudge her awake.
“Moo-o-om! She whines in annoyance. It’s my favorite sound.
Then I proceed to ask Baby Girl what she’s going to wear to school and if it needs ironing. Reminding her to eat her breakfast is fun, but not as much fun as yelling, “Five minutes! Brush your teeth and I mean good!” I dread the day when she remembers to do these things for herself because I won’t get to yell quite as much in the mornings.
We rush to the car, making both of us stressed, which is good because that’s the best way to start another day of fifth grade. In the car line at school, I give Baby Girl a kiss and yell, “I love you, Doodlebug!” as loudly as a I can so the other kids will hear and make fun of her.
Once at work, the pressure is off. My co-workers and I get some cones from Kreme Delite and play a game of Twister. After lunch, we run with scissors and make prank calls to the mayor’s office asking if his FAX machine is running. Yes? “Well, you better go catch it,” I say, tickled.
Then I spend a couple of hours shopping using my checkbook. As long as there are plenty of checks in there, I can buy whatever I want. After work, I come home tired. Who wouldn’t after a day like that?
While I sit on the sofa, I make Baby Girl do the dishes and pick up the clothes from her bedroom floor. I never do any of the work. What does she think I had a kid for?
“Oh, and Doodlebug?” I call to her. “Could you hand me the remote to the TV?”
While watching Baby Girl work is highly entertaining, it can’t compare with my favorite time of day: bath time. She tells me she just bathed two days ago before soccer practice and dance class so I get to nag until she’s squeaky clean and has washed her hair.
Finally, it’s time for bed. I start telling Baby Girl to go to bed at 8:30, but I secretly hope she’ll stay up late so I can have fun yelling again in the morning.
This is how I think my child imagines my day. She thinks everything I do is calculated to make her life more difficult. If I can wait her out, though, I suspect I will be only 10 more years or so before she rethinks things. Once she’s out of college and on her own, she may give me a call.
“Mom? Can I move back home? I keep oversleeping and I got fired from my job, where, by the way, they made me actually work. Plus, I’m tired of eating frozen macaroni and cheese every night. And those checks? Did you know they’re only good if there’ money in your bank account?
And I’ll tell her, “Sure. Come on home. We’ll play Twister and make some prank calls.’