Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mother's Day Through the Looking Glass

Yeah, yeah, it's been more than a week since the Big Day, but it's been nuts around here. But anyway...

First: does anyone really think it's cute when sitcoms and cartoons (or whatever) depict the kids making mom breakfast in bed and making a huge mess that mom has to clean up? Where's dad in all this? Why doesn't he rein in the kids or at least clean up afterward? Can't he persuasively say, lets give mom brunch at the Four Seasons instead of breakfast in bed?

Second: in general, why haven't more people noticed that celebrating Mother's Day tends to be a giant pain in the ass for Mom, the nominal honoree?

At the restaurant (in Houston, where we went with my mother) the moms in the room were clearly not having a great time. The mom at the next table (with three boys all very close in age--two were apparently twins, yikes!) announced abruptly that lunch was OVER and left to get the car, leaving dad looking hapless and begging for the check. Another mom was lunching with her twentysomething kids, who all gave her crappy, unwieldy gifts (a bunch of flowers in cellophane, cut ends dripping; some oversized gift basket, etc) that she struggled to find room for on the table (plus her daughter was wearing an outfit more suited to the gym--bike shorts? Seriously? WTF?). And I was wrangling a cranky toddler (dressed in stained and mis-matched clothes, but nevertheless dressed, a big plus in these days of preferred nekkidness) who could NOT be persuaded to sit with Daddy long enough for me to eat in peace.

But worst of all was the guy who chewed out the hostess over the location of their table (in the corner! Horrors!) and made some snotty remarks at Eliot in an effort to pick a fight (and we all know the tone adopted for that purpose--it has no other use except to piss somebody off, which in this instance was me; I gave him the Motherly Stinkeye which backed him off a bit). I don't know if he was there with his wife or his mother (or both, but does any sane person dine out on Mother's Day otherwise?) but he was doing his best to be a dick and succeeding.

Third: Motherhood provides so many of these opportunities to step through the looking glass: on what's supposed to be Her Day, she ends up with more work and is more uncomfortable than on most days. The kiddos (and maybe the husband) will probably be on their worst behavior, unless they are cutely wreaking havoc.

Plus, there's just so many freaky moments that small children provide: like the time Dada was going poopy on the potty (hooray!) and demanded to sit on my lap. "Not til you're done, sweetie" followed by [sulk]. Dada pouring half a cup of coffee into the drawer where they keep the Gideon Bible in the hotel room.

And what is it about toddlers that they will occasionally give you this demonic grin, sraight out of The Omen?

Thank god for the Mimosa. Mmm...