Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No More Oatmeal Kisses



No More Oatmeal Kisses

by Erma Bombeck


A young mother writes: "I know you've written before about the empty-nest syndrome -- that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you.''


Okay. One of these days you'll explode and shout to the kids, "Why don't you grow up and act your age?"


......and they will.


Or, "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do. And don't slam the door!"


......and they don't.


You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy -- bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way.''


.......and it will.


You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company.''


.....and you'll eat it alone.


You'll say: "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do your hear?''


.....and you'll have it.



No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.


No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms.


No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps.


No more clothespins under the sofa.


No more playpens to arrange a room around.


No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent.


No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathrooms.


No more iron-on-patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, or rubber bands for ponytails.


Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it.


No babysitter for New Year's Eve.


Washing only once a week.


Seeing a steak that isn't ground.


Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.


No PTA meetings. No carpools. No blaring radios. No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night.


Having your own roll of Scotch tape.


No more dandelion bouquets.


Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste.


No more sloppy oatmeal kisses. No more tooth fairy. No giggles in the dark.


No knees to heal, no responsibility.


Only a voice crying out, "Why don't you grow up?''


...and the silence echoing,


"I did."
***

3 comments:

Busy Bee Suz said...

This brings tears to my eyes....why must you do this to me so early in the day????
How, I miss Erma. She was just SO clever.

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my gosh. This made me cry.

sevenkidos21 said...

i wrote a comment on facebook today about my children... a friend read it and said i needed to read this poem.. so i did... now i sit at my computer with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes.. for the fighting with each other never listening to a word im saying. messy sloppy coming in and out all day never picking up the wet towel off the floor...leaving toothpaste in the sink nasty stinky gym socks balled up thrown across the room...i love my healthy loving funny as all get out couldnt live without them kidos... so thank you i am in love with my children more than ever