July 02, 2009

Your Assignment, Should You Choose to Accept - 7/02/09

It's time again to participate in MamaKat's Writer's Workshop. This week's prompts:

1.) Mother's guilt...tell us what happened.
(inspired by Lolli)

2.) Write five "Incredibly Short Books". Some examples:

"Chemical Contraception Choices for Catholic Couples"
"Teenage U.S. Presidents"
"The Book of Female Popes"
"The 2008 Book of General Motors Profits"

Dan says, "The point is that the book is of zero size since the title is a contradiction with reality."
(inspired by Dan)

3.) I'll be happy when ________________.
(inspired by Tracy P.)

4.) Relay an interesting conversation you recently had with someone that may or may not involve creating a Loch Ness Monster Theme Park.
(inspired by Jen)

5.) Show us something you made!
(inspired by Janis)

I think I'll tackle #1, #2 and #3 this week.

1. Mother's guilt...tell us what happened.

Truth be told, Guilt should have been my middle name. I've already apologized for slavery and the Holocaust - I'm sure it's my fault somehow.

I know if I sat and thought more than five minutes about this, I could come up with mother guilt stories for all three of my offspring. I think I'll focus this time on Shannon, my oldest child.

Shannon was a bit of a hypochondriac. She rarely got sick (that was her sister's specialty). Shannon regularly conned me as well as teachers and school nurses to score days out of the classroom. Dealing with school nurses is tricky - if I, as mom, am hesitant to pick up the "sick" con artist child, the nurse starts thinking I am a BAD MOM. See, already motivated by guilt! So, I'd leave work (numerous times) to pick up a kid who made a miraculous recovery once we got in the door at home.

One time, she "hurt" her knee in school, and I drove her to the family doctor. The doctor even resorted to measuring both knees with a tape measure to see if the "injured" one was a tiny milimeter swollen...it was not. Another afternoon lost at work. Another co-pay.

Shannon was a senior in high school, and complained that she was sick, and didn't want to go to school. (This was the sick day that broke the mama's back, so to speak).
I was having none of it. I yelled. I whined. I drove her to school and told her to get out of the car. She refused, she was SICK. I told her to take the $20 I offered and get herself a cab and go to the ER. I needed to go to work - someone had to earn money in this family. (BAD MOM moment).

She was 17, and I knew that if she did take up the cab offer, the ER would be calling me at work - they wouldn't treat a minor. And they'd think I was a BAD MOM. So I called work, said I'd be late, and drove her to the ER.

She went into the Triage area, and was promptly given a bed. And an IV. Tests were ordered.
Oh my God, she WAS sick! A GOOD MOM would have known this. She had mono, and missed an entire month of school (she wouldn't have graduated if I hadn't gone to the school several times a week to pick up and drop off homework). Do I get Good Mom points for that?

I'd even come home at lunch to check on her. Most of the time, she was sleeping. She slept A LOT. And every day, until she recovered, I felt tremendous Mother Guilt. I was a BAD MOM.
I feel guilty right now, thinking about it. And I'll feel guilty again when she reads this post...I'm doomed.

2. Write five "Incredibly Short Books". I'm disobedient. I wrote 7.
  1. "Remain a Virgin After Having Great Sex"
  2. "The House that Won't Get Messy"
  3. "Forbes Magazine Salutes the Poverty-Stricken"
  4. "Military Intelligence: The True Story"
  5. "Celebrating Temporary Income Taxes"
  6. "Televangelists Embrace the Vow of Poverty"
  7. And one from The Mister, "Women Who Never Nag"
3. I'll be happy when ________________.

I'm cheating on this one. I'm already happy. Despite the challenges with the economy and the occasional difficulties with The Boy that we face in the Cleaver household, life is really good. Excellent, actually.

But I'll be EXTREMELY happy (and proud) when my daughter Erin marries Daryl in August, and we'll be there to celebrate. I'll get to see and hug and generally annoy my three children, and hug the stuffing out of my two grandchildren. I've missed them. We'll hang out, take cheesy pictures, and come home, much too soon.

But I have a side job to do while I'm there - my first husband and my current husband share the same first name. I plan on yelling out the name, just once...and see if both of them turn their heads. I giggle a little every time I think about it. Sick, I know...but in that fun kinda way.


  1. I really love your short book list, great stuff indeed!!!!!

  2. I love the titles you came up with! Very original and very true :) That's something about your daughter; I'm glad she got treated. When my younger sister had it she complained but didn't require medical attention, so who knows. I guess that's how mono works. I hope you and your family enjoy the wedding!!

  3. great post i enjoyed reading it have a great day

  4. Isn't that funny how they all make miraculous recoveries when they get home?

    Great book titles.

  5. I like the guilt story. I had a similar experience with my mother when I was a senior in high school. I had been complaining about severe pain in my legs for years (about 13 years) and finally I demanded a bone scan of my legs (which my doctors and parents were sure I didn't need).
    The bone scan, sure enough, came back with full break hairline fractures in both of my legs.

  6. I am totally loving your book list! This was such a great prompt!

    And the guilt thing ... I'm sure you felt guilty but you have "the Girl Who Cried Sick." Who could blame you?

  7. You have better mom guilt stories than that. lol

  8. Can you take video when you shout out the name at the wedding?

    As far as your daughter being sick...you know the story of the boy who cried wolf. Just happened in real life. Poor thing had to learn her lesson the really hard way!

  9. I love the book titles! Very funny.

  10. The real question is what are you going to do if both the ex and the current ignore you completely when you yell out the common first name? After all, guys have selective hearing.

  11. You are not a bad mom, but I'm sure you know that already. You are however, very funny. I love "Military Intelligence: The True Story".

  12. My daughter does the same thing with being "sick" drives me friggin nuts! Luckily the school will only call if she has a fever or throwing up pretty much. Or if she is coughing a lot or something then her teacher might call. But most days I pick her up from school and hear her tell me she was in the nurse's office for "sore throat" "headache" or whatever. One morning she told me she had a stomach ache and I told her she would be fine after her breakfast. On our way to school she threw up all over herself. Good times.

  13. Great entry. Enjoyed your book titles. 6 is my fav and my hubby would co-author 7. Congrats on your daughter's wedding to be. So exciting! Have a wonderful day and take care.

  14. Thanks for checking out my other blog. It gets lonely sometimes and appreciates comment love. I agree with your comment. I will tune into CNN or Fox and the news is about who Jennifer Aniston is dating and where Gov. Arnold ate for lunch. All my entertainment new channels and websites are reporting on nothing but Michael. I understand their need to shove breaking news about all this down our throats, but I am missing video of celebs avoiding the paps, or Denise Richards out shopping in Malibu with the girls. Take care.

  15. I swear you could go on the road with a comedy routine! Great stuff...especially the books. Have a great 4th.


  16. Hilarious plan for your daughter's wedding! Good, clean fun. ;-)

  17. LOVED your short books! I wish I had thought of some!

  18. Titles are AWESOME!!! Loved them all!!



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