by Angela Kempe
Jan and Melissa reclined back on the leather sofa and crossed their legs casually. I bent to sip my Frappuccino when Jan’s toddler snatched Faren’s plastic dinosaur from her. Faren let out a high pitched shriek and tears started gushing from her eyes like geysers.
“Mine!” Faren yelled, stomping her feet on the ground.
“Faren share!” warned her mother, Melissa.
Melissa flashed an embarrassed smile.
“Give that toy back!” Jan ordered her son.
Jan’s son looked down at his dinosaur, snot dripping from his nose into his mouth in a continuous stream of clear boogers. He was already sad because although he was two, he was old enough to know the outcome; Give it back or Mommy would take it back. Either way was bad news for him, so he slurped up his boogers and threw it on the ground, running towards the blocks.
I looked at my daughter. She was playing contentedly with the giant legos.
“You’re so lucky, Cindy.”
Jan took a sip of her latte.
“Your little girl is always good. I never see you have any problems with the kids. And look at you. You are like perfect looking.”
Melissa stole a quick look at my flat stomach, enviously. Then, cast her eyes back towards my face and smiled.
“How’s potty training going?” Melissa asked me.
My kids had potty trained themselves. Wasn’t that normal?
“Good,” I said. “I haven’t had any problems.”
“Isn’t Freddie in kindergarten now?” Melissa interrogated. “How’s that going? Must be hard getting him ready for school. Does he throw any temper tantrums?”
“Um,” I said, sipping uncomfortably. “It’s good. I mean, I don’t have any problems really.”
“See!” Jan yelled. “You are the perfect mom. Too perfect! Gain some weight or something. There must be some issue with the kids. I mean, nobody has a perfect time raising their children. You don’t really enjoy motherhood that much, do you?”
They both shot up from their seats and were staring at me with fake smiles. I didn’t know what to say.
“I’ll tell you what, I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
“I’m sorry, but I have to go, girls.”
I stood up and began cleaning up the big legos.
“I forgot I have to do groceries before Ted gets home. Let’s do this again next week, okay?”
I couldn’t wait to get home. I put my daughter in her carseat and spiraled down the mountain road towards our house playing the conversation in my mind over and over again hysterically. I decided to try my husband at work. I commanded the car to dial Ted Johnson.
“Something happened at coffee today. I think we’ve been found out.”
“Why’d you think that?”
“Because I was talking with Jan and Melissa over a Frappuccino and we were just watching the kids play. You know, like usual. When Jan started saying how perfect I am. I did a horrible job acting human. We are going to have to leave as soon as possible.”
“We have another ten years left on Earth.”
“They are going to find us out! I can’t do this, Teddy.”
“So, you’re under confident about your ability to be a normal mother?”
“Yes. I’m not home yet, but I’ll start packing.”
“Cindy, I think you’re more human than you think.”