Monday, March 27, 2006

I never said I was up for the "Mother of the Year" award

I don’t think there’s a single parent out there that hasn’t pulled at least one Stupid Parent Trick. Maybe stupid isn’t the way to put it – maybe “distracted” or “exhausted to the point of losing all ability to reason” is better?

I like to pride myself in thinking that I really look like I’ve got my shit together. Yes sir, that Liz is a girl who’s got it going on! But maybe sometimes I really am human and it comes out in a show of stupidity so bad that it’s almost blinding.

One of Monkey Man’s teachers, Ms. M., is one of our favorite babysitters. Not only is she a teacher, but she sells adult toys as well – what a great combination! Oh, and did I mention that she can drink like a fish too? I really love when she watches MM because we hear all kinds of funny things that he’s doing at school, especially since when you ask him what he did fun at school the stock answer is “I got to play with Play-Doh”. Yes, people, this is why every year we’re paying to send our kid to one of the finest preschools in the city.

Ahem. Back to the story. The other night was our night out so Ms. M. was available to babysit. We staggered in around 1 AM and settled in to talk to Ms. M. for a while. We started talking about the funny things the kids were doing and the topic of school lunch came up. Monkey Man has to bring lunch every day to school and we started talking about what a huge lunch the kid eats. A typical MM lunch consists of a whole sandwich (turkey or ham), yogurt, raisins, cheese stick, and maybe one other item plus a big cup of milk. He eats probably 90% of his lunch every day. Ms. M. mentioned that a few weeks ago, Monkey Man brought part of his sandwich to her and said that it tasted funny. He hadn’t eaten any of the bread, and he’d eaten two out of three of the pieces of ham on the sandwich. Curious, Ms. M. picked up the ham to take a nibble and the smell just about knocked her down.

Yes, people. I fed my kid rotten deli meat. No, there was no mold, but apparently the smell was so horrific that the sandwich went promptly out into the dumpster and Possible Puking Kid Alert was sounded throughout the school. Poor Monkey Man ended up being shadowed by a teacher with a garbage can for the rest of the day. All I can say is that the kid must have a gastrointestinal system made of iron just like his Grandpa J. does because there were no ill effects from my innocent, sweet boy ingesting rotten meat that his negligent mother gave him.

The more I thought about it, I realized that the incident happened the week after I returned from the trip with Joey – and I had the total cold from hell. I couldn’t breathe through my nose because my head congestion was so bad that I looked like some prehistoric mouth-breathing beast. I have a very hyper-sensitive sense of smell – just ask Joey, who has to endure me sniffing the air constantly and wrinkling my nose up. At work, if anyone heats up something in the microwave I will walk around the building for hours muttering, “Something stinks in here.” The smell of grass clippings left on the lawnmower overnight will just about send me right over the edge. But apparently, the stench of rotten meat could not permeate the snot that was clogging every orifice of my head.

So next year, I’m probably not going to be entering any competitions for Mother of the Year. And I can hardly wait for a few years from now when Monkey Man writes a poem for me on Mother’s Day, because I want to know how he’s going to work “rotten meat” into the poem. Maybe I should suggest haiku so that silly rhyming stuff won’t get in the way.

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