The Plate Spinner Chronicles
By Barbara Valentin
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~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Guest Post by Barbara Valentin:
If You Give a Working Mom a Cookie (or A Day in the Life of a Plate Spinner)
If you give a working mom a cookie, she'll probably have it for breakfast on her way into the office. When she gets to the office, she'll probably have a cup of coffee.
When she's finished, she may pop a breath mint before heading into the conference room. When she's in her meeting, she'll probably want to assign action items to everybody.
So, they should probably avoid making eye contact with her.
When she's done, she'll probably go back to her desk to check her email. She'll start working. She might get carried away and draft her goals for the entire year. She may even write them for her entire staff!
When she's done, she'll probably want to go home and eat. You'll have to fix dinner with a salad and dessert. She'll dive in, eat until she's full and complement the chef.
She'll probably ask you to do your homework. So, you'll hit the books and she'll check your work.
When she sees the time, she'll pretend to be sleepy, she'll tell you it's time for bed, she'll point to your PJs. She'll tell you to brush your teeth. She'll say good night.
When you're tucked in bed, she'll still have to do the laundry. Then she'll clean the kitchen and make lunches for the next day.
Which means she'll need snacks.
She'll pull the ingredients out of the pantry and start to bake. Looking at the clock will remind her that she's tired. So...she'll brew some coffee.
And, chances are, if she drinks some coffee, she's going to want a cookie to go with it.
What working parent hasn't considered delivering a performance review to their child prior to granting a salary, er, allowance increase?
The Plate Spinner Chronicles: A Working Mother's Epic Adventure is a hybrid memoir/how-to guide that is stuffed with multi-tasking advice and relevant, but nostalgic anecdotes, all written in the wry tone of a harried working mother who'd rather laugh than cry over the length of her to-do list.
This book is a compilation of The Plate Spinner columns which originally ran in the Chicago Tribune.
Gemma Halliday Publishing
108 pages/Non-fiction/Mom Humor
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After a long day of slaving over a hot laptop, I had no sooner collapsed on the couch when one of my sons stood in front of me, holding a pair of his Boy Scout uniform pants.
I looked up at him. "No thanks. Olive green isn't a good color for me."
Without missing a beat, he informed me that they were too short for him. "And we have to leave in ten minutes."
When I didn't respond, he shook them at me. "Please?"
I looked over my head to see how I could've missed the large flashing sign that read Seamstress—Needs Work.
"Mom, just adjust the pins so they're longer." With that, he dumped them in my lap and I tried to figure out what he meant by the strange "pin" reference. On closer inspection, the memory came flooding back. It was a similar night, three years earlier, when a shorter version of this same son pulled on a pair of new, un-hemmed pants and, in the interest of time, I pulled out a box of safety pins and adjusted the length.
That I completely neglected to go back and properly hem them came as no surprised to my husband. He learned early on in our marriage that if he wanted a button sewn on any of his clothing, he would have to do it himself. After years of walking around with bandaged fingertips, he finally gave in and enlisted the services of our dry cleaner.
Barb is a freelance writer, over-scheduled parent, and connoisseur of fine chocolate. A second-generation journalist, her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and its affiliates. The exploits of her five boys provided fodder for her column, The Plate Spinner Chronicles, a long-running feature in the Chicago Tribune, which snagged her a runner-up spot in an Erma Bombeck Humor Contest. A member of RWA's Windy City chapter, she still dreams of the day when her to-do list includes "Send NY Times book critic thank you note" and "Accept Godiva's request to be a taste-tester."
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