Every year, my husband asks me what I want to do for Mother’s Day. Usually, I grab Mother’s Day with both hands and I don’t let go: I stretch it out for a long whole weekend, turning it into a 3-4 day Bacchanalian affair.
This year when he asked me, I told him I wanted to go and sit in a cave. He laughed, but I was serious.
Not a creepy, damp cave; I want a sun-dappled, snug, warm and cozy cave at the ocean that is blissfully quiet. No one talking. Shhh…no words whatsoever. Silence. Just the sound of the waves crashing outside my delightful Mother’s Day Cave.
First, let me say: I love being a Mom. I love my kids. I love my life.
There. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get real.
Lately, my 5-year old has been telling me (and anyone else who will listen) that when she grows up, she wants to be a Monkey Butler. When she first told me this, I was pissed. Not because I don’t want her to be a Monkey Butler (whatever makes you happy, honey!) but because when I was pregnant with her, I wanted to name her Daisy but at the last minute, in a hormonal panic, I balked. I told my husband, “We can’t name her that! What if she wants to be Secretary of State? I don’t think you can be Secretary of State with a name like Daisy—it’s too cutesy and some nations might not take her seriously!”
Instead, I named my daughter something a little more United Nations-friendly and gave the heroine of the novel I just wrote the name Daisy. And now she tells me she wants to be a Monkey Butler? I totally could’ve named her Daisy if that’s all she’s going to be when she grows up!
Which brings me to what I want for Mother’s Day. I have a long, improbable list and since my novel hasn’t yet been sold in Hollywood for millions of dollars, there is a financial limit to what I can do since I’d have to hire someone to conquer my to-do list. It wouldn’t be fair to put it all on my beleaguered husband and I don’t have a magic wand, either. However, if I had a Monkey Butler who got paid in bananas…this list could actually get done.
So that’s what I’m asking for for Mother’s Day: a Monkey Butler.
I figure it’ll be good experience for my youngest: she can get expert training for her future career– I bet she won’t even need an internship after this! And I’d rather have a monkey over a maid or personal assistant, because they can talk and if there is one more person who starts talking in this household, I will run away to my Quiet Cave and never, ever come back.
Here’s a partial wish list of what I’d have my Monkey Butler do for me. Check back frequently as this list may grow.
1. Read through all the emails from my kids’ school that I have never read. A whole year’s worth of Backpack Mail. (What is Backpack Mail, even? Stop sending me things to read that I have to click on multiple times.)
2. Go through the year’s worth of grades on SchoolSpeak and click on them, marking them as “READ.” I was really good about doing this until about mid-September…and then I just gave up.
3. Clean out the kids’ home lockers. You may eat whatever you find, Monkey Butler: consider it a tip.
4. Clean out my car. Make sure there isn’t a family of raccoons living in the back. I’m scared of the back of the van and I never venture there or even look there. Be a dear and investigate for me, would you? Again: you find it, you eat it!
5. Go through the kids’ drawers and pull out all the clothes that no longer fit or are worn out. Divide them into give away/throw away piles. Rearrange and organize said drawers. Do the same for their closets. Drop off at Goodwill. Refill with clothes that fit. Do this for all four kids. Thanks!
6. Make a quilt for each child, out of their favorite t-shirts and team uniforms. I have been saving these shirts since they were born- each child has a bin full. I will never, ever get to that in this lifetime, but I will continue to feel inadequate until somehow it gets done. C’mon, Monkey Butler: put your opposable thumbs to good use and get quiltin’!
7. Sort through the 10,000 pictures in iPhoto. Make a memory book of photgraphs for every single family vacation we’ve been on. I’ve been meaning to do this for the past fourteen years, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Also, make a photo book for each child, one for each year of said child’s life.
8. Get enlarged prints of my favorite photographs; frame them in matching frames; hang artistically and tastefully around the house.
9. Make copies of photos for all the people that I’ve ever told I would “totally make a copy of this for you!” and get it into their hands.
10. Write all the thank you notes for this past year’s birthday parties. I used to be so good about thank you notes! I wrote them obsessively and punctually. Now, I have completely slacked off. Help me to once again be that person who never, ever forgets to write and send a thank you note, Monkey Butler!
11. Go through all the bins up in the attic. (I hate the attic, Monkey Butler. I always hit my head on the low rafters. Every single time. You are short and will not hit your head, Monkey Butler.) Go through all the old shoes, clothes, seasonal items and decorations and ORGANIZE IT ALL. (Also, get all the cobwebs out so I don’t freak out when I go up there.) We have a lot of baby clothes to give away: launder them, sort them, find me pregnant people who need them.
I also have some things I’d like that I’m not sure Monkey Butler can do, but I’m not sure who to ask?
For Mother’s Day, I’d also really like:
1. Leather pants. Black and brown, please. Nothing says “these are not Mom jeans!” like leather pants, right? Also, I want to go places where wearing leather pants is expected. (Probably not my kids’ basketball games or parent-teacher conferences.) I want to have so many occasions to wear my leather pants that I get annoyed when they’re at the dry cleaners BECAUSE THEN WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO WEAR?? GAWD!!
2. I want to open my underwear drawer one day and find it filled with perfectly fitting, non-scratchy, tags-off-and-already-laundered bras with matching underwear. I do not want to shop for any of these items. I do not want to try on any of these items. I just want them there, fitting perfectly, in my drawer. (I’m scared to Craigslist that one out, because I will probably only get fetishists responding to my posting.)
3. From now until all my children are grown and out of school, I want SPECIFICS whenever I get one of those damn lice letters sent home from the school principal. I want it to say, “There’s a girl in Miss Smith’s 5th grade class with lice; her brother in Mr. Parker’s 2nd grade class has it, too.” I NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW FREAKED OUT I NEED TO BE. Also, if the lice happens to be in the same class as one of my children, it automatically comes with a dose (or two, or three or four; depending on how many kids you have) of Xanax. And hey, Monkey Butler, this part is right up your alley! You can pick through their hair and eat whatever you may find.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mamas out there! May all your Monkey Butler and Mother’s Day Cave dreams come true!