Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Butt Button

It happens to every mom I know. The common battle cry amongst us all: “Darn it! I just sat down!” While we’re up and running, the kids seem to amuse themselves. We serve them. We cater to their needs. We fish out lost toys from under the couch. It’s all in an effort to have them happy and occupied so that, finally, we can sit down for just five minutes!
I double check to make sure everyone has what they need. The coffee is done, a cup poured, skim milk added to just the right color and temperature. Gingerly, I move to the kitchen table and take a seat. That first sip – ahh… there’s nothing like it! I take in a deep breath and feel my shoulders fall to an ‘at ease’ position. But before the mug can reach my lips for the second sip, I hear it. That sound again. Exasperation overcomes me, as does a tangled mess of obscenities from under my breath, as I answer The Call Of The Wild, also known as, the kids screaming, “Mom!” from across the house.

It’s as if they know I’m sitting down. Before when I was loading the dishwasher, folding the laundry and making the beds, they didn’t even acknowledge my presence. But once I take a seat, they call. And don’t think I haven’t put this to the test, because I have. I’ve taken my coffee standing at the kitchen counter, just to see if they’d call. They didn’t. I’ve eaten my lunch at the center island and didn’t hear a peep either. Thus, I’ve come to the conclusion that in addition to my swollen ankles, stretch marks and deflated breasts, I’ve obviously grown something in my hindquarters during my pregnancies.

I call it the Butt Button. After thorough self-examination in the bathroom mirror, I’ve concluded that it must be invisible or perhaps hidden within a dimple of cellulite. I’ve considered having my rear end X-rayed, just to see if I can prove my hypothesis, but I doubt my insurance company would pay for this sort of diagnostic testing.

My theory is that this Butt Button, once depressed, sends a signal that is transmitted to the ears of the children. Adults cannot hear this signal. It’s like a dog whistle, we can’t hear it, but they can. Obviously, if the kids are in another room, they don’t see me sit down, but I imagine their little heads popping up to attention to catch the sound. One child whispering to another, “Did you hear that? Mom’s sitting on the couch. Quick, call her.”

I’ve gone back to re-read What To Expect When You’re Expecting, and they make no mention of this. Neither does Dr. Spock. I find it hard to believe that all these experts have no knowledge of this. They must be in cahoots with the children.

My husband has even agreed that something fishy is going on. He has witnessed me buzzing around the house, setting up everyone with clean clothes and fresh food. He has seen me whiz through projects, wrestle with glue stick caps and unravel miles of tangled video game wires. He has heard me say, “Okay. Everyone have what they need? It’s all under control? Good.” He watches me sit down and in the instant my bottom touches the chair, he too, hears it. God bless him… he shakes his head in disbelief, motions for me to ‘stay’ and attends to the urgency of whatever, whomever is calling now. He does this out of pity for my weariness, because he’s a kind soul, and, let’s face it, his desire for continued sex.

I suppose I’ll never discover where the device has been implanted or what part of the child’s brain interprets the signal. I can only hope that over time, they will no longer hear it, much like they don’t hear me when I call them downstairs to complete their homework.

I’ve typed this entire article standing at the kitchen counter. It is only in the last three minutes that I’ve chosen to take my laptop over to the table and finish – but – you’ve guessed it… the Butt Button has been activated.

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