Picture Perfect Thursday - Mommy’s Little American Idol
It’s not our fault, they pulled a mind scramble on us - they opened their eyes and talked.

On how I provide my children a smoke-free environment, even when my bra is on fire!

Some of my earliest memories of my father are of him tying our baby buggies together (a poor man's Peg Perego and prehistoric Bugaboo of the Gap Generation, of sorts) and walking my brother and me down by the boats on the bay in Perth Amboy, NJ.

Though the scene sounds classic enough - not to mention very Jersey and in need of a rif from Bon Jovi - being born and raised in Eastern Europe, my father was actually very unconventional, at the time.

He would tell everyone - anyone, really - how he enjoyed giving my mother a break from the babies, fill a duffel bag with dirty diapers and meet up with the coffee klatch over at the corner laundromat.

[rolling his r's]

"Da voman's, dey felt zorry for me and I vood vatch [w}reztling vile dey vashed all da dirty diapers!"

Oh, yes - he was the first rebel dad - my father absolutely loved doing the laundry!
Me, not so much.

Especially when I got old enough and - being raised in an Eastern European household - I had to iron one of my father's work shirts...every...blessed...morning!


Because his mother, my mother, her mother and her mother before...they did...and I did...because, that's what you do.

Until, I got married.

"I do...."

[placing ring on my finger]
"...but, will NOT iron any workshirts...EVER!"

Even after I quit smoking, stayed home and had my babies, I still considered myself lucky - I mean, my mother never had a dryer - quite liberated, actually!


"Oh crap...not the fire alarm, again!?!?"


We haven't had very good luck with our appliances - if you have visited with me before, then you must know by now - and I don't think the kids were surprised to see me stomp off to the laundry room and hear that I was more pissed than scared.

[end of beeping]

"Well...hell...STUPID DRYER...overheated, I guess...I don't see any smoke!"

[turning to off and unloading]
"Damn thing...it's a BLANKET...and what...you can't handle one stupid bra!?!

"Oh shit!"

Later, I called my husband.
"I got good news...bad news...and then some more good news!"

"Okay...the good news is that the new fire alarms work!"

More silence.
"The bad news is...well, the dryer is...um...well...I think it's dead."

Silence so thick, you could cut it with a knife.
"The other good news is...well...there was no smoke and the house did NOT burn down!


A moment of silence, please - as I bow my head and hang the laundry - my clothes dryer is indeed...DEAD!


Oh well, I should have known - and here I thought the cigarettes were going to get me - because, even though my parents were perhaps a little more traditional than...well...we are today, they had very similar sayings, like:

"Two steps forward, one step back."

"Where there's smoke...there's fire."

Except, they were in Hungarian and rolled their r's a little more than I do.

But, I'm still NOT ironing his shirts!

Morale of the story: Doing the laundry can kill you!

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