Help Wanted: Part Time Mother Needed; good with Math, Geography, Computers, Art and Patience of a Saint.

I just had a long and meaningful conversation with my pet ferret about being fulfilled as a housewife and mother.  There seem to have been some changes happening around me that I wasn’t aware of.  Homework time used to consist of my sitting with each child and offering help when needed, giving praise as well as keeping them from being distracted.  Recently, the kids have been asking their father for assistance instead.  In fact, Mark will wait until I am cooking supper to even pull his work folder out.

The other day Chris felt ill and when the kids came home from school, he was in bed resting.  I told them that Daddy was sick and not to be bothered.  Mark throws his backpack down in disgust and mutters, “Great! Now I won’t get my homework done and there goes my computer time!”  I gently reminded Mark that I was here and would be happy to help him.  He snorted and yelled, “MOM! Its math homework!  I need to get the answers RIGHT!  Then I have to make a map and you need help walking to the store without getting lost!”  Huh.

Later on, a frustrated screech shattered the windows and there is Mark hunched over the computer, shaking his fists at the monitor.  Figuring that maybe I could redeem myself in his eyes, I put my hands gently on his shoulders and ask if I can help him.  Literally sputtering in astonishment at my words, his eyes roll in his sockets, he turns his head slowly around like Reagan from the Exorcist to face me.  A demonic voice boomed, ” It’s a computer game, Mom!  You don’t understand computer games, remember?  How could you help?  Oh, I know, maybe you could kill my character even quicker like you did the last time you “helped” me!”

After Chris battled the demon in a Jesuit Priest outfit and Mark scuttled away across the ceiling, I sat down next to Melissa who was creating new dresses for her Barbie dolls.  “Can I play too?”  Delighted at Melissa’s wary nod, I got to work on a new dress for a doll.  Within minutes, it was obvious that my “creation” wasn’t quite what Melissa was looking for.  “Ma!  Princess Jasmine only has one head, I don’t need two neck holes!  And you put the glitter stickers on backwards!  Now she has two huge glitter heart  on her butt!  Prince Charming will never dance with her now!  Ma! Ma, no! Don’t try to fix it, just…Ma, I think I hear Daddy calling you.”

Dinner time didn’t go any better. I forget to add enough pepper to Mark’s chicken, then his bun got soggy somehow.  Melissa was mad because the same dinner I cooked for her, she had for lunch at school, oh, and the lemonade wasn’t strong enough.  While running to fix the children’  complaints, I accidentally burned the casserole for myself and Chris.  Luckily, Chris said nothing, tentatively swallowed some of it, then feigned fullness.

After dinner, it was bath time. That didn’t win me any awards either.  I never make the water temperature just right. Mark’s was too hot and Melissa’s was too cold.  Mark had a fit that I entered the bathroom while he was washing to ask if he needed me to wash his back, he asked for his father and I was banished.  I got a lecture from Melissa because I had forgotten to condition her hair while she was splashing about.  I was supposed to wait until she finished singing, but show up before she started to play underwater.

One hour before bedtime I decided to snuggle between the children on the couch.  They had one eye on “The Simpsons” while Mark was playing his Nintendo DS and Melissa was playing dress up games on the laptop.    I gave Mark a hug and ignored his sigh as I ruffled his hair.  Kissed Melissa’s cheek and nuzzled her neck, giggling at her growl.  The two kids shared a look then turned to me.  “Don’t you have a meeting to go to tonight?”  I reminded them that I don’t go on Monday nights, it is my night off to be with them.  “Hey, Mom? Remember how you sometimes sing in musicals and stuff?”  “Maybe you can try out for one again?”  “Ma? I don’t see Trevor?  Why don’t you find him and see if he needs play time?”  Dad, why don’t you let Mom write something on the computer?”

I gave up for the night on any type of bonding.  Since no one wanted my attention (even the damn ferret blew me off) I decided to call a friend.   Two minutes into the phone call, I was being hollered for from all directions.  Trevor the ferret was jumping over my head with a jingle toy, Chris wanted to tell me all about his “Warcraft” game, Melissa was crying because she wanted to snuggle and have me read her a book, then Mark was pulling on my shirt because he wanted to discuss theories on “Black Holes”.  I pleaded for five minutes to finish my phone call.  Quickly, I ended my call and went to see all my attention…..

Melissa was asleep on the couch, Mark and Chris were watching Dr. Who, and Trevor had disappeared under the couch. Oh well, I turned on my MP3 player and soothed myself with music…at least Alice Cooper, Nikki Sixx, “Les Miserables”,”Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Rent” will always be where I want them to be.

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