Monday, August 22, 2005
School has started and all around me, the phenomenon of the Schizo Mom Syndrome has begun. Every afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. the mommies receive phone calls from their adorable offspring who have just arrived home from a hard day at school. Per instructions from their loving mom, they make the obligatory, "Hi, mom. I'm home," phone call.
The conversations that I can't help but overhear every afternoon start out all sugar and spice and everything oh so nice.
"Hey, sweetie. How was your day?"
Then, invariably, things take a sharp turn to the dark side.
"Now, sweetie, we spoke about that."
"No, mommie told you..."
"NO!! NO PIZZA!!! YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THE LAST TIME YOU COOKED!!!! YOU NEARLY BURNT DOWN THE DAMN HOUSE! WHO IS OVER THERE? DO I HEAR THAT HORRIBLE BOUDREAUX BOY?! YOU BETTER GET ALL THOSE KIDS OUT OF THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW AND......"
"He hung up on me. The little bastard hung up on me! I'm gonna kill him!"
There is no cure for Schizo Mom Syndrome. With every fiber of her being and with the naivete of Alice Through the Looking Glass, the Schizo Mom starts every phone call every afternoon with the false hope that this time, just this once, it will be different. On the rare occasions that the phone call does not end in a screaming match, the Schizo Mom is left wondering what catastrophe awaits when she gets home.
Those two short hours from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. are fraught with peril. My son called me religiously every afternoon as soon as he got home from school. I had a fairly quiet kid who was pretty laid back so I didn't suffer from Schizo Mom Syndrome. However, in those two hours, Cory once broke his arm so badly it required surgery and once got hit in the head with a golf club requiring three stitches.
The golf club story is actually kind of funny. Cory was twelve or thirteen at the time. I got home from work and was met at the door by one of Cory's friends. The first words out of the friend's mouth was, "Ms. Anderson, don't panic." Cory came around the corner from the bathroom with a bloody towel on his head. When he removed the towel, I could see skull. It turns out he got in the way of the other kid's back-swing while they were practicing in the back yard.
When he broke his arm, he calmly called me at the office, asked for "Laurie Anderson, please," and when I answered he said, "Mom, I think I broke my arm." When I got home, he was on the neighbor's front porch (he didn't want to go inside), pale as a ghost (as was his friend's mom) with his arm freakishly twisted practically completely backward. Ah, good times. Good times.
So, moms, this margarita's for you. Good luck. You're going to need it.