Zoe with an E

S Ralph

By: Shannon Ralph

Some parents amaze me. In general, I think I am a pretty decent mom. That is not to say that my children will not end up in therapy one day, but I am fairly confident —at least as of today— that they will not end up in jail. I try to be an engaged parent. A loving parent. A consistent parent. I don’t always succeed, but I try. It is hard some days. There are days when I want to scream, “Get the hell away from me and stop calling me Mom!” Instead, I bite my tongue and spend a precious hour of my short life searching through crates of too-small and too-large clothing in search of a purple shirt for my son. It is official that Nicholas does not own a single article of purple clothing that he can don for “Purple Day” tomorrow at school. I offered him his sister’s lavender socks with the ruffle trim to wear, but he passed. Oh, well.

Now what was I talking about? Oh yea….parents who amaze me. Today, Sophie brought home a card from school. A business card. Her little BFF at school, Zoe with an E (not to be confused with Zoey with a Y who is not Sophie’s BFF), gave her the card. Weird. A five-year-old carrying around a business card? I assumed she had stolen one of her mom’s or dad’s cards, but I was wrong. Zoe with an E gave Sophie her very own business card. Yep, that’s right. Zoe has business cards for the purpose of arranging playdates. It was a cute card. Adorned with giraffes. It had Zoe’s name at the top and her father’s name, home phone, cell phone, and email listed below. It was cute. And convenient, I suppose. I can simply email Zoe with an E’s dad to arrange a playdate for Sophie and her BFF. I was sincerely impressed. And a tiny bit jealous.

At first.

The more I thought about it, however, the more I began to wonder what kind of parent has the time to make playdate business cards for their kindergartner. Seriously? Who are these people? Where do they live? I scarcely have time to bathe myself some days. And, admittedly, I have been known to skip the shower altogether (as I did yesterday). My children are teetering on the edge of malnutrition, as a body can’t live on hot dogs and Go-gurt alone. My basement playroom looks as though a tornado swept through it. Yes, a “tornado” analogy is cliché, but entirely appropriate considering the sheer magnitude of Legos littering the floor. They had to have blown over from Wisconsin. I wonder aloud where my cheap plastic lidded cups go, but I really know. My kids are growing their own penicillin in my basement. I refuse to go down there for fear of inhaling curdled milk spores and developing an incurable disease. Does curdled milk emit spores? Probably not, but one can never be too careful.

Zoe with an E has to be an only child. That’s the only explanation I can come up with. There is no way her dad —I am not sure if she has a mom, as she is not listed on Zoe’s business card— could possibly have time to create business cards if he were pulling siblings off one another all day. If he were constantly yelling, “Stop licking your brother’s feet!” then he most certainly would not have the time nor mental fortitude to design cute little giraffe-adorned business cards. Yea…Zoe with an E must be an only child.

Or maybe her father is a creepy, sociopathic schizoid with control issues and a weird giraffe fetish?

You just never know about people.

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