I hate unexpected days off from school.
As a single parent with a freelancer's inconsistent (ie spasmodic and well-below-the-poverty-line) income, I get panicky with the slightest upset of our stone-clad school routine. Quite simply, if mama don't go to work, mama don't get paid. And if Mama don't get paid, well, there are just so many creative recipes you can come up with for canned cat food, get me?
But this week I was fucked. Fucked, I say! The school nurse called me to come pick up my kid because she was itching with ringworm (we both got it from the filthy kitten), and though this localized, common fungal infection (everyone can get it! Not just poor people!!!) was no longer contagious, I figured I'd better not argue because I really don't need Child Protective Services coming by and judging my mothering abilities when they see the state of my domicile.
So, during our quarantine in the apartment (which I somehow managed to clean during a Hannah Montana marathon) Lily and I cooked up an epic game of Barbies that sucked up a good part of the afternoon.
When I play with Barbies I can't help but shudder with relief that I have a little girl and not a boy. I could never, ever muster the same enthusiasm for toy trains or baseball cards that I do for Barbie and her entourage of Kens, Skippers, and more-cheaply manufactured cousins with names like "Benign Girl" and "Vogue Fashion Princess", whose bodies are crappily assembled and coated in lead paint, but still fit into the same hooker clothes made for the authentic Mattel brand.
I delight in brushing out the tangles of knotted Barbie hair, and the pulling of tiny clothes over stubborn rubber legs (why haven't they done something about that? smooth, hard plastic would be soooo much easier, am I right??), I even like slipping teeny shoes onto Barbie's ridiculously weensy feet, though it does conjur a terrible memory of once finding a spider in a Barbie shoe when I was six and freaking out so hard I almost threw up.
Lily is tough on her Barbies like I used to be. She keeps them naked, thrown together in a bin, their feet gnawed on and hair clotted with god knows what because they have spent too much time in a backpack or under the couch or floating in the bath tub. She is abusive as hell to them, but still maintains a loyalty to these dolls that I have to respect. It makes my little mom heart thump with a nostalgic pride.
With my Barbies, I eventually gave up and chopped all their tangly locks off. I then graduated to ballpoint pen eyeliner and lipstick and punk rocker earrings, which I fashioned out of pilfered straight pins stuck right into Barbie's tough plastic ears.
Eventually, my pre-pubescent urges lead me to the inevitable sex-play grind-a-thon of naked Barbie and Ken (or Shaun Cassidy or Donnie Osmond), and to make the scenario more realistic I took tiny bits of chewed Big Red gum and made nipples for Barbie's impossibly conelike, immovable breasts.
Somehow, this helped.
It's difficult for a mother to picture her daughter locked behind a bedroom door and ignoring calls for dinner while she mashes two dolls together in an attempt to work through pre-teen horniness, but I guess it's inevitable.
And I guess Barbie and Ken are better specimens for sexual experimentation than, say, the next door neighbor or some little douchebag on the school bus.
I really have no idea what this post was about.
1 day ago