What if mom ‘shuts down’ from household routines?

| October 4, 2013 | 0 Comments


Lisa Smith Molinari, Contributing Writer

My kids forgot to put their dishes in the dishwasher. Again.

“That’s it! If you people can’t cooperate, then this government is shutting down!” I shouted while they stared at me from across the kitchen.

They had no idea what I was talking about, but with threats of government shutdown dominating the news these last few weeks, I couldn’t resist.

With my Navy husband at work much of the time, I am usually the sole governor of the household, the commander in chief of the homefront, the lord of the houseflies. I am the legislative, judicial and executive branches all rolled up into one spatula-wielding dictator.

When the masses defy my authority, I could, theoretically, stage a government shutdown of my own. Of course, the kids know my threats are completely idle; although, I can’t help but wonder, what if it really happened.

  • My shutdown

The kids awake to a “slam!” of Mom’s bedroom door. Peeking through the keyhole, they see that Mom has dragged the coffee maker, a cooler, four cans of Pringles, three bottles of wine and a boxed DVD set of “Mad Men” into her room and locked the door.

A sign taped outside reads “Government shutdown until further notice.”

The three kids — Hayden, Anna and Lilly — stare groggily at the sign for a minute. As reality dawns on them, they turn to each other and grin.



“Cool!” Lilly exclaims. “This is gonna be fun!”

In their pajamas, they race to the kitchen.

“I call the rest of the Cap’n Crunch!” Anna shouts, sliding to a stop across the linoleum floor.

“Forget cereal,” Hayden declares. “I’m eating chocolate cake, and I might have a slice of leftover pizza for dessert!”

An hour later, the kids are stuffed and lazing the day away in front of the television, watching a marathon of “Jersey Shore” and sipping Coca-Cola through Pixy Stix.

However, the toilet clogs midday, the wet laundry in the washing machine starts to stink, and the milk runs out.

Discovering that the lunch money jar has more than $20 in coins, Anna exclaims, “C’mon guys, let’s go to the store; I’ll make us a feast!”

Hayden stays home for a fifth hour of “Grand Theft Auto,” while Lilly emerges from her room dressed in booty shorts, spaghetti-string halter top, fuzzy slippers, knotted hair and two days worth of plaque on her teeth.

“Ready!” Lilly says.

After their shopping trip, the girls concoct an Ovaltine aperitif accompanied by a delectable chocolate doughnut amuse bouche. The entrée was a lovely microwaved trio de fromage — fried mozzarella sticks, Totinos cheese pizza and Hot Pockets, with a generous side of tater tots.

Finding no clean utensils, dessert was a scrumptious brownie chunk ice cream eaten straight out of the carton with used Popsicle sticks and washed down with Monster drinks.

The party rages on for days. Bored with Jerry Springer reruns and punching buttons on the microwave, the novelty of anarchy begins to wear off around day three.

“When is Mom coming outta there?” Lilly whines.

“I don’t know, but this is starting to get serious,” Anna says. “My cropped jeans need to be washed, and ever since you blew a fuse microwaving that can of ravioli, my curling iron doesn’t work!”

Hayden, recuperating from his video game bender, chimes in, “Yeah, and Mom needs to go to the grocery. I actually had to eat a banana for breakfast. This is a crisis situation!”

Standing before Mom’s bedroom door, the kids beat, pound, wail and make promises.

When Mom finally emerges, the kids bombard her with desperate hugs and kisses.

“Mom!” they cry. “Don’t ever leave us again! We can’t live without you! We promise we’ll do whatever you want from now on!”

A mom can dream, can’t she?

(A 20-year military spouse and mother of three, Smith has plenty of humor to share in her column, “The Meat and Potatoes of Life,” at www.themeatandpotatoesoflife.com.)


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