Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Living

Mommy’s Betrayal

The nail holding my living room curtain rod has slipped out again. I’ve asked my husband to fix it, but he’s left for work, forgetting to take care of it for me. I’m balancing on my daughters’ stool, the one that helps them reach the bathroom sink with ease, and I’m hammering not so confidently away, when D. approaches from behind, asking me to read to her.

“Not right now,” I say as the washing machine’s end of cycle buzz sounds from the basement. If I hang only the sheers, maybe I can get away with my husband forgetting for a few more days. I’ll just have to remember to keep on enough clothes as I walk through the house at night. No need to scare the neighborhood, right?

“But I want to read,” D. whines as I scootch passed her heading toward the basement. I won’t have to iron if I hang the curtains up wet, plus the freshly laundered smell will deodorize the house without me having to light a mesmerizing candle, teasing the girls with its dancing flame.

“MMMOOOOMMMMMM!” D. screams from the top of the steps. “I SAID I WANT TO RRREEEAAADDD!”

“Okay,” I shout back, getting a bit annoyed.

Carrying an armload of clean, cold, wet curtains, I push through the kitchen door, trip over a race car, and swallow the profanities itching to burst through my lips.

“Get these toys up right now,” I yell, “or I’ll put EVERYTHING in the trash!”

Busy little feet shuffle in and out of the kitchen grabbing little handfuls of beads, cars, and flashcards.

“Sorry, Mommy,” M. says as she tries to maneuver around me. D., of course, never moves. She’s standing with book in hand ready for me to read to her.


“WHAT?” I snap, heading toward the living room to re-hang curtains.

“Can I read to you?” sweetly falls from D.’s mouth.

“Yes,” I softly reply, “you can read while I clean up the living room.

She sits on the couch and begins to “read” the pictures to me.  What are we going to have for lunch? How am I ever going to get this house clean with the kids refusing to stay still for longer than two minutes. Can I get away with not washing their hair this weekend? Where did I put that hammer? Did I feed the dog this morning or last night?

“Mommy!” D. screams.

“Yes, honey.” I say, embarrassed because I don’t know how long she has been calling me.

“I said, ‘That’s Jesus.'”

The Ultimate Betrayal (from

“Who’s Jesus?” I ask.

“The man who rides the donkey’s back!”

I turn from the window and look her in the eye.


She rolls her eyes and points knowingly at the book.

“And that’s Judas.”

Somehow the irony of me hammering nails into wood as I purposefully ignored my baby’s reading is not lost on me, and I can tell that behind those three-year-old eyes, somehow my baby is equating my behavior to the biggest betrayal known to man.

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2 thoughts on “Mommy’s Betrayal

  1. I’m just glad I’m not the only one disappointing my kids. Pray for me!

  2. Ouch! Very close to home!

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