Something weird happens as soon as we walk in the house. All three of the girls instantly start fighting. It’s pure evil. You can actually feel the tension building for the last half block before we reach our front door. The bickering starts about three doors away, and everyday I hear the same words leave my mouth.” Leave the attitude at the door ladies.” Yeah right.
We enter the fiery gates of Hell. The pungent aroma of Chloe’s collection of stray tomcats hangs heavily in the air. The piercing cries of banshees echo from one end of the house to the other. The doors on the cupboards and refrigerator start flapping wildly. Bedrooms instantly implode, books fly off their shelves, backpacks scatter, clothes are strewn and dangling from each and every piece of furniture and the floor disappears entirely. One day, when I have the money, I’m going to hire an effects specialist to arrange buckets of dry ice throughout the apartment, at the precise moment that we enter. This is, of course, if I have any money left after I’ve paid the maid, sushi chef, personal trainer, masseur and six Israeli pool boys.
I won’t pretend that I ever manage to assemble any form of sanity; things get progressively more and more chaotic by the minute. We get home at 4:00pm and typically by 5:00, I’ve broken up about six fights, attempted to reassemble and/or crazy glue somebody’s favorite something that “She broke on purpose”, wrestled the cat out of twelve headlocks, turned the T.V. back off repeatedly, and cried the words: “NO, Stop it, chill out, give it back to her, where are going with that knife? you have a count of three, because it’s a school night,” and “If you don’t like it here go live with your dad,” more times than I can count.
It’s usually in the midst of all this sort of insanity, that the telephone starts ringing.
”Jen? It’s Jen”
” Is it okay to feed your child canned spaghetti for supper if it’s served with salad?”
”The answer is no if I’m on the phone!”
“Sorry, what? Spaghet… oh yes definitely, in fact I’m sure it’s on the North American chart of the four basic food groups.
“It is isn’t it, I thought so but I wasn’t sure. Can I call lettuce and a slice of cucumber salad?”
”Where did that dog come from? Sorry Jen hang on… I don’t care if he is hungry, get him out of my house!”
“You have a dog?”
”No, Lettuce and cucumber is totally salad, anything green is salad, don’t let anyone tell you any different.”
“I feel like such a bad mother, but I’m just to tired too think right now let alone cook.”
”Are you bleeding?”
”Are you on fire?”
”… Then leave me alone!”
”You are an awesome mom Jen don’t be ridiculous, you’re tired, that’s all. A little MSG and sugar in a can won’t hurt him once in a while.”
”What are your kids eating tonight?”
I peer down into a bowl of macaroni noodles, mixed with mayonnaise and canned tuna fish. I toss in a handful of frozen peas.
“Pasta and Salad”.