Friday, May 12, 2017

Excerpts from the Award Winning Book -- The MoMmY-Go-RoUnD!

The following are 3 excerpts from chapters of The Mommy-Go-Round:
Excerpt from Chapter 7: 8:00 p.m. "Mom, I have a test tomorrow."

Who knew that this would someday be a phrase that would strike terror in my heart? What's even more incredible is how making that statement somehow brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the child's heart... It’s like a transference of the responsibility for passing the test. Despite my many pleas over the years that we spread test preparation over at least two nights, my children seem to delight in an incredible sense of freedom (and forgetfulness) that first night and the prospect of jamming the studying of 25 pages of history, science, whatever into one teeny tiny evening...More interestingly is that somehow my children have gotten the crazy idea that if MOM memorizes the materials, they are guarantied an A+! No problem!! They must have this vision of me sitting in the desk beside them filling out the test and passing it over to them to put their name on. We’re a team, we’re family, she’s my Mom…Let me assure you, we’re close but NOT that close.

Did I torture my parents in this same way? I shudder to think. Of course, I can’t take full responsibility for this behavior. Having had the pleasure of reading my husband’s report cards when we first married (at which point his family must have believed it safe to bring them out of hiding…), my years of report cards reflecting the comment “too talkative” seem mild in comparison. As one teacher summed him up…if Steve required an effort to breathe, he would cease. Sounds to me like he enjoyed that same incredible sense of freedom which our kids now love, throughout the entire school year.

Now admittedly by having school age children, I have had the opportunity to re-learn all the things I blew off the first time around. And enjoy it too! Trust me, there is nothing more annoying to a child cramming for a test then to say things like… “Isn’t this interesting” or “I love history, don’t you?” All’s fair in love and tests. They come to me with open books and blank expressions on their faces. My feelings are that if they’re going to act like they never heard the test material before and put the burden on me to re-teach two weeks worth of lessons in one hour, then I reserve the right to be annoyingly cheerful and completely absorbed in the subject matter!

Excerpt from Chapter 13: The Pet Wars

I have continually been under parental pet siege by my youngest child, my animal lover, approximately since his birth! It doesn't matter how many fish, rabbits or whether another family member's cat is staying with us, it seemed it was never enough. This time, shortly after the passing of our one beloved rabbit and the move of an uncle with his cats from our home, Nathan assumed command of yet another attack, call it an act of war. Oh but he was good. He started with a whole new angle, not known or previously tried by any member of this family. A "Mother of the Year" contest with the winner the recipient of a trip to the SPA!! Lures and reward never before dangled in front of this mother --- and seemingly so innocent, no strings attached, not yet at least...

He and his sister were hard at work, willingly, singing the praises of my "motherhood." They carefully listed each of my "wondrous traits" in an effort to convey to these judges
-- just how perfect a Mom I was -- to win that just reward-- a relaxing day at the SPA!! I, ever naive, had nearly take the bait, when the trap was snapped --

"And after you win the contest Mommy (may as well make that Mommy Dearest), you'll be so well rested from your day at the SPA that maybe you'll be up to taking on the added responsibility for a new pet, a dog!!!"

My moment of basking in their love --- shattered at the mere implications
that my actually winning brought, regardless of how remote a possibility!! --A punishment far worse than any one mother could imagine -- a price so high for one measly day at a spa--- you've got it -- 10 to 15 years hard labor --- given full charge of yet another "child," a newly acquired family pet! Why not just take a knife to me and...

It suddenly became a bit harder to smile happily pretending to believe that we would all live happily after, right after I won the contest, that is. --- The kids, their Dad, a dog? And me. The important thing is that 15 years down the road, after countless vet visits, thousands of dollars invested in pet food and supplies, lost sleep to dog walks, etc., I can always remember that I looked nice the day I went to the Spa! Lucky me...Wouldn't it have been easier to just treat myself to a day at the spa and skip the hard labor. Needless to say I dodged the bullet that day, never won the day at the spa but that alone was not to enough--- and sooner or later, destiny would have the last laugh.

Excerpt from Chapter 18: Christmas in July

Being a parent has truly taught me the meaning of the expression, “Christmas in July.” It is the time of year that some children, especially mine, begin to write their Christmas lists…oh and one other thing…they begin to whine about how far off Christmas actually is!!

I’m fairly certain that when the summer gets a little boring, and a bit too hot, there’s summer reading out there that outlines the rules that children follow when making a COOL Christmas List. The first rule is to make the list I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-Y LONG! In fact, my daughter likes to make it long enough so that she can be truly despondent that she will NEVER EVER TRULY GET WHAT SHE WANTS (this year that is…) In fact, to hear it from them, they never do get what they REALLY want. (Forget the fact that a mere six months ago, they received the majority of another rather endless list of overpriced items, most of which are now cluttering up my living room, bedrooms, and playroom areas.)

Anyway, it was a hot July evening when my daughter decided to “Cool off” by writing this year’s Christmas list. She completed the list then proceeded to begin the sales pitch by gently “walking me” through her winter wonderland wish list. Not being of the Christmas giving spirit myself that Christmas List Eve, I did my best rendition of Scrooge. This response caused the list to be abandoned on my kitchen island with her modifying title, new and in my opinion, improved, as “The Never Christmas List.”

Christmas Confessions…

Now I ask you, where would my child get this rather annoying, yet comical
habit from? There can be only one answer… The Parental Curse… Used only as a last resort, and I’m sure when my own parents reached their breaking point from what else but...MY CHRISTMAS LIST!!!!

Yes, I confess. I did it. Mine was no ordinary Christmas list…My brothers were witness to this. My list was in fact almost the entire Sears Wish book with basically everything under the sun circled as a “MUST HAVE!” In an “honest” effort to save my parents some money, I skipped a few boy items here and there. In retrospect, I should have crossed off the few things I didn’t want rather than waste all that time circling things!!

Anyway, can I help it if my begging, pleading and dare I admit it?? My WHINING was much more “effective” than my brothers trying to kill each other throughout the rest of the year? Looking back, I’m now sure that my whining was the clincher that drove my poor parents to the ultimate punishment I’m still paying for….the dreaded Parental Curse cast upon their beloved daughter during a brief moment of parental insanity!! By the time I was done with poor Mom and Dad, they were probably in a state of (sticker) shock and asking that age old Jimmy Stewart question spoken in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Why do we have to have all these kids anyway???”

And so it came to pass. I deserved and became a victim of Parental revenge. A
simple curse that could escalate my children’s innocent act of making a “simple, little Christmas list” into a Whine Fest complete with written documentation… This incredibly powerful Parental Curse designed to punish me for years on end. And me asking the same question my parents most likely asked years before... Whatever became of those “visions of sugarplums” dancing ONLY in the heads of sleeping children!! What is it that then compels the darlings to put the visions down on paper, in list format no less? I think the answer will come out when my children write their rebuttal to this book due out in paperback in the year 2025…

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