Saturday, April 4, 2009

Glamorous Life

Last night, I performed in Hollywood at the Improv Olympic West. This piece is sort of ragtag, pulled from many of my writings. The poem looking sections throughout were sung. Yes, I actually wrote lyrics and created a tune. So, for those of you who couldn't make the show, I present...


Come on. You can do it. Pppppp. That’s right. Lips together. Pppppp. Like you’re blowing a bubble. Ppppp. Papa. It’s that easy. You can do it smart boy. Papa. Just forget you shouldn’t be able to do plosives for thirteen months. That’s it! That’s it! Lips together.

"Mama."

What? No, you couldn’t have... What?

***

Our oldest, Sebastian, uttered his first word at twelve months. It was Cosmo. Cosmo is our overly needy husky. He was named after the libation, and takes medication for separation anxiety. Sebastian's second word was Dada. And shortly after that, Mama.

Michael and I always knew we were going to adopt. But we didn’t fully examine the care taking end of it. I think we both assumed the other would be the primary. Consequently, I never saw myself as stay-at-home anything. Being mommy was never part of my programming. I was supposed to tolerate my kids, humiliate them on the tennis court, and teach them make me the perfect scotch and soda. So, this bathing and changing and feeding and cooing over every single moment of every single day...is not a natural fit.

***
The sun is barely up,
The baby cries awake.
This day is like any other.
Breakfast ends up on the floor.
We’re late out the door.
I’m a discontented mother.

I got two kids
Who demand my time.
Well, three if you count my hubby.
My career is stuck,
Priorities suck,
I’m losing hair and getting chubby.

Welcome to my glamorous life,
I’m a doormat, referee and wife.
And sometimes I want to pick up a knife,
And carve out some time for me.

***

Okay. Let’s try it again. Papa.

"Mama."

Papa.

"Mama."

Come on, you don’t want me to have a complex, do you? I'm the one who gets up in the middle of the night. I make your baby food using organic vegetables. I am the center of your whole world. So, it would be nice...not that I’m pushing...but it would be really nice if you would just ppppppp Papa. No. Okay. I’m strong. So what if you call me mama.

"Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. MAAAAA MAAAAA!"

***


Last spring, my stepmother sent me a tropical plant. Attached to a chunk of hardened lava was a small anthurium. You know, glossy red flower with a protrusion sticking out of it. Well, about a month after receiving it I noticed a second flower. I said to my two year old daughter, "Look, a baby." And that statement has changed Maxie's thinking in a profound way. Immediately, she wanted touch the baby. I was wary. Her two year old grasp can crack walnuts. I insisted on aquarium rules. At the Long Beach Aquarium, you can "pet" zebra sharks only if you use the flight-attendant-nearest-exit technique. Maxie agreed. After lunch, she would gently caress Baby. It became part of our routine.

Soon, other objects became Baby as well. A doll's shoe, Baby. Small rubber ball, also Baby. Then there was Baby rock. Baby toe nail. Baby tomato. Baby poo poo. Baby snot. Anything, really. As long as larger something was accompanied by smaller something, invariably smaller something would be Baby.

One day, Maxie was lovingly petting Baby anthurium and her focus changed. She began to pet the larger of the two flowers. She looked at me with a triumphant smile and said, "Mommy." Her tapping grew more urgent. "Mommy," she said again, flower flopping back and forth. "Mommy." Excitement taking over. "Mommy, mommy, mommy."

I quickly took the plant away before it was traumatized with love. As I placed it back on the windowsill, I whispered to the tall flower, "Mommy with a penis."

During my tenure as mommy, I have become aware that mommies are amazingly underappreciated by society. And I have a theory. We may be the CEOs of the hearth, but because we do not draw a salary, we are lower on the totem pole than the toilet scrubber at Denny’s.

I’ll prove it. Typical exchange. "What do you do?" "I’m a stay-at-home parent." "Oh... Well... Good for you. What else do you do?"

What else do I do? I’ll tell you what I do. The six C’s is what I do. That’s right. The six C’s. I cook. I clean. I carpool. I provide care and comfort. And when all of that is done, I cocktail. Heavily.

***
I had my dreams.
I studied hard
To become a classical actor.
Try not to laugh.
But I’m not Falstaff
I’m a Pampers benefactor.

