Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Five Things NOT To Say...

We've identified our Domestic Enemies...and we're still finding more. From laundromats to ice cream trucks to critters and nosy neighbors and school, we know what adversaries we face, no matter which kind of mom we are. But we've discovered a wolf in sheep's clothing in our midst. A Seacrest among the Keeblers. And that is the dreaded Unedited Thought. That's right...those words that spill out of some Nosy Nellie's mouth before their brain has a chance to intercede and make them inhale a bug or something.

Lydia went from being a Working Mom to a Stay-at-Home Mom. Kate has been both as well, but has discovered over her twent[achoo!] years of working that a) the questions and comments never change; and b) they're all laced with this sticky sweetness that makes it seem like the person is actually concerned or interested, but really it's just to attract all the stingy hornet things that will stab you in the heart later. And, as a current working mom, Kate has heard a few statements and questions over the past twelve years that have made her either want to rock back and forth in the fetal position, or smack someone so hard that they find that their own tongue has suddenly appeared in the palm of their hand

1. What is it that you do?
This can be totally innocent, or all stabby. The first is like "oh, what do you do?" and we say things like secretary or rocket scientist or ditch digger. The second one really means "what possible thing can be so freakin' important that you'd leave your kids?" Well, let's see...for most working moms, the answer has something to do with food and roofs and college and stuff like that. For Kate, sometimes it's really just a chance to get away from a band of crazy rabid howler monkeys who've somehow gotten into her house and apparently have all the common sense of a sack of hammers. When I've gotten the nice version, I've wound up having some really cool chats with people. When I've gotten the stabby version, I usually just tell them I'm a hooker.

2. What do you do with your kids all day?
Hmmm...Let's see. I *used* to keep them in the garage with a giant bag of Cheetos. Then someone said that was illegal or something. Are you kidding me? Ready for a peek behind the curtains?
We get up at the ass crack of dawn to shower, make lunches, make breakfast, throw in laundry, tidy the house, get kids up, get kids fed, get kids dressed, get kids to stop trying to mangle each other, get kids brushed and brushed, find shoes, find our own shoes, remember the keys before we lock the door, accidentally teach them a bad word, inadvertently teach them how to break into our own home, discover the keys were actually in our pocket, teach them another bad word, and then get them to school, the babysitter, the nanny, our mother's house, the neighbors or the bus. THEN, we do the work thing. Are you tired yet? Because ten hours from now, we'll do it all in reverse. Starting with our car. You might wanna move. Quickly. But first we have to find our keys.

3. Oh, I can't imagine someone else raising my children....
Can I confess how many times I've heard this? LOADS! Who says this? I'm always tempted to say things like, "It's actually awesome. Dora teaches them Spanish from nine to ten every morning, then they have virtual hide and seek with Blue, critical thinking with Shaggy and Scooby, a little Pre-Law with Judge Judy at noon, followed by Oprah's Life Lessons and then some SportsCenter so they can be entertaining at parties. What? You're doing all that stuff? Whoa." And then someday my kid will say something fantastic like, " 1917,Albert Einstein established the theoretic foundation for the laser in his paper Zur Quantentheorie der Strahlung..." and I'll get to be all "haha...did your kid watch the Big Bang Theory? Mine did. Kate for the win!" and then celebrate that a theoretical physicist is "raising" my kid. Booyah.

4. It must be hard on them to never see you...

Best part about this one? Invariably, and ironically, it's always said in front of my children. When McGee was little, and I was Full-On, All-the-Time Working Mommy, I got this for the very first time. It was like getting punched in the throat.And all that guilt and regret and stomach-y pit-y-ness and the why do I not have a witty yet scathing comeback here? hit all at once. It's a *nice* feeling. It's what I imagine a bikini wax from the Kracken would feel like. And then McGee furrowed up her little face and was like, "Uh, I can see her. She's right here. You don't see her?" and then announced to everyone that I was invisible.

5. So then, you can't volunteer?

That's nice. It's like a Jewish Mother and a Catholic Priest all at the same time. We'd LOVE to volunteer. We're not saying no so we can go get a mani/pedi and Selfy Steam. We're saying no because, as much as we desperately want to, we simply can not be at the school. Tell you what, we'll volunteer for that job that entails sending out the forty thousand emails every school year about fundraisers and Box Tops and pizza parties and field trips...if there's something working moms can do, it's fly their fingers so fast across their computer or blackberry that we've been known to make a few of them cry.

Until then, we'll be at work. Invisible hookers are few and far between. Oh, that was gross, wasn't it?

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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