The best thing I’ve done in my life was become a mom. The second best thing was getting up on stage and performing stand-up comedy. I took 6 years off to stay home with my boys, but this year I got back out there and it felt great! Here is my material from the Pacific Northwest Women’s Comedy Festival:
I am Jennifer and I am a stay-at-home mom.
What? Oh, what’s that? What’s a stay-at-home mom do all day? Oh, thank you for asking! Hmm…
Well as a mom I am supposed to…
- Feed children, bathe children, dress children—preferably in clothes that have not been used as a bed by the family dog.
- Apply band-aids, kiss boo-boos, and rescue plastic action figures from un-flushed toilets.
- Wash clothes, wipe bottoms, wipe noses, and wipe away any memory of ever having had a life.
- Host play dates, referee Lego wars and rescue Lego casualties from a well used litter box.
- Shower them with love and affection, encourage creativity, and Google “How to remove permanent marker from skin.”
- Schedule Dr.s appointments and parent-teacher conferences and pretend to look intelligent, engaged and nurturing at both while my kid eats his own boogers.
- Fix the broken bunk bed with duct tape, a hammer and 4 Lincoln Logs nobody’s going to miss.
- Laugh at their endless knock-knock jokes that make no sense whatsoever while swerving across six lanes of traffic so we’re not late for “Tiny Tots” at the library.
- Repeat intelligent, engaging and nurturing behavior as all 17 tiny tots sing ba ba black sheep while picking their noses.
I did all of these things today. And tomorrow I’ll do it all again, until nap time, when I plan to re-roof the house using the 7000 mismatched plastic lids in my Tupperware drawer.
That’s pretty much my work day. I don’t get a lunch break and my co-workers follow me into the bathroom and watch me pee. I think it’s time to unionize. Either that or I need a sister-wife. I’ve seen the reality show “Sister Wives” about a real polygamist family and those 4 women are smart. They are sharing one husband not because every man needs 4 women to take care of him. No. They are sharing one husband because most women really only need about 1/4 of a man and we are just fine. For me, marriage has turned out to be a much better bargain for my husband than for me. So I’m weighing my options.
My grandparents had the marriage I aspire to. My grandpa would embarrass us by constantly pointing out what a looker our grandma was and sneaking up behind her to pinch her rear. He also vacuumed his head every morning to catch all the loose hairs so that they wouldn’t drift onto my grandma’s frighteningly clean floors. That’s love!
Grandpa is gone now but, at 92, Grandma still looks great. She’s a character too. Of course, by character I really mean crazy racist. The last time I was at her house she dragged me over to the window to see the color her neighbors had just painted their house. “What do you think of that color, Jenny?” “Um, it’s kinda purple.” “I know! And can you believe they are white? With that color you’d think it was black folks living there, wouldn’t you?” “Uh no, not so much Grandma. Barney the big purple dinosaur maybe; but black people, no.”
When I was 7 or 8 we were at a coffee shop having breakfast. Out of the blue she held up a sugar packet and said, “You know Jenny, the Jews, they steal these.”
Now, I was a hippie kid from Eugene whose lesbian mom read me “Feminism for First Graders” at bedtime. This was a very confusing piece of information for me. I assumed Grandma was talking about some form of social injustice that prevented Jewish people from buying sugar like everyone else, thus forcing them to steal what they needed from restaurants. I wondered how far this thing went? Were Hindus allowed to buy Miracle Whip? My friend Rita was a Seik and I had never seen a bag of potato chips in her house. Coincidence? You tell me.
Maybe those summers with my Grandma explain my unwillingness to be pigeon-holed as one kind of person or another. I’m a long time Hippie Fair kid but I buy my clothes at the Gap. I listen to NPR in the morning and watch Access Hollywood at night. I shave my legs, but not my armpits. You get the idea. My husband calls me an enigma. If I were a better hippie I’d probably change my name to Enigma.
The thing is, once you are a mom you have to find ways to relate to all kinds of people. Otherwise your kids will never be invited to play dates and birthday parties. By far the two hardest groups to gain social acceptance with, in my hometown anyway, are the folks I like to call the Ubers. They are the uber-Christians and the uber-Hippies. I realize that these two groups appear very similar to the untrained eye, but there are some big differences.
The uber-Christians drive big vans that carry their big families. The uber-Hippies ride big extra-cycles with Burley trailers on the back, to carry their 3 kids, 2 dogs and 4 chickens. The uber-Christians hang those “decorative flags”–the ones with a bunny peeking out from behind a rainbow– on their front porches for every holiday from Easter to Valentines day. The uber-Hippies have had the same Tibetan prayer flags hanging from their front porches since 1997. Uber-Christian kids wear clothes their moms made and end up looking like extras from The Little House on the Prairie show. Uber-Hippie kids wear clothes their moms made and end up looking like extras from the Muppet Show. Uber-Christian stay-at-home-moms make elaborate scrapbooks and tend to the children. Uber-Hippie stay-at-home-moms make elaborate stir-fries and tend the “herb garden.”
Me, I’m just uber-exhausted. So anyone who has less dog hair on their couch than I do and invites us over is a friend to me.
© Jennifer Sparklebritches and Poop In My Hair, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Poop In My Hair with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.