Dateline, December 11, 2007 — Susan’s Kitchen
Susan: Ok, we’re having breakfast for dinner tonight! Isn’t that great! [Shit, I should have gone grocery shopping over the weekend.] We’ll have eggs for dinner — and toast! Or, hey, let’s have grilled cheese and tomato soup instead. [They’re kids. It doesn’t matter – they’ll eat anything. Besides, this is healthy-ish.]
Drama Girl: I don’t waaannnnt grilled cheeeeeessssseee.
T-Rex: Mom, I love eggs! I love grilled cheese! I want both, I want both, I want both! I hate tomato soup, but I love eggs! I love grilled cheese! I want both, I want both, I want both!
Susan: Great, T-Rex! [Thank god one of you cooperates and will eat anything I feed you.] Drama Girl, why don’t you have eggs and toast and some soup. The soup will be good for your cold. [Hell if I know, but this is what parents say.]
Drama Girl: But I don’t waaannnnt grilled cheeeeeessssseee.
Susan: I didn’t ask if you wanted grilled cheese, okay? Do you want toast? Do you want butter and jelly on your toast, or just jelly? DO. YOU. WANT. TOAST? Do you want soup, I only have one can of soup left, are you going to eat the soup? [goddammit, I know you’re sick but you don’t make this easy, why didn’t I go grocery shopping, why didn’t I just stop at McDonald’s, McDonald’s isn’t so bad, is it?, I really have to get over to Super Suppers, where is the bread, don’t tell me we don’t have enough bread, phew – just enough bread, etc.]
Drama Girl, slumping over on the chair in dramatic fashion: Fine. I just want jelly on the toast. And I want eggs. And I want the soup.
Susan: Should I make the soup with water or milk? [Gasp! Did I say that out loud??!]
Drama Girl: I WANT SOUP LIKE THEY MAKE AT SCHOOL! THEY DON’T USE WATER OR MILK, IT’S JUST SOOOUUUUP!
T-Rex: I DON’T WANT TOMATO SOUP IT SMELLS BAD SO BAD SO BAD SO BAD I DON’T WANT SOUP… I WANT EGGS AND GRILLED CHEESE!
Susan, sighing heavily: Yeah, whatever. [she mixes water in with the condensed soup]
A short time later, the three are sitting at the table: T-Rex with milk, eggs, and grilled cheese (no soup); Drama Girl with milk, eggs (barely touched), toast with jelly (barely touched because there are seeds in it), and soup, which she is eating very, very slowly; and Susan with milk, eggs, grilled cheese and a little soup, trying not to be an emotional eater and wishing she had just drank the bottle of wine in the fridge and gone to bed for the night already.
Drama Girl: How do you get pregnant?
Susan spits out her soup.
Dateline, December 12, 2007 — Susan’s Kitchen
Susan and Drama Girl are getting ready to go to DG’s Brownies Troop holiday party. (No yarn dolls this time.)
Drama Girl: Is Santa Claus real?
Susan freezes but remains calm: What do you think? [Aw, crap…you’re only 8. So soon it comes to this?]
Drama Girl: Mmmm, no, I don’t think he’s real.
Susan: Why do you say that? [ohwhyohwhyohwhy?]
Drama Girl: So-and-so saw her dad last year wrapping presents in the middle of the night when she snuck downstairs.
Susan: How do you know they were Santa’s presents? Maybe they were gifts for her from her dad. [Yeah, yeah, that sounded good…I’m gonna kick that guy’s –]
Drama Girl: [no response, blank stare]
Susan begins to speak about how many people believe Santa represents all the good inside each of us, the joy of giving, especially to those who don’t have as much, of having hope. Drama Girl gets all this, despite her mother’s vague statements.
Susan, trying to be casual and noncommittal: So… do you think there’s a Santa Claus?
Drama Girl: No, I don’t think so.
…But then she goes on to talk about how it must be hard for Santa to do all that work on one night, even with all his elves, and says other fanciful things.
Susan: How ’bout you wait until next year before deciding? [Please believe, baby…]
Drama Girl, looking unconcerned nods, matter-of-fact: OK.
We go to our party. And Susan is glad we have at least one more year.