She’s a Superstar…

Molly Shannon on the red carpet as a 'Superstar!'

Mothers are notorious for telling their children they can be — or do — anything they want in life.  This is not, as I suspect some teenagers may believe, an attempt to blow sunshine up the dark orifices of an entire generation.  Rather, it is a mother’s keen understanding of the true possibility and potential of her offspring.  It’s our little way of saying, “Hey kid, make good choices and stay out of your own way, and you’ll go far in life.”  We’re trying to inspire confidence, for God’s sake.  You’re WELCOME. 

(Also, we happen to truly believe that you are fantastic. Gratitude can be expressed in your choice of especially thoughtful Mother’s Day gifts or by successfully completing adolescence without the need to be bailed out of anywhere.  Take your pick.)

While most of us fall into the category of “could have climbed a little higher on the life ladder if we’d only had a tad more nerve and the discipline to forego 10-20 fewer Saturday night keggers,” there are some people who come into this world as a force of nature.  There’s no doubt these little suckers are going somewhere…it’s just a semi-frightening matter of whether they choose to use their powers for good or evil. 

Case in point:

Independent third-party predictions for the manner in which Addison will bring the global masses to their collective knees have included President of the United States and cult leader.  These assessments were levied by people I consider to be fairly informed and reliable sources:  her preschool teacher and one of the Hub’s coworkers who is a confirmed hater of small people who are clearly immature and germ-infested. 

Suffice it to say, it was the former who predicted Addison will someday bust up on Barack in Chicago and snip, “Yeah, you were first. In your own little way. But the girls are in the house now, baby, and I am so gonna kick your legacy’s candy ass.”  As the only rooster on his own little chick farm, it’s my bet that he’ll find this at least mildly amusing.

Addison herself, is still in deliberation.  She announced this morning that she would like to be taken to Hollywood…the sooner the better.  I’d like to say that she added something especially funny like, “because I’m a superstar,” but the manner in which this request was delivered clearly denoted that part was implied.  While I”m sure I’d make a smokin’ hot stage mom, my response was to suggest that she wait a few years.  Like until she’s 18 and waited enough tables to come up with her first month’s rent.  Because I’m not footing the bill for super-stardom until she demonstrates a little initiative. Or at least a willingness to perform “Henry Pickle” on cue for family and friends in a manner that truly befits her level of talent and stage presence.  I think it’s important to be practical about these sort of things.

Anyway, given my general lack of cooperativeness, she has currently decided to settle for an as-yet-unplanned trip to Disney World, where she can get her princess on.  Royalty, I suppose, will have to suffice until she can round up the cash for bus fare to the Big Time. 

For my part, I’m glad to have a few more years to see how my tiny tornado takes on the world while still having the safety of our little family to retreat to after a tough day of directing teachers and classmates presumably less qualified for greatness.  I hope she finds a way to keep all her confidence and moxy intact to adulthood.  If she does, the world had better watch out.  The Force is strong with this one…


Chicken Dinner


Cluck, cluck...almost chicken dinner Photo credit: Microsoft Online

Most people love Wednesdays and Fridays.  OK, so maybe they merely like Wednesdays in the same way they liked the high school English teacher who wore jeans and regularly interjected words like ‘cool,’ ‘sweet,’ and ‘rad’ into his lectures.  Wednesdays are different.  It’s a day that stands for something.  Sandwiched between three other naggy little days that are constantly demanding productive achievement, Wednesday springs from its seat and proclaims, “You can DO it!”  It’s like carrot cake.  Better than marshmallow jello, banana pudding, and pumpkin pie, but still not quite your favorite. 

Friday, on the other hand, is like chocolate cake with just the right amount of icing.  (Hang tight people, I know you’re waiting for the poultry portion of the program, I’m getting there…)  Fridays are the sticky, ooey, gooey goodness that signify freedom.  So most people really love them.

However in my perverse little universe, Wednesdays and Fridays have lost a lot of their sparkle.  I imagine this is because I have designated those days as the ones in which I will immerse myself in Dante’s lesser known but no less terrifying, 10th Circle of Hell.  This Circle was struck from the final Inferno manuscript by hasty editors who were no doubt men left free to wield powerful pens without regard for the fairer and much-martyred sex.  It is entered weekly (or daily depending on your propensity for self-inflicted pain) by mothers everywhere with a brave heart and glowing stain stick.  It is known as Laundry Day.  Now don’t start gnashing your teeth and ripping hair from the roots.  You’re safe here on Tuesday.  I’m just trying to set the stage.

OK, so it was Friday.  The last one.  And while you all were gleefully adorning Facebook pages with ‘TGIF’ and ‘Ready for the weekend!!!!!’ updates, I was journeying into the depths of Hell.  (Not that I’m bitter.  I do it to myself.)  And as I’m strapping on my canteen of Tide and stuffing my pockets with Bounce, I hear child #1 chanting urgently from the family room:  “Chicken dinner!  Chicken dinner!  CHICKEN DINNER!”  This annoys me.  Not because it distracts me from the task at hand, but mostly because to me, ‘chicken dinner,’ is a menu request for a meal I am not yet ready to make.  It’s 1:30 PM, for God’s sake.  Who but a Genghis Kahn-in-the-making starts shouting dinner orders before I’ve even found time to toss the lunch plates in the trash?  Honestly.

On any other day — say Monday or Tuesday or Thursday —  I’d be grateful for the heads up.  Glad that some kind soul had removed the burden of decision making from my shoulders.  I’d rush to the kitchen, throw frozen breasts on the counter and start Googling, ‘Yummiest Yard Bird EVER.’  But today, the suggestion just irritates the 10th Circle of Hell right out of me and I stalk towards the family room fully prepared to deliver the “this is not a full service hotel and I am not your chief chef and chamber maid” mantra.  Take cover, kids, Mean Mama is emerging from the closet.

But as I enter the family room I realize  that I may in fact have to shove that witch right back into her dark little hole, because it becomes evident that the child is not, in fact, placing a dinner order.  Instead he is bouncing precariously on the corner of the leather ottoman, fully engaged in the PS2 game, Snow X Racer.  “Chicken dinner, baby.  Here comes your chicken dinner.  My name is what’s-his-name.  You kill my father.  Prepare to die.  Awwwwwwwww! !! Almost chicken dinner!”

Surveying the scene, my irritation fades and is replaced with mixed bag of amusement, nostalgia and sadness.  I feel this way because it is clear that my oldest child has strapped on his helmet and boarded the space shuttle set for Planet Adolescence.  I realize that in a few short years, I will have absolutely no idea what the hell this kid is talking about, and I will assume the blank stare of the old and out of touch.  When tweens and teens alike will look upon me with pity and mild disgust, certain that I don’t have even an ounce of wisdom to impart. 

‘Chicken Dinner’ has become Wednesday.  To my son, it means he is almost over the hump, on the precipice of seriously cool.  For me, it means we are halfway to the time when, assuming we do our job right, Griffin will venture out and away from our little family.  So it’s Wednesday at our house, even though the calendar says Friday.  I never was much for Wednesdays…

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