I knock on the door of Employer #1.
“Hi, yes. Could I take a sick day? My throat…”
“What? Yep, here’s your backpack. Sure I’ll fix your ponytail. Your clean laundry is right there. Hang on, let me find your glasses.”
Employer #1 is less than understanding, #2 will give me the day I’m sure.
“Good morning sweetie, Mommy doesn’t feel…”
“You want some yogurt? Okay, Mommy will get it and then I need to…”
“Yes I will put Dora on and find your blanket. What happened to your spoon? You want juice?”
Here comes Employer #3, my boys love their Mommy. He will certainly understand.
“Hi Honey, Mommy’s head…”
“You have to go potty? Okay, let’s hurry.”
“Yes you can play with your train.”
“It needs batteries? Mommy will get…”
“You don’t want to watch Dora? Well your sister…”
“Leave her alone.”
“No she was sitting there. Don’t push.”
“Scoot over Mister. Guys, no fighting, Mommy’s throat…”
And then I hear him, my hopes soar, the youngest of my employers. My sweet, affectionate, lovable little man. He will let me rest. I just know it.
I climb the stairs and in the lulls of bickering and pleas from the rest of my executive committee my faint is sealed.
That sweet little voice is practicing his favorite phrase.
The only one he can say as clear as day.
“No Mommy. No Mommy. No Mommy.”
I head for my brief case of Tylenol and caffeine, extra cream and sugar.
My request, firmly denied.
I vow to try again.
In another 18 years.
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