Quick! To The Panic Room!

A Mother's Quest for Peace and Quiet


I have a t-shirt with”GOOD KARMA, NO DRAMA” printed on it. The words mean the wearer is a peaceful person who has received many gifts in return for her random acts of kindness.

I obviously have no business wearing this shirt.

I save  this costume for the rare occasions when I’m in public, alone and away from the Family. In it, I am transformed.  I chat with stressed-out strangers in store check-out lines. In fact, I let these people cut in front of me. No big deal. I do this kind of thing all the time. I am full of  good deeds and simply ooze bliss.

But in reality….

I am the Oscar-winning star of my own daily drama. And clearly my mini-deeds have not accrued many karma points.

Take today…

It started when Caveman decided to paint his cave. He did not use markers. He did not use crayons. Instead, he used the contents of his diaper.

His bedroom looked like scenes from Manson’s Helter Skelter, only stinkier. Dark foot prints trailed in a non-sensical pattern on the floor. And small, smeared handprints covered the walls and back of the door.

Kiefer Southerland, real-life star of the TV show 24, would have screamed. He ain’t seen nothing like this in his career at the Counter Intellingence Unit. And he has real weapons at his disposal. I’m unarmed.

So,did I scream? Not initially. I just gasped at the sight of Caveman lying naked in his bed. He was asleep and camouflaged with mud-like streaks across his face and body. And his feet looked like he had walked through a hot blacktop but the tar remained.

I finally did scream, but for good reason. I needed Man to come help me clean up.

Me: “Please come up here. I’m in Caveman’s room. And bring a mop and lots of Lysol.”

Thank Gaawd Man is not squeamish. He quickly joined the team and together we got rid of all the evidence. Caveman’s room was even cleaner than the day before.

And so the day continued. At pick-up time  I was exhausted and asked Man if he wouldn’t mind leaving his office and getting Mini-Me at school. He, again, was part of our special forces and retrieved her on time.

I then went to pick up Mini-Man exactly 15 minutes later. And that’s when the action started.

I should have known something was up when Mini-Man jumped into the car  Starsky-and-Hutch-style and told me to “Go! Go!” Suddenly his teacher appeared at my window holding a math workbook with dozens of yellow post-its sticking off the pages.

Teacher: (smiling knowingly) “I just need him to make some corrections over the weekend.”

Me: (temporarily calm, even without wearing the t-shirt) “I see. He will definitely get it done.”

We pulled out of carpool line and onto the road. And that’s when the real Me started yelling.

Me: “Are you kidding me? What is this about? You are sooo lucky that teacher doesn’t kick you out of the math group.”

Leave it to Mini-Man to not respond. Sometimes we trade places and he’s the adult. He knows if he just looks regretful and is quiet he will force Me to stop lecturing.

Me: ( a little more quietly) “You are just going to have to get it all done this weekend.”

Mini-Man: “Okay.”

Later that night  I went to Mini-Man’s bedroom to check on him. He was dead asleep. That is until I decided to adjust his pillow.

He woke up , but instead of getting mad he said in a muffled voice, “I love you, Mom.” He must have been dreaming about some other Mom. The Dream Mom who cooks great dinners and is calm when faced with frustration.

Or maybe he has come to terms with the fact that his real-life Mom is a spaz.

Let’s face it. Real-life Mom wears t-shirts in order to become the person she wants to be. She tries to do good deeds but is not always successful. And the good karma stuff, she’s hoping someday that will come.

But for now, GOOD KARMA, NO DRAMA; well, that’s just a slogan printed on a t-shirt . And that shirt has gotten enough wear and needs to be passed on. Maybe to some other person in need of the perfect disguise.


February 5, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Good Grief, No Way! And I was just complaining about changing the cat’s litter box…

    Gotta give points to M-Man for pushing for the Jack Bauer-chasing-the-bad-guys rubber-burning peal out from the parking lot.

    Comment by Enzo | February 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. i needed this today–thanks for making me laugh 🙂

    Comment by Leesa | February 9, 2010 | Reply

  3. OMG! fasten your seat belt-age three is such a wild ride!

    Comment by Julie | February 11, 2010 | Reply

    • no kidding! I’m already bruised and a bit carsick from the ride! Jennie

      Comment by tothepanicroom | February 12, 2010 | Reply

  4. Okay, J-school professor. It’s March now.

    Comment by Jill Doczi | March 4, 2010 | Reply

  5. And now it’s April. There has to be a little something that needs to get out…

    Comment by Jill | April 13, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: