Friday, April 23, 2010
What is Kerry doing? Remedying a problem.
Where is she at? In her car, parked as far away from the entrance to a GTWoman luncheon as she can manage without entering traffic.
What should she be doing? Not smiling for a photo.
Most notable is the iPhone balanced on Kerry's right thigh. She is reading her email, texting, drying her armpits and not, fortunately, seeing Kandy approach with a camera.
This here, is what we like to call Mom Skillz.
For Kerry, Mom Skillz meant knowing that direct venting was the only answer to pitting out her shirt.
For Kandy, Mom Skillz meant knowing a sisterly moment was unfolding and recording it.
And for our GTWoman Motherhood issue, we'd like to take a moment to honor Mom Skillz. These are skillz that translate from home to business in the blink of antiperspirant gone bad:
Situation: Often touted as life-threatening: sliver in child's foot.
Mom Skillz: Extraction must be done on child who, only yesterday you couldn't budge from the candy aisle, but has now become slippery, transparent, loose: a shape shifter. Calling in back-up with a bent knee that outweighs the child is favorable.
Biz Skillz: This is also sometimes known as Making the Sale.
Situation: The sound of a bee landing half a mile away from a child who once had a bee fly in his shirt that made his mother go bat-sh!t crazy on him to get it out.
Mom Skillz: Mother must remain calm while panicking wildly herself. She must admonish child for his overreaction while looking about frantically for her husband, sister or mailman to come upon the scene. At which point she can run, flap her arms and leave it to someone else to act all grown-uppy.
Biz Skillz: Often known as When the Boss Enters the Room.
Situation: Toys exploded all over house, some on back porch, at least one on roof.
Mom Skillz: Wait until mother-in-law is coming for visit and blow up at children. Bluster about yelling and stuffing things. Pencils in the underwear drawer, undies in the junk drawer. Whatever. Just get it out of sight.
Biz Skills: Also known as Corporate Will Be Here for a Visit This Afternoon.
Situation: Emptying shavings from children's pencil sharpener.
Mom Skillz: Not able to open compartment over the garbage can. Finally figuring out how to do it in a fury of superhuman strength, over the carpeting.
Biz Skills: Also known as Trying to Sneak a Powdered Donut from a
Really, is there any Mom situation that doesn't translate to business? To Moms everywhere, we salute your skillz!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Wednesday morning is press deadline, and it dawns gray but glorious: For it has been 36 hours since anything erupted out of either child. 36! That is one and a half times more than the recommended 24-hour window of recovery. I am home-free. I will make deadline after all.
I am feeling like Super Mom. Inwardly, I was thinking about deadlines and ad copy for the last three days, but outwardly, I was the picture of superness: benevolent, giving, compassionate. Puke bucket in one hand, red pen and pages in the other.
And those extra 12 hours of comfort thrown in, no-charge.
But as I prep the children for school, I see that other things have gone awry in these three days besides my editorial excellence.
I dress the children out of the dirty laundry pile, but Super Mom feels resourceful doing so. And Super Mom let them play on the slip-n-slide late yesterday afternoon and realizes now it was a premonition to do so, because they can skip the super shower.
And when I hear the low-gas ding, Super Mom knows she has enough to get to school and back, and loads of time on her day alone, to fuel up later.
9:15 a.m.: Super Mom is prancing around the house, breaking out the peanut butter bars and weighing down the couch. I have work, work, work to do. But have I been alone for a single, solitary, sanitary minute in the last three days? No. And my new book Lit awaits me. As does Reba. What will 15 minutes of guilty pleasures cost me?
Everything, as it turns out. For I have forgotten about the Kindergarten Welcome Lunch today. I have to be back to school in a few hours. Scrambling begins. Sloppy editing ensues, bad writing unfurls.
11:30 a.m.: At school. Nelson exits his preschool room galloping down the hallway at me. I look at his teacher, Good God woman, this child is sick! I grill the teacher: Is he pukey? Is he tired? Is he ? Of course he’s been fine all morning.
But it’s the sight of Super Mom that sends him into a downward spiral during the Welcome Lunch. Nelson has his head down on the table, refusing to eat, as I scan the room for fashion tips from 5th graders. For 30 minutes, he speaks to me in the withering whisper of the convincer and holds his tummy for emphasis.
Half of me is thinking, He’s not sick, he’s playing you! (This half is being reinforced by one twin sister saying it over and over in my ear.)
The other half is thinking, What’s the worst things that can happen to little Nelso? And the resounding answer is a public bathroom.
One fleeting memory of a JCPenney’s restroom gone bad many years ago, and it’s all over: I shall work (again) with a sick child underfoot.
12:30 p.m.: I’m feeling Super Momish again because we got home in the nick of time. Things happen. Ugly things. Super Mom thinks, I knew it.
1 p.m.: I try to regroup and settle onto the bed next to Nelson. It will be SpongeBob for him and laptop for me. But first, cuddling. Then crackers. Then a Donald Duck DVD. Then. The. Phone. Rings.
2 p.m.: Boy No. 2 is down for the count. Super Mom says, Yes I will be there as fast as a minivan can go. GTWoman Mom thinks, with a raging editor at the wheel.
2:30 p.m.: I make an appearance in the school office to scoop up Kendall and then in his classroom to pick up his work. I realize when I get home that I made these “appearances” with a tie-dye bandana over my bedhead and some syrup dried on my shirt. I appear like Aunt Jemima might have on a bender.
3 p.m.: Two children in my bed, 1 dead laptop battery, 1 Garfield movie and 1 Super Mom who has given up.
If you find any typos or small children for sale in this issue, I present this column as Exhibit A.