Mom, Marc, me
and Don Mclean are all singing, "Bye bye Miss American Pie." Marc asks what she looks like, and Mom says, "Light brown crust and cherry filling and ice cream on top of her head."

Liberation

"Yuuummmm," Marc says.

"Ssshhhussh," I say, you're ruining the song.

We are driving to The Gingerbread House, which is the place we go while Mom's at work. The drive there is an hour long, so we know all the radio songs. Mom says that before we used to go to The Gingerbread House, before I can remember, we stayed at home with babysitters, but she says one babysitter hit us with a brush, and the other baby sitter forgot to come some days. I want to try another babysitter, but Mom says, No.

When we get to The Gingerbread House, we all get out of the car, and Marc starts to cry.

"Sweetie, tell me why you're crying," Mom says.

Marc says that yesterday he wet his pants, and the teacher yelled at him and told him he was a baby.

"Well," I say, "he is a baby, sort of. Four is almost a baby."

"That doesn't mean she had to yell at him," Mom says, squooshing Marc in between her arms.

"But Mom," I say, "The teachers yell at us all the time."

"I know," she says. "Okay, look, you two can come to work with me today."

Marc stops crying right away.

Mom works at Kemper Insurance Company and there's a huge golf course at her office where we have picnics. Mom is in charge of two hundred people, and Marc and I introduce ourselves to them all. They are mostly Dads, but they don't bring their kids. Mom tells us not to bother anyone, but everyone says they don't mind. Mom has a punch card machine with five different colors of cards. Mom has a phone with buttons that light up, and we want to use it, but we have no one to call. "Can I call Dad?" I ask.

"No. He's too busy at work," she says. "Why don't you call Marc on the phone next door?"

Marc and I talk while Mom works, but we don't have much to say, so Mom doesn't work very much.

Mom takes us to lunch. We go to Jack-In-The-Box and we go with Charlie, because his office is next door, and I invite him.

At lunch, Charlie asks me if I want to be like my mom when I grow up. I say, "No. I want to be in charge of things, and Mom says that Kemper doesn't like to let girls be in charge."

Mom asks me if I need to go to the bathroom.

I say, "No."

We go anyway, and she says I should never talk about her job in front of other people.

After lunch, Mom brings us back to The Gingerbread House.




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