I made the mistake of promising Supermom I would meet her in the City for lunch today. It seemed like a good idea, I do adore Supermom and her husband Nate. I had hoped Nate would join us but he needed to work, which just sounds so tiresome. Supermom and Nate have been together forever; of course I see forever as a day longer than “oh, you’re still here?” Nate is nice to look at but Supermom doesn’t even give me an evil eye when I flirt with him anymore so really, where’s the fun in that? But she wasn’t alone; the children were there.
Now don’t get me wrong; children are fine, you know, in paintings and such, but they do not have any business at my table. Supermom was as apologetic as she could be; it turns out the kids did not have school today for some reason Supermom never found out. She told the kids they were just late and to scale the locked fence but that squad car had passed by at the most inconvenient time. Having moved as far from the women who spawned her and Nate as his job would allow, her childcare options were limited. Apparently Nate’s uppity boss does not think that children making jewelry out of paperclips under the conference room table is that clever. I suggested maybe she could rent them to someone for the duration of our meal but that idea didn’t appeal to her as much as me.
So little Logan and Tabitha had lunch with Mummy and Auntie Naomi. The first hour was spent attempting to find something the little darlings could eat. Apparently their delicate palettes will accept either pasta with some form of cheese substance on it or hot dogs; anything else is deemed inedible. In Logan’s case, it is because he is allergic to everything but air. When you meet Logan, his young, congested voice is endearing. After a half hour of listening to him sniff, you try to stuff a cork in his nose when Supermom has her back turned. Tabitha is incapable of doing anything that is expected of her. I swear I could get a lovely plate of liver with sautéed onions down that picky little gullet by simply telling her under no circumstances should she eat it. We finely settled on some fettuccini stripped of anything but butter and the waiter promised to smuggle 3 peas into the mound; any more and Logan would be able to tell by the weight differential of pasta to plate. Precocious children are no fun at all. After such time that an order was finally placed and I was well into my second martini, Supermom attempted to tell me about some exhibit she had just seen. I was fascinated, by her enthusiasm in describing what she saw and the events surrounding it. However every other word was broken up with “Mom is talking now.” “No, I don’t want to see how far your finger fits in your ear.” “I will buy you the entire car section of the toy store if you just please, for the love of everything, stop making that sound.” I asked Supermom if perhaps we could have the children remain silent at least until the end of the story. Okay, I didn’t say that as much as cover them with napkins, tell the waiter they’d spoiled and could he remove them to the kitchen? I noticed Supermom didn’t correct me.
Supermom used to be a real person at one point. Her expertise in Edwardian architecture led us to become fast friends. And she has always been fascinated by the mystery surrounding the Sophie Tiara; she swears one day she is going to get her friend Gigi to help her find it for me. She can’t cook a thing but she can order like a champ and her knowledge of wine – and by knowledge I mean her ability to sneak it into anywhere – is legendary. She had all these opinions and could debate anything, albeit not generally successfully. And then she had children and they stole her frontal lobe. Now she will listen to anything in a sweater set and sensible shoes. She is part cherished friend and part charity case to me.
What took the entire lunch and a full bottle of gin for me turned out not to be a story about a museum but a sale at some discount store and the exhibit was, in fact, school shoes which she victoriously claimed for each child. There was no Renoir, no Ballet Russe, no 17th Century Literature – all of which Supermom knows – just school shoes. Well, that and the entire catalog of weapons available in some video game Logan was able to recite for 45 minutes but could not bring to mind the name of the kid that sits next to him at school to whom he gave his belt. Nor, of course, why in heavens name he gave the kid his belt in the first place. Tabitha said nothing as she insists on singing everything, which I want to fault her for, but I do love a little flare. I had to stifle a snicker when she called the waiter “dah-ling” and hummed to the lady to our left her socks were divine.
I concluded lunch by paying the check and having the restaurant put Supermom’s glass of wine she refrained from drinking in a to-go container. I kissed them all goodbye and told Logan I would send my dragon out to eat his tinker-toy collection if he didn’t mind his mother. He told me I was the prettiest lady in the whole world and I forgave him for everything. I gave Tabitha my scarf because it really did match her top better than mine and she hit an upper octave in her goodbye to me.
My point is, darlings, I really don’t see the point of children.