Junior’s Cause/Effect Essay

I take my evening beverage very seriously. Once the sun begins its descent, I start the long unwind to bedtime with a beer or glass of wine. Lest you despair that I’m in a rut, do know that I’ve recently seen the wisdom of adding vodka to the repertoire. I mean, really, can a stool stand on only two legs? It takes three, right? Let’s just call vodka, in our special buddy-buddy bloggerspeak, “Jocelyn’s Third Leg.” You have my permission to use that in your posts (for example: “I had the kind of cottonmouth that morning, during the Long Walk of Shame back to my apartment, that only comes from having swallowed copious amounts of Jocelyn’s Third Leg the night before…”).

Generally, then, when I’m tucking the kids in, it’s with drink in hand. Since I don’t wear a watch, it’s only fair that I get my choice of alternate accessory, right? I tote my beer bottle with all the ease of a red-plaid Swatch on the wrist, truth be told. To up the bling factor of my favorite accessory, I’m considering inventing a Cocktail Hip-Holster, studded with rhinestones [patent pending].

In lieu of Holster, though, I currently just use Hand. Hand holds the bottle while I help the kids with flossing, brushing, getting into jammies. Hand is a well-balanced, reliable individual; Hand is my righthand man, metaphorically…but not literally, as I tend to grip with the left.

There is no better testament to the kind of devoted mother I am than the fact that I do order Hand to set down the beer or wine when it’s time for us (Hand and me) to climb onto the kids’ beds and read If You Take a Mouse to School or Sideways Tales from Wayside School. See, I have this annoying moral dictate that if I ever spill the Gewurtztraminer on the dinosaur sheets, I’ll have to–frick–change them before letting the kid sleep on them. And I do so hate heaving my bulk towards the linen closet. So Hand leaves the drink on the vanity whilst I read.

Last week, there was a night when I had a glimpse into the long-term consequences of Hand’s habits. The Wee Niblet, naked and therefore rightfully giddy, took a notion to play “Monster” as we prepped for bed. My assigned role was to be Da Monster, snarling and gesturing as wildly as a full beer bottle would allow, dashing around after the nekkid lad. Up and down the hall he ran, shrieking with mock fear, as I quasimodoed after him, fully engaged in simultaneous kid carousing and beer protection.
As is my wont, however, I had some meta-discourse going in my noggin as I thrashed to and fro on the Persian rug, gnashing my rotting and smelly Monster teeth. I began imagining how Niblet’s freshman composition essays might read in fifteen years, when he one day taps into his personal experiences to support some larger point:
“What I recall best from my early years was my mother–a monster of a woman–chasing me around the house, as I fled from her, naked and terrorized; so clearly, I still remember how she roared at me to get to bed, her omnipresent beer in hand (always the priority), even when she tackled me to the floor in a fearsome rage.”
His hard-knock life story might just win him an A, moreso than any “…and my family was really nice, and we ate a lot of chicken and sometimes yogurt too, and I liked my tricycle with the little bell on it” narrative ever could. As a teacher of freshman composition, I know this. We are suckers for adversity overcome.So a high five to you, Hand, for your role in getting the Niblet into graduate school one day. Keep on tipping those bottles and glasses for the cause of Higher Education.





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37 responses to “Junior’s Cause/Effect Essay”

  1. furiousBall Avatar

    When I recently saw Elvis Costello, he had all his guitar cable plugs wrapped with some sort of magnetic band, during guitar changes, he’d unplug and whip the cord onto this metal music stand, put the new guitar on and then retrieve it. So I’m thinking magnetic band around the cup and metal bandoliers…that would rock. You could have like shot glasses in an X formation on you. That’s got to be a better job than letting your baby play with a cobra right?

  2. Jeannie Avatar

    oooooo – I definitely will need one of those holsters. Maybe a couple – one casual and one formal. My children were not scarred by my evening beverage choices because I wasn’t drinking so much then. This is a more recent accessory I have acquired since their later teen years. It is nice that they occasionally join me. Matching accessories are kinda fun sometimes.
    And he will definitely deserve an A. However, get film with sound of the “truth” to protect yourself in court when he writes his version of Mommy Dearest.

  3. mist1 Avatar

    Do you use glassware or a coozie to coordinate with your jammies or robe or slippers? Because if you don’t, you should seriously consider it. It’s all about drinking stylishly.

  4. Theresa Avatar

    My hand raises glass in a toast to Niblet’s future as a brilliant novelist. “Pa’ arriba, pa’ abajo, pa’l centro y pa’ adentro” as they say here.

  5. Voyager Avatar

    I humbly hand over my reign as the rationalization queen. You are clearly far better suited for the tile. Well done.

  6. lime Avatar

    i raise my glass (of wine or whiskey, or perhaps a bottle of cider, not being a fan of cider and long ago having sworn off vodka due to the nasty after effects of swallowing copious amounts of jocelyn’s third leg….and may i say that is some hellacious imagery there!) and give a hand to…the hand! bravo!

  7. Voyager Avatar

    I meant title of course. Not that you wouldn’t look good on a tile.

  8. Claire Avatar

    Good job Hand!
    Trust me, when Niblet is writing anything as a freshman, he won’t want to use the words ‘naked’ and ‘my mother’ in the same composition or even, I think, paragraph.
    Way. Too. Embarrassing.

