This morning I got up and Jennifer and Kimberly were eating Pop Rocks in front of the TV set watching Captain Kangaroo while Matt was already out in the backyard with a glass of Tang. I sat down and had a cigarette. I really wanted to watch my programs but I didn’t want to have to get up and change the channel or mess with the antenna to get it to come in clear, so I let the girls continue until I was done with my cigarette. I made sure to tell them not to drink any Pepsi for a couple hours so the Pop Rocks wouldn’t explode in their stomachs. That happened to some kid on TV, you know.
Then I went into the kitchen and poured them all bowls of Apple Jacks while I had my coffee with Sweet’N Low and another cigarette. Halfway through my smoke, I went and got the baby, changed her Pampers, and made her a bottle of formula. Then I put her in the walker so I could vacuum in peace while the other three kids went outside.
About an hour later Matt came back crying that Mrs. Johnson had spanked him because he was throwing rocks at cars.
“Good,” I told him. “I hope you learned your lesson. If I hear of you doing that again I’m going to bust your ass too, so you got lucky this time that you only got one whipping.”
Then I sent him back outside while I continued to clean.
A little while later, here come the girls saying they’re hot because it’s 80 degrees and sunny. I gave them some more red Kool-Aid and told them if they were hot to stay in the shade and stop whining about it.
That gave me the idea to lay out, so I covered myself in baby oil and positioned my plastic chaise lounge right in direct sunlight. I put the baby in the playpen with some blocks while I cracked open a Tab and listened to some Neil Sedaka and Captain and Tennille on my portable radio. Don’t worry, I put a bonnet on the baby since she doesn’t have hair yet.
Matt had been down at the lake fishing with all the other 4-year-olds and he came back yelling that he had a fishhook caught in his lip, so I had to get the pliers and cut it out for him. I gave him some ice, told him to stop crying, and sent him back to the lake to fish some more.
Around noon the kids all came back from wherever they were and I made them fried baloney sandwiches on Wonder Bread with some Tastykakes for dessert. After that we had to go grocery shopping so I put the three older ones in the back of the station wagon and set the baby on the front seat and off we went.
I decided I needed another cigarette when we were in the car, so I lit one up and I’ve discovered that if you only crack the window instead of rolling it down that the smoke ventilates much better, so I have no idea why the kids were coughing and fussing for me to roll the window all the way down. They were just being dramatic, I swear. Naturally I didn’t listen to them.
Bill’s going to be so mad at me. I spent an entire $27 at the grocery store this week. Prices are so high these days. It’s just ridiculous. I don’t know how the A&P is going to stay in business. I bet Gerald Ford has something to do with this. Or the Russians.
I sent the kids back outside again. This time I made the girls take the baby with them, which was fine because they were just going into the woods to play. Gave me some time to watch The Edge of Night in peace.
I’m planning a big night out with Bill this weekend for our anniversary. I thought maybe we’d go have fondue, drink some Harvey Wallbangers, and go to a disco. I called the 11-year-old down the street and told her we’d pay her three whole dollars to babysit all night and not to worry if the baby woke up and cried. I told her if you ignore her, the baby will eventually stop crying and go back to sleep, so just turn the record player up louder or something and that if the other three want to stay up late and watch television, it’s okay but make them go to bed after Carol Burnett goes off and if they want some Jiffy Pop, that’s fine too. They know how to make it themselves.
Hilda called while I was making dinner (cube steaks and crinkle fries) and we got to talking about playing cards and then she said she liked Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore better than The Godfather II and I had to agree with her. I told her they ought to make a TV show after Alice. She said it would never work. I told her I had to get off the phone because I needed to mix up my Brandy Alexander and the phone cord didn’t reach all the way to the liquor cabinet.
Fed the kids and Bill dinner. Then Bill went off to Bob’s for poker night and the girls all came over here to play Gin Rummy with me. We had some Chex Mix and Linda brought over her famous pineapple upside-down cake, which we had with Sanka. We all talked about what we were going to do for the bicentennial and then Debbie started going on and on about how she likes this Jimmy Carter guy from Georgia for president, and she and Doris got into an argument because Doris is a republican. The kids tried to peek out of their rooms, where I’d put them for the evening, but I yelled at them and told them it was grownup time and to keep playing Candy Land and Lincoln Logs until they fell asleep. I asked Debbie what color she thought I ought to redo the kitchen in — harvest gold or avocado green — and she said she thought rust or colonial blue would be even prettier. Good lord. Too many choices!
After the girls left I had to clean up the kitchen. Thank God for Corelle ware because I keep dropping coffee cups in the sink. This stuff just will not break, I tell you! It’s a miracle. I mixed up another pitcher of Tang for breakfast, went and filed my nails into long, pointy ovals, and then painted them a new shade called “Shimmering Ecru.” When they dried I put on a polyester negligee, touched up my blue eyeshadow, and sprayed my hair. Then I added a spritz of Charlie. I feel like celebrating our anniversary a little early! I have an IUD now after all. I’m not really worried about hemorrhaging or getting an infection from it. It’s just a bunch of hype.
Anyway, I think I’ll have a cigarette and read some of Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Maybe I’ll put on a Streisand record until Bill gets home.
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