‘Twas the night of St. Valentine, and all through the house,
Mama was stressing and rushing around.
Dishes were dirty, the baby’s tooshie was bare,
While the pre-teen screamed over gum in her hair.
The children refused to get ready for bed,
“We want to see the sitter!” they yelled, instead.
And Mama in her sweatpants, with no energy to spare
Called back in defeat, “Whatever. Fine! Who cares?”
When out on the driveway there arose such a clatter,
She sprang from her chores to see what was the matter.
Away to the door, she flew like a flash
Stepping on Legos, as painful as glass.
Her husband was leaning over the smoking car hood,
“Hon, I think it’s the transmission. This isn’t good.”
Then through the smoke, a new car appeared,
A young girl got out, “Hey ya’ll. I’m here.”
Who was this little driver with her Uggs trimmed in fur?
Mama looked at her husband, “Umm… do we know her?”
More rapid than eagles, words began to flow,
“All the regulars were busy. I just found her at Costco!
I tried Wendy, and Allie, then Mandy, and Hannah!
I even called Cindy, and Lindsey, and Anna!
Each had a conflict, from concerts to tests.
Everyone was booked. I did my best.”
As a man well trained in marital bliss,
He whispered an apology and blew her a kiss.
So into the house, the trio set foot
While Mama rushed in to complete her look.
And then, in a twinkling, ready for her reveal,
She danced down the hallway in brand new high heels.
With a clash of the baby gate, Dad turned up his head
As she descended the stairs, all clad in red.
The dress hugged each curve. Her hair was perfection.
She felt like a goddess; he felt an arrow from Cupid’s bow.
Her eyes-how they shone! All full of glee!
Her cheeks were like roses, her clothes spit-up free!
Her lips drawn up in a smoldering pout.
She was ready for this date, without a doubt!
The hairs on her chin were waxed off without shame.
Those frizzy flyaways, hairsprayed and tamed.
Her Spanx holding strong, all tough and stretchy,
Kept her focus off of that postpartum belly.
Then the sitter appeared and proclaimed with aplomb,
“O-M-G you’re so adorable. You look just like my mom.”
And then the magic faded-every last bit.
One heel broke; the baby began throwing a fit.
Dad’s cell phone rang, and he furrowed his brow,
“Back to work? An emergency? Really?? NOW?!”
And he spoke not a word as he lunged for the keys.
The sitter broke in, “Um.. I have a $50 flat fee.”
He reached in his pocket, in search of the cash.
She was paid and then was gone in a flash.
Laying his hands on his hips like a grouch
Mama met his eyes with a sad little pout.
“Your intentions were good. Maybe next year.”
“Sorry, hon,” he whispered, drawing her near.
With a sweet little kiss, he flew out the door
Yelling behind, “My car’s dead. I’m taking yours!”
When the din of the day had finally ceased,
Each child asleep-or quiet, at least,
She poured out a glass, mumbling to the sky,
“Happy Valentine’s Day to me, myself, and I!”
And in a haze of exhaustion, wondering why life isn’t fair,
She fell asleep on the couch and drooled in her hair.