Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Because I am now an independent contractor working from home, I’ve had a brief stint as a stay-at-home mom these last two months since returning from Michigan. McDonald’s playland has become our second home.

Watching the other moms talk about their kids’ developmental milestones, what baby food they’re currently eating, and life with toddlers in general alienates me. I sit in the corner, wondering what happened to me, why I am not driven to talk about my children incessantly. A chubby blonde mom with, from what I can see, two children under the age of three, snaps a picture of her son on the sliding board, apparently sending it to her husband, who I assume is at work, busy providing for this little family.

Elise is currently surrounded entirely by boys, seven of them. As things get increasingly rowdy, one of the moms, a pretty, thirty-something with long, layered dirty blonde hair that's been set in hot rollers – obviously a former prom queen -- says,

“Steven, settle down around the little girl, okay,” and I’m mildly miffed. My girl can hang.

Just today I ran into Angie, a friend I went to high school with, and told her I feel sorry for Elise’s first boyfriend. She’s going to eat him alive. Angie said, “maybe her first ‘boyfriend’ will be a ‘girlfriend.’”

If this happens, I'm happy if Elise is happy. I’m proud of the fact that my girls can take care of themselves. They’re not delicate little misses. They’re funky, sassy and assertive. Elise is veritably fearless, giving our dogs commands like a champ and jumping around with the playland boys with ease. And Sophie has collected a multitude of insects, gets A’s in science and always has dirt under her nails, messy hair and skinned up knees. Either of my girls can be anything they want to be, and I’ve always told them that.

In a few days, we will leave for the U.P. again where I hope to put them both on a sled with their own small team of dogs.

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