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Oatmeal Kisses

The baby is teething-the children are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat dinner without him. Okay, one of these days you'll shout: "Why don't you grow up and act your age!" and they will, or "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do...and don't slam the door!"...and they won't.

You'll straighten up their rooms neat and tidy...bumper stickers discarded...spreads tucked and smooth ... toys displayed on the shelves...hangars in the closet...animals caged, and you'll say outloud: "Now I want it to stay that way!" and it will...You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in it and you'll say, "Now there's a meal for a company." and you'll eat it alone.

You'll say, "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around, no pantomimes, no demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?"...and you'll have it. No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti, no more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent, no more dandelion bouquets, no more iron-on patches, knotted shoestrings, or tight moots.

Imagine, a lipstick with a point, no babysitter for New Year's Eve, washing clothes only once a week, no P.T.A. meetings, carpools, blaring radios, Christmas presents out of toothpicks and paste. No more "Wet Oatmeal Kisses". No more toothfairy giggles in the dark, or knees to heal.

Only a voice crying..."Why don't you grow up?"... and the silence echoing ......."I did."


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