So then…I say sweetly into the phone, “Of course, no problem, Ashley — I completely understand.”
I hang up and scowl at the phone. (No, I do not understand, Ashley. How could you forget you have a Chem test tomorrow? Didn’t you know this when you agreed to babysit tonight? And where are your priorities anyway, Ashley? What’s more important – your academic career – or me getting my drink on with the Book Club girls? Sigh. I swear – the youth of today.)
I call out to Chloe, age 9, in the other room. “Honey, Ashley can’t babysit so I’ll skip Book Club tonight.”
She pokes her head around the corner and says, “But you like Book Club.”
She’s right – I do. I think many of us enjoy a night out with the gals for some laughs.
My older sister had a Stitch & Bitch group that got together to crochet and gossip. My younger sister belongs to a Bunco group that gathers to play cards and enjoy a
few boatload of cocktails.
(The other day my hair stylist told me her customer attends a Switch & Bitch group. “What the hell is that?” I asked. She said, “It’s when women get together and switch their accessories, purses, and clothes rather than buy new things.” I said, “Oh when you said ‘switch,’ I thought you meant ‘swap’ — like a wife-swapping club! But I guess that’d be Switch THE Bitch.”)
Anyway, I tell Chloe that I don’t want to leave her home alone while I go to our neighborhood clubhouse for the Book Club meeting.
“I’ll just come with you!” she says.
“Noooo,” I say, “It’s just for adults.”
“Oh, we talk about…um…lady things.”
“But I’m a lady too!” she says.
“Yes, but a 9-year-old lady,” I reply. “Besides, you haven’t had dinner yet. Ashley was going to give you dinner and now there’s no time before the meeting.”
“Come on, Mom, I’ll just grab something to eat – and I can read my own book on the other side of the room. You won’t even know I’m there.” She smiles brightly.
So we run around the house, grab our stuff, and drive up to the clubhouse. I figure it won’t be so bad if she eats a snack now, then I can feed her something more substantial when we get home.
I set her up at a chair and table on the other side of the big main room in our clubhouse, right in my eyesight.
The ladies and I gather with our refreshments at the couches and chairs at the other end, just out of earshot. One of the members brought sodas and wine; another brought a cheese tray and cupcakes.
Just as we start discussing the book, I hear a “pop-hissssss.” I look over to Chloe who is sitting there reading Harry Potter – while eating cold corn — OUT OF A CAN.
I repeat — eating cold corn — OUT OF A CAN.
With a spoon.
Happy as a clam.
So she didn’t grab an energy bar, or a small bag of chips, or even an apple.
She grabbed a can of corn with the pop top – and a spoon – and dug in.
She looks like a little hobo on a Depression-era train.
And for some reason, it freaks me out.
I don’t USUALLY worry about what other people will think – but NOW all I CAN think about is “What will the other Book Club ladies think when they see my daughter eating COLD corn out of a can? Am I the worst mother ever? Making my daughter come with me, just so I can enjoy some social interaction – and making her eat cold canned goods because I can’t even fix a proper meal for her?”
So I do what every other sane mother would do. I call out to her and say, “Chloe! Put down that cold corn and come over here and have a cupcake!”
— Darcy Perdu
Please pop your email address into the Purple Box below so you can receive my new funny posts twice a week!
(Do your kids have an unnatural affinity for vegetables? As a preschooler, Chloe told me she loves broccoli so much she wants to marry it. What snack would your kid have grabbed? Would you have been embarrassed if your kid was chowin’ down on cold canned corn – or am I just weird that way? Do you belong to any fun women’s groups, book clubs, or swappin’ and switchin’ groups?)