Raising children is tough. It’s a pretty thankless job. Do my kids ever thank me for all the stuff I’ve done for them over the years? Heck no. I mean, I change their diapers, buy them food and clothes, lose hours of sleep while they cry all night, help them with their stupid school projects … it’s wasted YEARS of my life. But I’m not bitter.
The other day, my daughter Dorinda made a peanut butter sandwich for her brother Elmo and, good gravy, you would have thought Cuban revolutionaries had been through my kitchen. I mean, she didn’t put the lid back on the jar, she left the knife dirty, there was a big old smudge on the table … it was crazy. I said: “Hey Che Guevara, the next time your troops want a snack, tell ’em to wipe their boots off when they’re done!” I thought it was kind of clever, but they just ignored me. What a couple of spoiled little twerps.
My children’s names are Dorinda and Elmo. Ain’t that a hoot? Oh sure, my husband and I could have chosen something nice for our daughter like Jessica or Katherine, or something cool for our son like Clark or Steven, but that’s boring. We went through those baby name books until we found the ones that made us laugh the hardest. They’re definitely the only Dorinda and Elmo in their school. Probably in the whole state! Dorinda and Elmo. That just cracks me up. I’m a good mother.
My children are lucky. They really are. I bet they don’t know ANYONE that has a mother who writes a column describing every single embarrassing detail of their childhood, especially the ones that tick me off, and publishes it in a free weekly newspaper for all their classmates (and everyone in town) to read! And I use their REAL NAMES too! Why they aren’t the most popular kids in school, I’ll never know.
One time I was snooping around that pig trough my son calls his bedroom and under his mattress I found the Sears ads from the Sunday paper with the photos of ladies in their underwear, all carefully folded up. That night, when he was studying with the pretty little blonde-haired girl from down the block, I yelled: “Hey Willie Wanker! Why don’t you tell your girlfriend how much you enjoy reading the SUNDAY PAPER? Especially the SEARS ADS!” He turned seven shades of red and looked like he wanted to die. It was so cute! My husband and I laughed and laughed. I could scarcely wait to write about it.
Last month, Dorinda started her period. She tried to hide it from me, but nothing my kids do escapes mother’s all-seeing eye. She used up almost half a roll of toilet paper! I said: “Hey, Bleeding Betty! Now that you’re a woman, why don’t you get a job in the alley behind the pool hall so you can help pay for some of this?” I thought it was hysterical, but she just locked the door to her room and started crying. What a pampered little bitch.
Our family doctor and several members of the PTA have told me that giving my kids strange names and parading their childhood mishaps in a public forum such as my column may be damaging to their mental health and make them outcasts among their peers. And that using my idiot offspring as fodder for my mediocre writing smacks of self-absorption. I say: So what? What the hell do they know? I was never popular in school and my mother was a relentless harridan whom I despise to this day … and look at me! I turned out OK.
Next week: the funny stains on Elmo’s bed sheets and Dorinda’s poopy undies! Bye-bye!