Breakfast in bed is swell, kids. I’m more of a Raisin Bran kinda gal, but the sweet effort you put into those homemade pancakes makes me want to cover your small faces with a blanket of tender kisses. Thank you!
And I adore the sleek designer tennis dress you picked out for me, dear husband, I do! Still, since I’m no longer a size 2 and do not possess the tall, lean shape of a board of lumber, I’m not so sure I can pull it off. (Just because Lycra fabrics can be worn does not mean they should be worn.) I’ve given birth twice, after all. And you do remember I’m now in my forties?
My family, you mean the world to me, which is why I will always smile and coo and clap my hands and react with positively thrilled affirmation over your gestures of loving appreciation on this special day. But if you could crawl into my brain and root around there for a bit, you’d discover what a mother really wants:
A Team of Pooper Scoopers
Dogs crap in the yard. It’s what they do. We have thousands of free and environmentally disastrous plastic bags from Safeway and CVS stashed beneath the kitchen sink to help with this duty, plus loads of official, colorful plastic poop bags purchased at PetSmart. (Why do I buy these again?) While the entire family, including the aforementioned pooches, enjoys the serene greenness of the back lawn during three out of four seasons of the year, your mother is the one left holding the sh*t. Seems you’d rather step in it, sometimes more than once, than simply scoop it up and toss it in the trash. So let’s share the wealth on this one! Because I don’t much enjoy scraping deeply entrenched feces from the intricate treads found on the bottom your shoes, either.
The Right to Pee in Privacy and Without Interruption
“Mooooooommmmmm!” screams one daughter, but only after I’ve dropped trou’ and assumed the full pee position. The other one, urgently requiring my attention to ask an important question about the plight of endangered elephants in Africa for a school project, simply walks in the unlocked bathroom door, which I never remember to bolt behind me because by the time I finally make it to the loo, I can no longer hold it a moment longer. Detailed discussion ensues. Me seated and, yes, going, while child asks questions as if this is an entirely appropriate way to conduct a conversation. Meanwhile, the first one yells for me again from another floor, or maybe from outside and down the block.
Someone Else to Call the Service Provider—for the Next 12 Months
Verizon, Time Warner, Electrolux, KitchenAid, Apple Support…the endless loop of “we care about you and value your business” BS that I endure all the time because something is always broken, humming too loudly, thumping, freezing or all of the above. Wrest my iPhone from my cramped fingers (if it’s working, that is), and make the call yourself. For the next year. I beg of you.
Dirty Socks Inside the Hamper
This one needs no further elaboration.
Made Beds That Do Not Involve Me Wrangling Sheets
Your bunk bed, child, is from hell. I imagine it is easier to pin an escaped convict fresh on the lam than it is to fit the top bunk’s sheet on all four sides of the mattress without losing the outer layer of skin from my knuckles to the super-tight wooden bedframe. I confess I’ve sometimes allowed four or five weeks to go by without tackling your filthy bedding because—I’ve already said this—it’s from hell.
Kids Sorting and Organizing Their Toys
Have you seen your playroom, darling children? Why are 500 Littlest Pet Shop figurines mingling with every LEGO Friends set ever sold at Target? There are pens and ink stampers and assorted American Girl items and—what are those plastic pieces of garbage you get in birthday goodie bags, anyway?—a million tiny, ridiculous, unnamable “toys,” and they are everywhere. Everywhere. Even in my dreams.
Cold Veuve Clicquot
Splitting a chilled bottle of good champagne with my dear husband would be nice, certainly. At this point, slamming it back solo wouldn’t be so bad, either.
Hey, family! There’s always next year!