These big headed yellow flowers are up her hip.
She never seen them before. They are still are everywhere. As far as her eye could see. She turns around. They are there too.
They bring her great joy.
She giggles as she runs through them unsteadily.
They surround her and whip around her as she runs. And they kiss her face as she puts her hands down to stop her from hitting the ground. She still giggles. Straighten herself out and runs unsteadily again.
Reaching her hand out she starts tugging at their thick stems. With much effort it snaps. She does it over and over until she is carrying 23 of them. She puts them to her nose as if they smelled of some great perfume. But they barley smell at all except for green.
But she had seen woman do this on the television. So this must be how people act.
She giggles and runs again.
She is grabbed from behind and now she is flying through the air.
She laughs harder.
As she swings around to see it is her mother who has her she smiles and hands the flowers out to her. They also do this on television.
Her mother smiles. "We will put them in a vase. But it is time to come in now, munchkin."
She always seems to be tired. She works all day than works all night. It never stops. No vacations, no time where is is just her. All she knows some days is the need to survive.
She looks at her children. They don't realize. She doesn't clue them in. They will know soon enough. She hands her youngest daughter off to her oldest daughter.
She turns and gets out pans and food and spices and things she always wondered what they were for in her own mother's draws. In fact, they were her mother's thing-a-ma-bobs. She learned somewhere in the early years of cooking for a family. But that was a lifetime ago.
She barks orders. As she works on the night meal. She barely looks up, only to see if the tasks are not being done.
One sets the table, two argue, now three. One empties the trash, one does the dishes, one does the homework which she is helping with. You would think they multiplied in seconds. But they don't they just can multi task like her.
She pours the juice into a sippy cup. She chops some more. Add this, add that. Casseroles were invented in the 50's, she thinks. At least the old adds from Bette Crocker, cream of mushroom soup, bacon bits, baby peas, corn flakes and so many others that her grandmother would clip and save. She had a recipe tin. Not a normal one, an old tin from cookies she loved.
Casserole, is quick and home made. She gives her self a mental pat on the back for not stopping for fast food. This 30 minute ritual makes her feel superior to all those who stop for chicken nuggets and pizza on the way home each night.
She really doesn't see the other's as bad mother, the fast food nation mothers. She just feels one one peg higher. She secretly smiles to herself when she says goodnight at the end of the day as she leaves work and the next day she always tells them of the great meal she made the night before. Sometimes she eat the left overs at lunch. The fast food nation women feel one or more peg above her because they can afford lunch from a restaurant everyday and do not have to resort to eating left overs. In fact they never would. They would go hungry first. They were always taught it was a sign of poverty.
They eat, and fuss and fight and talk and compete with each other and drink and eat and talk of their days. She makes notes when she has to. Principles that need to be called. Doctors that need appointments to be made with.
Finished they clear dishes of the table. She once again assigns the tasks at hand. She makes the desert and promises if each task is done they will all get some while they settle down and watch their favourite show.
She hands her youngest daughter off to her oldest. "can you hose her down and put on her jammies?"
She takes your youngest sister. She is tired of having to play mother to her younger siblings. She decides right there and than at 13 never to have children. They are far too much work.
She has been told she is a young woman now. All because she started to bleed. She wonders what the big deal is about. Just so I can have these screaming monsters? No thanks!
She starts the water. Starts to undress the little girl. A lot of screaming ensues from both parties. Mother yells. The little monster looks at her as if she won.
"I'll get you" she grits her teeth. Her mother yells again about how she talks to her baby sister. "BUT SHE WON'T GET UNDRESSED!" she screams back. She puts on her favourite CD in the stereo in the bathroom to dull the pain of this chore.
By the times she turns around the child is in the bath with her diaper still on. The shower is raining on the child and the diaper is growing every second.
Struggling to get diaper off . It starts falling apart. "GROSS!" As she runs it to the trash. As soon as her mother sees her she admonishes her for leaving the baby alone.
She runs back into the shower. The child has already gotten into her special body wash. the one with Jasmine that she had to beg her mother for 3 trips to Target before she wore her down. It was already half down the drain. How was she supposed to smell of jasmine now.
The baby just giggles as she has her fingers in the soap on the bottom of the tub. "BUBBLES!".
"NO!" she takes the shower head down and wash away her body wash. The child cries. "Bubble bath!"
"Now shower. No bath tonight."
"Bubble bath!" the child says as she flips the switch taking the water out of the shower head.
How did she do that? That's not easy. "No shower. and don't touch it again!"
She switches the lever back and positions herself so the child can not switch it again.
Much screaming ensued.
And mother screamed back.
She reaches for the baby's wash and opens it. It smells of lavender. "Open your hand, so you can wash." The child eagerly does, she prefers to wash herself.
After the soap up she hoses down the baby. to much screaming. She finds no warning in the best. Quick, you must be quick or it will take all night. When there are no more bubbles coming off the little body she quickly shuts off the water so no more playing, no more stalling.
She grabs the baby's favourite towel. She holds it out and cajoles the child with it. This towel has been in the family since her mother got it on the baby shower for her oldest child. And so every child has been tricked out of the tub with this towel. She laughs to herself as she remembers when she was a little girl and had this same towel wrapped around her.
The child comes out of the tub. the towel goes over the head and wrapped around her.
She reaches for a comb. Purple. It's the baby's favourite colour. She gets to the head. takes the towel off the head. brings the comb down and the babe scream. And runs. Leaving the towel behind.
She takes off after the child, naked and now dancing in the living room to the music coming from the bathroom. Some one makes a joke about her future profession as a pole dancer. That was about the time mother had enough.
"Where is this child's undies and jammies?" She just looks at her. "Get them now, I will dress her."
She goes and gets the child's clothes. Hands them off. Retrieves her CD from the CD stereo. Gets her CD player and goes to her room.
She falls asleep to her favourite sounds of teenage angst. She wonders when she will be able to complain about boyfriends. She thinks never as she will always be watching her little sister. She turns over as the band plays on.