Motherhood: A Tragedy

The thing no one tells you is how much you’ll hate them most days, she says to the pack of mothers who are also hiding from the aging effects of the sun under the single sad sapling of a tree that is supposed to give the new subdivision’s playground that “park” feel. The shady patch is just close enough to the playground equipment to respond quickly if a fight, tantrum, or tumble takes place, but far enough away that toddlered shrieks lose some of their pierce. She continues, I have a theory that’s why babies sleep so much. It’s Darwin. I bet the babies that didn’t sleep are the ones that got drowned in the lake. The survival of the human race depends on us having time to forget what little assholes they all are. It’s like just when I’ve reached my limit and am about to have him see if the warning label on the blow-dryer is true, he falls asleep. I see his still little body and think of angels. Thankfully, my kid’s cute.  But maybe we all think that. I wonder if it works the same way for ugly kids, though? I can’t imagine it…having to deal with all the snot and shit and vomit and hugs and stretch marks and the constant shrieking and Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! coming out of something that looks like a chupacabra. …Oh fuck… She stops and the other mothers stop avoiding each other’s stares and look for what stopped her. She’d been staring at the playground as she spoke, and the pack of stunned mothers watch her reach for one of the bags that’s been stuffed in the basket under her double-wide stroller. Not his bag with the toys, or the food/drink one, not the one with the extra change of clothes. Before the other mothers have had time to notice it’s the bag of Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes, and suckers, she’s off at a dead run to the playground to stop the bleeding-screaming that is about to reach their shady patch.

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