I recently received the following request ~
“Now casting wealthy women who live the glamorous life and Beverly Hills socialites with beautiful homes in the Beverly Hills/Malibu for a Major Cable docusoap.”
This is why I am NOT a good candidate!
I was jarred awake at 6am this morning with the TV blaring downstairs. What the heck were my children doing up this early? It’s a holiday! I can never get them out of bed this early during the week!
On my way down the stairs, I was derailed by the overwhelming stench of cat poop. Ugh! We have 2 new angelic kittens, named Peanut butter and Jelly, and they must poop their weight every single day! The children promised, under pain of death, to do poop removal as part of their chores, but as usual, they reneged!
I took a deep breath, held it, and plunged into the litter box. It was peppered with little nuggets. In truth, this was good news, as an empty box signaled that our dog Fuji had gone in first and consumed everything. He has a penchant for cat turds and we have to beat him to it most days. Fuji is quite stealthy about his cat poop recon missions, except for his telltale nose covered with cat litter, which I euphemistically named his ‘Almond Roca’ nose.
Two of my girls plus two friends, were waiting, perched daintily on kitchen stools, like starving baby birds, beaks agape. And each one requested a different breakfast. Normally I wouldn’t acquiesce, “This isn’t a restaurant! It’s one size fits all – so eat it or beat it!,” but I was on my best behavior in front of the friends, and I wanted to give the impression that I was the coolest mom in the world!
I flashed back to a recent incident when Maya and Celeste were screaming in the back of my car. I pulled over to the side of PCH and in the calmest of voices, “Girls, I am going to stay here until you stop fighting!”
Maya blurted, “MOM! You’re just doing this because you have a friend in the car and you’re pretending to be a good mom!” I thought her critique a little harsh, but decided not to defend myself. Instead, I smiled sheepishly and turned to my friend – “She’s right! Busted!” Maya was grinning from ear to ear at having outed her mother! Little stinker!
One child wanted fried eggs, one scrambled, one scrambled with cheese, one a bagel with cream cheese, one a crumpet with jelly and one of the girls’ friend wanted bacon, “I love your bacon and I don’t get any at home.”
I eyed the friend suspiciously, “Are you allowed to eat bacon?” I wanted to make sure that I would not be violating some strict kosher, or otherwise pig-free family rule.
“Oh no! My dad eats pig things all the time!” and she rattled off every pig product imaginable.
“Okay, in that case, no problem!” and I slapped rashers of greasy pig things into the pan. Waving a spatula menacingly, “Girls, stay away from the stove!” I had nightmarish visions of sizzling pork fat splattering their angelic faces.
After they consumed vast amounts of food, I loaded the girls into the car, and dropped most of them off at various appointments. I had 3 hours to get everything done, before Celeste was going to be returned from her 1st solo sleepover.
I zipped over to the infernally hot Valley and performed a series of chores at rapid fire – amongst which was dashing in to Costco’s – if that is even possible – as even the best executed plan to get and in out of that behemoth store is thwarted by endless aisles of tempting bulk items.
All the while, I was plagued by the uncomfortable nagging that I had overlooked something.
Maya had inadvertently closed the garage door on my car and taken off a chunk of the trunk, so I had to drop off my wounded vehicle to be repaired at the car dealership. I thought it only proper that she, as the culprit, accompany me on my tedious mission. While I was unloading all the grocery bags and stuffing them into the loaner car, I got a call from a perplexed mom. It was now noon and she reminded me that I was supposed to drop off Celeste at 10am for a play date. Shit! That explained the uncomfortable nagging! I had initiated this play date – how could I have organized 2 play dates for the same child at the same time? How embarrassing!
Not only that, but I had inadvertently violated the play date code of conduct by asking if Celeste could go to her friend’s home rather than offering to entertain chez moi. And, now, on top of that infraction, I never showed up. What a series of faux pas!
I rushed back to Malibu hoping to get back before Celeste’s drop-off. As I turned up the driveway, I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I realized that my house keys were attached to my car keys at the dealership! The car repair guy had asked me if I would be needing my keys! I had been so disoriented from my play date fiasco that I waved him away.
I called Casper, knowing that he was not home, but praying that he had psychically intuited that I would have forgotten to bring keys and presientently left a door open for me. He laughed out loud, “No, everything is locked! The alarm is on. You’ll have to take the ladder to the side of the house, climb up to the second floor, jump over the balcony and pray that the bathroom door is open. Let me know what happens!”
I was sweating profusely, I peeled off layers of scarves and sweaters and threw off my furry knee-high Ugg boots. I had left the house bundled up as the marine layer made it at least 30 degrees colder at the beach than in the valley, but now I was roasting. I had tons of wilting groceries in the car, a dog who desperately needed to pee waving his tail at me from inside the house, me who had to pee – probably as desperately as the dog, Celeste who was due to arrive back at home any minute and Maya moaning that she was dying of thirst.
What would the parents think if they found me waiting at my own doorstep, unable to get in my own house? I played out the scenario in my head. I wouldn’t be able to open the gate for them, as I needed to use the phone to activate it. I would have to yell the gate combination to them. The parents would think I was raving mad and a complete flake. Way to make a good impression! I am sure they would feel confident to leave their child in my care in the future! NOT!
I wanted to sit down on the front deck and have a good cry but instead I galvanized into action. I walked around the house, rattling every door handle, and sure enough, like he said he had, Casper had diligently locked every door. The house was as impenetrable as Fort Knox. Crap! I opened the garage and dragged the 8’ ladder through to the side of the house. It weighed a bloody ton and sure enough I tripped over it and almost plunged head first into Casper’s koi pond. I positioned the ladder underneath the balcony and climbed to the top. I could just about reach the railing. I grabbed it with both arms and lunged as the ladder wobbled precariously beneath me – oh no! Please don’t fall and leave me stranded up here! That would be a complete disaster! Celeste would come home and see me waving helplessly from the balcony. I wouldn’t be able to get down or let her in. Her friends’ parents would have to call 911. It wouldn’t be the 1st time. Last time was when Celeste had trapped her leg inside the cats’ scratching tower and I called 911 because I could not get her out. About 7 handsome burly firemen arrived to pry her out – which took them seconds – and she was traumatized, not because she was trapped and her leg was twisted inside the cat tower, but because she was in her underwear!
I flung myself over the railing and landed, catlike (in my dreams!) on the balcony outside my bathroom. Please, oh God, let us have forgotten to lock this door! Please don’t make me climb back down that precariously wobbly ladder! If not, I would have no choice but to drive all the way back to the infernal valley to get those dastardly keys and then have to drive all the way back again. I tried the door handle and – halleluya – it opened!
Literally seconds later, the gate rang and I rushed down to welcome Celeste, let out the dog, grabbed the groceries from being mauled by the dog, thanked the parents – who informed me that they had to stay up until 11:30pm entertaining Celeste, as she refused to go to bed, “I was so hyper!” she grinned from ear to ear. I wondered how much sugar she had managed to consume in my absence. It was only 1pm and I was already exhausted!