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Mothering Frights

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After Birth

Kids Excited Mom Learning To Swear

PESHTIGO, WI—After a lifetime of assiduously avoiding the use of foul language, Helen Chernak, 59, is finally learning to swear, her delighted offspring reported Monday.

Parents Of Crying Child Must Not Be Any Good

WOODBURY, MN—Noting how the pair’s failure to promptly resolve the situation was a clear indication of their inability to raise or care for another human being, sources confirmed Friday that the parents of a crying infant must not be any good.

How To Adopt A Child

Adoption is a beautiful way to provide a loving home for a child, though it is a logistically complex process that might take months or even years to complete. Here are the steps involved in adopting a child:

The Pros And Cons Of Helicopter Parenting

The rising trend of “helicopter parenting,” or hovering over a child’s educational, social, extracurricular, and home life, has been praised by some as true dedication to one’s kids and decried by others for potentially smothering a child’s independent development. Here are the pros and cons of helicopter parenting

Conductor Fatigue Blamed In Massive Model Train Crash

BLOOMINGTON, IN—After surveying the dozen railcars and cargo of Lincoln Logs strewn haphazardly across the grass mat, investigators concluded Friday that a massive model train derailment was the result of conductor fatigue.

The Pros And Cons Of Co-Sleeping

The act of co-sleeping, where babies and toddlers share a “family bed” with their parents, is a rising trend in the United States, though the practice is contested by those who doubt its purported benefits. Here are the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your child

The Onion’s Guide To Trick-Or-Treating

Halloween gives revelers a chance to receive candy all over the neighborhood. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your experience and take home a big haul.
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Mothering Frights

Every Jeanketeer worth his or her low-sodium salt substitute (!!) knows that Christmas is my very favorite holiday, with Valentine's Day a close second. Know what my third-favorite is? It's every second Sunday in May, when mothers, moms, mamas, and mommies alike are honored with their very own special day!

Mother's Day has always given me the warm fuzzies. The notion of being surrounded by little people who popped out of your very own tummy presenting you with homemade cards or little gifts bought with their allowances just charms my socks off! It must be the most wonderful feeling in the world.

I'm not a mommy myself (yet!) but my lack of moppetry has never kept me from celebrating in my own way! Every Mother's Day morning, I get up early and make myself some yummy breakfast in bed. Waffles, eggs, bacon, juice, coffee, silk flower in a crystal rosebud vase—the works. Then I carry the tray to my room, climb into bed, and commence noshing! That is, if Hubby Rick is not snoring too loud. He's not much of a morning person, and likes to sleep in (or sleep it off, depending on how sloshed he got at Tacky's Tavern the night before!). If he's making the bedroom windows rattle, I just plop myself down on the living-room couch and watch QVC as I eat.

Then, I battle the post-breakfast sleepies so I stay up to receive my special present. Sure enough, usually by 11 a.m., ring-ring goes the old doorbell. It's a delivery guy with my customary bouquet of pink and yellow roses! He wears a big smile and says "Happy Mother's Day!" I'm nearly moved to tears by this, and always give him a generous tip for his perfectly reasonable, justified, and dead-wrong assumption. I open and read the words in the enclosed card that, over the phone, I told the florist to inscribe: "We love you, Mommy! From Rhett, Schuyler, and Antoinette." These are my made-up children. Whoops, scratch that—I take it back. After all, they could very well be my real children someday! I've just already picked out their names. (I can trust you not to tell Rick about my little peculiarity, right? I hide the card from him and say that the flowers are from my friend Patti.)

A little later, if the weather's nice, I go Mother's Day bargain-hunting. I've gotten quite a few mommy-freebies through the years: margaritas, red-velvet cupcakes, 10-minute massages, perfume and makeup samples, coupons and discounts galore. If some dear soul asks where my kids are, I just say the hubby has them for a few hours while I take a much-needed me-break.

Okay, okay, so I'm fibbing a little. Now, don't get your undies in a bunch, Jeanketeers! I don't seriously think that Mother's Day is only about a childless woman getting her annual maternal mistaken-identity fix. My own mom is alive and well, and I make sure she gets her due, too—or try to, at least.

Last week I called to invite her to Mother's Day brunch at the Licked Skillet. I generally try to call about once a month. (She never calls—she argues that I have more than enough free time on my hands to do the calling myself.) The conversation started with her complaining about having to make a high property tax payment, and it being "all that black president's fault" or something—I wasn't quite sure what she meant since political stuff goes over my head.

When I finally brought up brunch, she said that she already had plans with her gentleman-friend Rodney. I asked why she didn't keep her Mother's Day free. She told me that her usual outing with my brother Kevin and his family was canceled because they decided to spend the day at that "heretic storefront church of theirs." (Mom is still upset at Kevin for becoming born-again and no longer attending Catholic mass.) Besides, she doubted I could afford such extravagance, and said "if [I] really believed in Mother's Day" I should send her a check for that $100 I owe her for a Greyhound bus trip I took 18 years ago. In short, it was a typical conversation with Mom. I decided to end the call before I said something I would regret.

I like to think that when I become a mommy, I won't behave like my mom. After all, why be so sour and negative to someone you wished and prayed for all your life? I would think a daughter would make you very happy. She could be the best friend you ever had. Imagine me strutting down the street with my scaled-down version! We'd get our nails done together, or share an ice-cream float at Ruby Tuesday, or wear matching pink sweats! Maybe Jean, Jr. would even want to wear a pair of glasses (nonprescription, hopefully) just like her mommy. And I think a lil' Jean would be pleasantly plump, too. All that chocolate Mommy couldn't resist spoiling her with would head straight to her adorable little thighs!

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