What I must do
To keep my cool
Is lower expectations.
A life with dirt.
Poop on my shirt.
No X-rated vacations.

Welcome to my glamorous life.
I mean, of course, my crisis mid-life.
Cause sometimes I want to pick up a rifle
And blast out some time for me.

***

I want a room. A cozy room. With a door that can lock. Beautifully furnished. Muted tones. A room that isn’t marred with sticky hand prints or smashed Fruit Loops. Where I can curl up on the plush couch with a chenille lap robe. Fire crackling in the fireplace. A room to luxuriate in, like the one Carol Lawrence did in those commercials for International Coffees. Remember those? "Mmmm. You can taste the cinnamon."

Dinner put away. Dishes washed. Kids tucked safely into their beds. Husband off making millions. Because isn’t that the commercial’s subtext? Isn’t that the promise? Isn’t that why Carol Lawrence feels secure sipping flavored coffee in the middle of the night?

Do I have that? No. I bought the coffee, but I don’t have the room. You lied to me Carol Lawrence. There is no lap robe. There is no crackling fire. There is no leisure. I am not celebrating the moments of my life!

***

It’s dirty diaper, be a butt wiper,
Don’t yell. Share with your sister.
Put your toys away. Three squares a day.
Stop rubbing. You’ll get a blister.

It’s time for school. Homework. Carpool.
Eat your green beans. Make your bed.
Put down the phone. Don’t use that tone.
And get up off your sister’s head.

NOW!

If I had the time,
Tell you what I’d do,
I’d learn Italian and...do some drugs.
Crystal meth sounds nice,
Horse, crank or ice.
I’d interact with junkies and thugs.

Or better yet,
I’d go out on the town,
And go down on lots of men.
In the backseat of a car,
Bathroom stall, seedy bar.
Or maybe I’d try a woman again!

Thank God for my fantasy life.
It sustains me in times of mental strife.
Cause otherwise I’d pick up a...fife.

That’s right. The woodwind.
Like the Pied Piper plays.
So I can mobilize an army of attack rats
With razor sharp claws,
Who will do my evil bidding.
Sort of like in Willard,

Except they will not turn on me in the end.

...Yes, I’d pick up a fife.
And trill out some time,
Chirp out some time,
Flute out and lute out and toot out
A frickin’ little bit of time...

"Call me Papa, dammit!"

...for me.

10 comments:

Out-Numbered said...

Oh my! Please tell me you'll play NYC city soon. We need to have a drink! Cheers on a great and original post. I likey.

Adele DaMate said...

You, sir, are highly gifted!

Deborah said...

I second the NYC nomination!

We're all the same when we're doing the Cs at home except that I'm not losing my hair...yet.

Call me crazy (I've been called worse), but I think think you're getting some pretty good material from this stay-at-home gig.

Josephine Helen said...

WOW great post, i love you Mommy With A Penis!
xxxxx

ciara said...

haha i laughed all during this post. my hubs asked me what was funny. :) i really enjoy your blog :)

Bella Daddy said...

Once again, you write my life...as I am certian, so many others. If ever in need (or just plain want) a comedic partner...all you hafta do is ask...we could tear em all up LOL

Kudos!

djt said...

Great stuff. Keep writing Hutch! I think you've got the makings of a great book.

Venom said...

My favourite word as a frazzled, young mother was NAPTIME!

Seriously though MommyP, the days where you are their entire world and they are yours pass all too soon. It's the closest to being a super-hero that you ever get to in real life.

I would trade a lot of reaching into my wallet, car shopping for her, watching him leave home for good, etc.etc-times for just one more hour with that 3 year old strawberry blonde boy and my sweet-smelling newborn baby girl...

LLnL said...

Bravo! I'd love to see that. Please consider a YouTube snippet of the actual performance.

"I want a room. A cozy room. With a door that can lock. Beautifully furnished. Muted tones. A room that isn’t marred with sticky hand prints or smashed Fruit Loops."

I catch myself daydreaming this exactly, until recently it is now a separate guest house with a kitchenet so that I could go away for 10 hours a day. That's with me never having babies. We only have one kid to care for. From 14-17 now she will be going to college soon. I feel like I will be going out of my mind anyday now, some much more fun with two little ones and a career to manage.

LegalMist said...

Awesome post. You really captured it well!

I found your blog through Vodka Mom, and I absolutely love it!