Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Phone Conversation

"Tom, I just had a frightening thought!"

"Amber? Is that you?"

"Of course it's me! I was laying in bed last night and I suddenly started to panic!"

"Amber, is this important, I'm driving through Amarillo.."

"I can call you back if you want."

"No nevermind, what is it, now you have me interested."

"Okay so I'm in bed.."

Tom sighed. "You said that. Get to the part where you panicked."

"Fine! Well I started to panic because what if..what if Natalie wants to be a.." I lowered my voice, "a cheerleader??"

There was a silence.

I thought we had been cut off.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Amber, are you actually telling me you went into a panic because you're worried our daughter might want to be a cheerleader?" Tom finally said, his voice obviously letting me know that he found me to be a little bit insane.

"YES!" I exploded. "I mean I know men don't find anything wrong with cheerleaders what with them walking around in those tiny skirts and all and being able to bend their legs around their necks.."


"Well, I figure men must like that flexibility. Because it causes them to think about what they'd be like" I glanced around, making sure Tommy wasn't around, "bed.."

"Amber, okay, I have never once thought that!"

"Fine, fine," I waved a hand in the air. "But I worry because cheerleaders are..well..peppy.."


"And..well some of the cheerleaders I've known have been peppy before eight in the morning and that's just not natural, Tom. It's just not. I can't deal with a peppy child before ten, you know this!"


"I don't have a problem dressing her up like a cheerleader, don't get me wrong, because I figure you'll probably insist that she wears some Cleveland Browns costume.."

Tom laughed. "I'll insist? Amber, you're the one who likes dressing up the kids."

"Well I admit, children cheerleading costumes are cute. But as she gets older..suppose..suppose she wants to be a REAL cheerleader? And she walks around with paint on her cheeks bearing the school colors and bouncing around like a cocker spaniel telling me I need to buy a candy bar in order to raise money for her team? I can't deal with the bouncing Tom, I just can't, not in my home!"

"Amber, have you been drinking?"

My eyes widened. "TOM! I'm pregnant, of course not. Plus it's 9:30 in the morning, why would I be drinking?"

"I was just wondering because I've never received a phone call about someone panicking about cheerleading. Then again, it is you.." I heard a chuckle in Tom's voice.

"This is serious, Tom! What if she's stuck up because she's a cheerleader. Of course I've only known nice cheerleaders..well a few were on the mean side but I'd be a little cranky if I had to practice for two hours doing hand springs and cartwheels. I'm sure the blood rushes straight to the head and all which can cause a personality change briefly. I mean I wouldn't know because I'm not flexible. I couldn't even do a somersault properly. Whenever I try I wind up flat against a wall."

"Uh huh..hold on I'm pulling into a gas station."


There was a pause.

Then, "Okay so you're worried that Natalie is going to be a stuck up cheerleader?" I could hear Tom moving around, probably fitting the gas nozzle into the truck.


"I doubt it. If she takes after you she'll be a bit on the clumsy side," Tom said in a light voice.


"Well it's true! You spill something on yourself everytime we eat."


Well he did have a point.

"I started to panic more though," I continued.

"Oh geez."

"I started to worry that she'd be a girly girl!"

"A GIRLY girl?" Tom sounded confused.

"You know, a girl who likes make up and tiny skirts and handbags and oh my God, what if she's crazy about SHOES?"

"Amber I--"

"And wants to carry around a little yap yap dog? I hate those yap yap dogs, why must people insist of carrying them around like purses? They're dogs for heavens sakes and annoying ones at that.."

"Amber, but you like make up," Tom finally said.

"I do but I'm not CRAZY about it. And I didn't start liking make up until I was..geez, maybe in the middle of high school? Before that I was a tomboy, I liked to climb TREES, I wasn't into shoes and skirts and clothes. If Natalie is like that how are we going to bond? Tom..Tom what if she wants me to do her HAIR?"


"Tom I can barely do my OWN hair let alone another human being's. I was never into my hair either. What if she wants a French braid? I don't even know where to BEGIN with that. I could probably do a real braid but it would fall apart within a few hours. Tom, I don't know how to be the mother of a GIRL. Boys are easy, you just run a comb through their hair and they're good. But a GIRL, Tom, a GIRL!"

I heard a few beeps. I figured Tom was paying for the gas. "You'll be fine, you'll figure the hair thing out."

"I don't know how to be a girl Mom. You saw that it took me ten minutes to figure out how to put that dress on that doll our niece brought to me. I mean girl toys are so complicated these days. In my day Barbies were just lumps of plastic, now various parts can bend, dresses come with buttons to look more realistic...and some girl dolls look frightening with huge eyes caked in makeup. That's just not natural Tom!"

"We'll figure it out. When Tommy was born you didn't know how to be a Mom period but you learned," Tom pointed out.

I relaxed a bit. "True.."

"And I'm sure Natalie will be a good girl. A nice one. Even if she is a cheerleader and likes makeup. I tell you though, you're not helping her to NOT be a girly girl but insisting she's a princess.."






"Tom, I always fancied myself a princess and I was still a tomboy," I finally said. "Plus I'll tell Natalie that she must be a respectable princess, not a stuck up one.."

"A respectable princess huh?"

"Of course."

Tommy piped up with, "I'm a prince and Natalie is a princess! Mommy is a queen and Daddy is the King!"

I patted his head. "I taught him well.."

"Well listen, I've got to get back on the road. I should be home around seven, depending on traffic.." Tom said.

"I look forward to seeing you," I replied. "I think I might even shave!"

"Shave? Wow!"

"I'll see you tonight, Tom. I have missed you."

"I've missed you. See you tonight."

"Drive safe."

"I will."




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