Nothingness

By , September 26, 2007 10:14 pm

My second grade daughter came home from school the other day with her reading and writing homework. Part of the homework was to write three sentences about what she wants to do when she grows up…or if she doesn’t know what she personally wants to do, then what some other grownup that she knows does. Did the teacher REALLY CARE what she wrote about?? NO! Obviously, he just wanted to see three coherent sentences!!

Ah ha, but you must understand that my oldest daughter is a Drama Queen (DQ for short). And not just any kind of DQ, she is a Perfectionist DQ. She has inherited all my “best” traits.

According to family legend, this particular daughter has been sent down to curse me for the Oscar winning performance given by “moi” when I was probably about my daughter’s age and had just gotten my tonsils out. I put on quite the show of theatrics and emotion, refusing to eat or drink for days. Goodness, it was so great that even I remember it!

My one-child performance was finally brought to a grinding halt by my no-nonsense physician-father who threatened me with an IV if I didn’t start eating and drinking ASAP. And wouldn’t you know it, I was CURED. Immediately. Completely. Sore throat? What sore throat?

Anyhow, back to my daughter who is way worse than I ever was. By the way, I know that she really IS worse than me because this fact is unanimously agreed upon by all family members who were direct witnesses to my Oscar winning moment. So let’s return to her writing assignment.

She didn’t know what she wanted to be. (Sob, sob, sob) And she didn’t want to write about Daddy. (Sob sob, sob) Didn’t want to write about Auntie. (WAIL! WAIL! Sob, sob, sob) Didn’t want to write about Pop Pop. (Hand on the forehead, WAIL, WAIL, sob, sob, sob).

After a careful explanation about how her teacher was really not expecting a Pulitzer Prize-winning three sentence chef-d’oeuvre, I made the mistake of saying:

“Well, what about me? What do I do all day?”

My daughter stopped sobbing and looked at me with an expression that said that she was completely perplexed that I would ever ask such a question.

Her response:

“Nothing.”

Yes. I do NOTHING all day long. My 7 year-old daughter is finally on to me. I lie on the sofa and take naps. I take long, luxurious baths with expensive French bath salts. I drink very old Bordeaux while reclining in the sun on the back deck.

Yes. The laundry does itself. Groceries magically materialize in the fridge and the pantry. Meals make themselves. Beds make themselves. The pets feed themselves. The house tidies itself. The litter boxes scoop themselves. The car drives the children to and from school by itself. The garden weeds and waters itself. The bills pay themselves. Cat vomit magically flies off the carpet back into the cat. And of course the baby changes and disposes of her own dirty diapers (don’t all babies do that?).

Admittedly, none of what I do now is very exciting to a child, or to anyone for that matter. But I did have quite an adventurous life pre-momhood, and my daughter knows that! I had kind of thought she might want to write about having a Mom who can fly a plane for example.

But no. All that is forgotten. Mom is just the dreary boring old thing that drones on about picking up the toys and doing the homework. The automaton. The background noise. The “snow” on our no-channel TV. The Nothing.

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3 Responses to “Nothingness”

  1. Jenny says:

    Oh, goodness. Your daughter’s answer is every SAHM’s nightmare. Did you attempt to enlighten her, or were you reeling from the shock? Try and remember that she is only 7, and as you said, what we do isn’t very interesting (to a child). But, WE know that our jobs are very, very important. Maybe you or your husband could sit down with her and say, “Have you ever thought about Mom’s job? Just stop and think about everything she does!”. Take heart- I’m with you in spirit, and whether you daughter realizes it now or not, you’re doing a WONDERFUL job as a mother! :o)

  2. CelticMommy says:

    Wow! I didn’t know cat vomit could do that! And you must send your baby over to teach my baby to change himself and wash his diapers!

    Seriously though, it is only when we stop doing all the things we as SAHMommies do that they stop and notice. We make things run so smoothly and seamlessly that we often blend into the walls. I agree with Jenny about talking with your munchkins (all of them) about how the house is run… and maybe giving them some of the responsibility when you feel they are ready to contribute.

    “The Nothing” that’s funny ha-ha but funny- oooooh bad!
    ~Hettie

  3. amanda says:

    Oh, dear. From another mom who apparently does “nothing” all day, I had to laugh out loud at this post. I agree with Jenny, Dad to set her straight.

    p.s. you must be a really good SAHM if you manage to make it all look so effortless :D

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