  9. Shari Avatar

    He’ll do you proud and dress up his essay with such clarity…such a vivid picture of Mommy-turned-monster chasing him through the house. Of course, he will omit some details, like getting caught by the Monster and being so scared he wet his pants…oops, no pants…I mean, made a puddle on the floor.

  10. jen Avatar

    Cheers, friend. A big cheers to you.

    I too, perform bedtime functions with a glass of red in hand. if we aren’t rebels, i don’t know who is…(ahem. kidding)

  11. Logophile Avatar

    My parents deprived me in so many ways.
    I have no beer stories of trauma, dammit.
    Oh well, we all find a way to suffer.

  12. my4kids Avatar

    I’m sure the kids will have plenty of stories that come out a little strange about Dad and his beer. Mom doesn’t really drink at home as I prefer to do that at the bar when I can have someone else mix my “sex on the beach” (my fav drink) since I’m not much of a bartender myself.

  13. Jazz Avatar

    I wish you’d been my mom…

    Will you adopt me?

    Rather than reading me a story, we can share a glass of wine at bedtime.

  14. That Chick Over There Avatar
    That Chick Over There

    I’ll try hard to find a way to fit “Jocelyn’s third leg” into my blog.

    Thank you.

  15. Diesel Avatar

    Sometimes I think I don’t torment my children enough. Although I think that making references to my “third leg” would probably scar them for life.

  16. Lee Avatar

    Lee’s Third Leg didn’t quite affect her balance the way she thought it would.

  17. Princess of the Universe Avatar
    Princess of the Universe

    You’re a great Mom- it’s wonderful the way you’re planning ahead for your children’s future.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  18. CS Avatar

    Not only that,but you are helping to maintain my profession. Thanks!!

  19. Em Avatar

    Very funny stuff. I love how you are always about the education. 🙂

  20. Infinitesimal Avatar

    “I had the kind of cottonmouth that morning, during the Long Walk of Shame back to my apartment, that only comes from having swallowed copious amounts of Jocelyn’s Third Leg the night before…”

    this comment takes on whole new meaning if applied to certain neighborhoods in NYC or San Fran, where Pre-op trannys are wont to hang out….

  21. yerdoingitwrong Avatar


  22. Diana Avatar

    I loves you, really-really.

    The tucking in of the small ones goes ever-so-much easier if Hand has a beer, glass of wine, or (my personal 3rd leg: a tot of brandy) in it. A relaxed mom is a good monster with rotting teeth. A stressed mom is a true monster, which would be properly memorialized in such a theme as you outlined.

    Plus, there are so very many lovely types of craft beers and bottles of wine out there. It would be a crying shame (not to mention a crime) if we just ignored them. Sort of like walking closed-eyed past a Picasso, yes?

  23. susan Avatar

    Oh what have I done? I can’t help but wonder if my children will ever forgive me for not having Jocelyn’s Third Leg with me when I put them to bed. I simply didn’t know back then…

  24. Wizened Wizard Avatar
    Wizened Wizard

    My opinions never being in the majority camp… I want you to promise yourself that if you and Hand ever decide that there’s no reason why you shouldn’t up your nightly intake to TWO of the favored beverages, you will talk with your doctor about the idea.

    I’d really like Junior’s Cause/Effect essay to stay funny.

  25. urban-urchin Avatar

    after my evening I am never. drinking. again.

  26. Mother of Invention Avatar
    Mother of Invention

    Yes, that memory will no doubt serve him well in some capacity, wholesome or not.
    My massage therapist has a belt she wears while massaging which holds her bottle of oil that strangely enough, is the exact same size as a beer. Next time I see her leave for home with this still firmly fastened to her waist, I must remember to ask about its alternative “Medicinal Purpose” functions! I’ll send you the product info!

  27. Pendullum Avatar

    I raise my bottle in your general direction…

  28. Dorky Dad Avatar
    Dorky Dad

    OK, that’s just fricking hilarious.

    I think you should put the vodka in a paper bag for effect.

  29. Deepak Gopi Avatar
    Deepak Gopi

    My favorite beverage is tea,i drink 12 glasses of it in a day.I palan to reduce consumption of it to 8 glasses.
    I really enjoyed your post.
    Thnx for visiting my blog.

  30. tracey Avatar

    You are most definitely well on your way to becoming the next Mommy Dearest, Jocelyn! Cheers!

  31. choochoo Avatar

    My accessory these days is strawberry milk. Again…

  32. velvet girl Avatar
    velvet girl

    Yeah for beer at bedtime!

    And don’t worry, I’m sure that there will be many more opportunities for scarring than a beer drinking monster mommy. After all, a parent just existing during the teenage years seems to be enough.

  33. julie Avatar

    OMG. So, you mean it’s OK to drink while you’re putting your kids to bed?! Wow. You’re my hero.

  34. Phoenix Avatar

    Good GAWD I wanna be YOU when I grow up… or tonight whichever comes first.

    Don’t think that I could chase with a wine glass in my hand though and I dont like beer so coolers it is!

  35. Trouble Avatar

    OMFG…i love it when I encounter other parents of my ilk. It’s so affirming!

  36. Glamourpuss Avatar

    Mild. Try genunine cruelty and he will write a best-selling memoir and you can retire on the royalties. Best tell him he’s adopted as well. These things shouldn’t be left to chance.


  37. Paulo Avatar

    Nice Blog.I live in Portugal.Im 10 years old.

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