So here I am, tapping away in an office every day, bringing in the money for rent and child care and lemon Snapples, and I’m feeling pretty good about it all. But there are those darker moments – we all have those darker moments – where the bus was late and bagel was burnt and that little flip to my hair that looked so flirty in my bathroom mirror looks a little bit stupid now. Oh, the future looks dim indeed.
But wait, a guaranteed pick-me-up is always at hand, in the form of my local online mother’s group. The group shares its name with a famous San Francisco landmark you can probably guess, but let’s call them the Pyramid Popsies or Alcatraz Escapees or whatever.
Now, I’ll admit, I was a little bemused by my Ann Arbor mother’s group. A nice bunch, but a little twitchy. Well, I’ve hit the big time now, because the maternal members of the Trolley Trilobytes have hit a new level of freakiness.
I find myself staring goggle-eyed at the posts on the Yahoo group site. One mother recently received a Pottery Barn cloth pumpkin bag as a gift, with a handle for trick-or-treating and the name "Jayden" embroidered on it. “Unfortunately,” she wrote, “this is not how my son’s name is spelled. If anyone knows a Jayden, I would be happy to mail it to you.”
First I tried to consider all the name’s alternate spellings (Jaiden, Jaeden, Jaydan, Jaeidyan …). Come on, I wanted to write. Your child is two. He can’t read. It’s a pumpkin and he can carry it and that’s all that matters. But then, maybe I can’t judge. Benny’s name on his birthday cake was “Bennie” and I didn’t care, and the sticker on his preschool cubbie says “Beny” and I still don’t care.
Meanwhile, another mother is becoming a bit hysterical about the state of her house. “My floors are being neglected. I am on the lookout for a cleaning lady who agrees to do only the floors,” she writes. This mother is willing to pay $15 an hour to the paragon who can “clean the floors so that they are good enough to eat off of, all the corners as well as the baseboards.” She thinks it would take 3 hours to do a “sparkling job” on a 1,500-square-foot house.
A third mother wants to know if anyone can recommend a great piano player for a dinner party she’s hosting Saturday night. Still another mother wonders if it’s okay to have permanent makeup tattooed to their face while breastfeeding. (I say fine, but put the baby down first.)
Finally, a mother’s 2-year-old is getting bossy and controlling, constantly telling the mom where to sit. If she moves, and he isn’t satisfied that it’s not just the right spot, he makes her move again. She wants to know what we think. “I want to be respectful of his need to control his environment,” she writes. I don’t think she wants to know what I think.
With such great material only a click away, how can I ever feel down? I laugh in the face of balky freelancers and crazy deadlines because I have my Bay Bridge Bananas group.