Scarlett of Suburbia

Field Notes from The Motherhood


August 2012

On Women’s Equality

The Mom: Just so you girls know, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920 gave women the right to vote in America. Less than a century ago. And in fact, today happens to be National Women’s Equality Day.
The 10 y.o.: But why? Why do we need a special day? I thought we *were* equal.
The Mom: The day is to commemorate women getting the right to vote.
The 13 y.o.: Well why isn’t there a Google doodle? I mean if the Google people make doodles to honor obscure 16th century French scientists and an Austrian physicist’s cat, the LEAST they could do is make a doodle to honor women’s equality. Right?


On Trash & Chores

What?!! I have to empty all the trash cans AGAIN? Didn’t I just do this last week? Sheesh.

The 6 y.o. protesting her weekly chore

On the Sorting Hat

The Mom: If you were the sorting hat, which houses would each member of the family belong to if we lived at Hogwarts?
The 13 y.o.: Well that’s easy. I would be Ravenclaw because I’m very clever and quite cunning. M would be Hufflepuff because she is loyal. Lil C is Slytherin. Dad is the head of house in Hufflepuff.
The Mom: And me?
The 13 y.o.: GRYFFINDOR!!! Because you’re brave and smart. And you don’t flinch at spiders!

On the Political Divide

The 10 y.o.: You know the American Girl doll Felicity Merriman? She’s retired now but she lived in the 1700s, right?
The Mom: Right. 1770s Colonial America. Declaration of Independence. Revolutionary War. Some of her family were Loyalists because back then, America was a British colony. And some of her family are Patriots who were ready to fight for freedom from the tyranny of King George III. I like the way her family members illustrate the very real political divide that engulfed America at that time.
The 10 y.o.: Kind of like the Democrats and Republicans today, right? Well except for back then you could have your head chopped off just for complaining about your taxes. I mean, ASIDE from that…

On Bacon Egg Cheese McGriddles

The 13 y.o.: What’s this?
The Mom: It’s called a McGriddle. 2 pancakes, bacon, eggs and cheese.
The 13 y.o.: No – I mean what’s this yellow sponge square in the middle?
The Dad: The eggs
The 13 y.o.: But they’re square! I thought it was cheese. Where do square eggs even come from?
The Dad: Square hens.

On Freshman Orientation

The Dad: The large envelope with all your forms. Is that all you are going to bring to Freshman orientation? No pen? Paper? Not even your purse?
The 13 y.o.: Oh – you’re right. Thanks for reminding me. I need a belt!
The Dad: I repeat: no pen? No paper?
The 13 y.o.: Nope. Not even a purse. Oh! But I need your cell phone. So I can call you when I’m done to come and collect me.

On Dogs

The 6 y.o.: Mom? When I was Mr Darcy’s age, did I think I was a dog?
The Mom: No. Why?
The 6 y.o.: Well, even though he’s a dog, he sure thinks he’s a human!

On Endlessness

The 10 y.o.: Endless shrimp? How is that possible? If it has an end date, how is it endless?
The Mom: Maybe ‘endless shrimp’ is about the shrimp?
The 10 y.o.: There aren’t enough shrimp in the world to ever be endless. Shrimp are a finite resource; therefore, not endless.

On Class Warfare

posh family The 14 y.o.: I miss being rich.

The 10 y.o.: When were we ever rich?

The 14 y.o.: When mom and dad were both working. You might not remember it, but we used to spend our summers at the country club with our nanny either swimming or playing tennis. Well, when I wasn’t at Interlochen at camp. Mom drove a BMW convertible, Dad had a huge SUV and we had a car too. Oh, and we had a whole TEAM of ladies who cleaned our house every week. Loads of vacations. In posh hotels.We even had a chef for awhile.

The 10 y.o.: I like being middle class with mom and dad at home. But I do want a horse. And a chef would be nice. I mean dad does his best, but let’s face it – mom is the cook in our family.

The 14 y.o.: Well I can’t even remember the last time I played tennis or went swimming. But I know the last time I washed the dishes, did my laundry and cleaned my bathroom! So the cleaning ladies would definitely be top of my list if we ever get rich again!


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