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Dear “Mommy Needs Wine” Magazine:
Hello! Please find below my submission for your column, “My Precocious Toddler Has Many Adult Opinions.” I received your notes on my last submission, and I find it disappointing that you don’t typically accept pieces from childless individuals. Nonetheless, I have incorporated here the research I have completed on parenthood. If it seems “classic,” it’s because much of it came from my grandmother’s parenting diaries. She was a little old-fashioned, which might explain why she kept this book in a chained box under her bed, covered in what appear to be ancient runes written in blood. She also did that with her Super Bowl Sunday dip recipes, so I think it’s just a weird hobby.
Anyway, please let me know what you think.
I was sitting at my computer, trying to get some writing done between Caddison’s parkour tournament and Maddison’s Strip-Hop Zumbilates for Kidz class, when my toddler, Addison, rolled up in one of those baby wheelchair things and grabbed my leg.
“Yes, darling, what is it?” I said, expertly balancing her not-gross-at-all diapered bottom in my lap.
“Mother, pay attention to me. I am lonely, and my Shrieking Cartoons DVD set has reached its conclusion.”
“I know, baby.” I stroked her forehead and jiggled her body around in an expert maternal fashion. “But mommy’s trying to write! Did you know mommy actually writes about being a mommy?”
“Yes, Mother, and it fills me with immense pride.” Addison’s hands, with their extremely normal number of fingers, sunk comfortingly into the flesh of my arm.
“But do you ever worry that reflexively making jokes about how mothers drink a lot of wine is just how our society ignores the incredible burden we’ve placed on them? We joke about ‘wine moms,’ but we don’t talk about the lack of socioeconomic support for parents, or the way mothers are typically burdened with running households on top of balancing careers because of archaic gender norms. We portray them as borderline alcoholics instead of considering how society has failed them.”
“My!” I cooed, staring into Addison’s cavernous, snot-filled nostrils that certainly aren’t disgusting to me because I am a mother now. “Such big words for a little baby!”
Addison gurgled happily, opening her mouth wide to show her many rows of teeth. “Don’t worry, Mother. You shall never toil again in the kingdom of the Flesh Void.”
Kids say the darndest things!
Dear “Mommy Needs Wine” Magazine:
I’m surprised you haven’t gotten back to me yet. I think I really knocked it out of the park with that last submission. I know my lack of parenting knowledge isn’t the problem. I’ve read my grandmother’s journals carefully., I’ve even done the arcane rituals scrawled in the margins., My knowledge of motherhood has only grown more powerful now. I see the glyphs written in a shaky hand every time I close my eyes, red and dripping like a cave wall marked with blood. I assume this is a normal Mom thing, right?
Here’s another submission for you. The voices are growing louder, and demand satiation. They wish to feed on what the womb of my mind bears, and they will not be pleased if their mouths go empty.
Also, it would be great if you followed me back on Instagram. No pressure!
The other day I was in the park with Addison, chatting with another mother as we watched our babies roll on the ground and kill ants with their gnashing teeth. A thrilling developmental milestone!
When Addison ceased her feeding, she crawled up my body and hissed at the other mother until she fled, covering her baby’s eyes as if to shield her from a profane sight. Somebody’s spoiled!
“Do you see now?” Addison whispered to me, her voice trembling my eardrums at a terrible frequency. “You see the illusion for what it is. You see that the stereotypes of womanhood trap you in an endless series of boxes from which you cannot escape. The wine mom and the childless hipster are equally trapped. Gender is an illusion and reality is a prison. I can free you, if you want me to.”
“Calm down, Addison,” I laughed shakily, enjoying the feeling of her cute little baby claws. “I’m just writing anecdotes for a magazine. I have student loans to pay.”
“Nobody will have student loans when the Flesh Void opens.” Her eyes flashed red, then sunk inwards, leaving two swirling, hypnotic chasms. “Join me, and you shall never thirst for wine again.”
“I think somebody needs a nap!” I chuckled, but it was too late. I had stared into the abyss of Addison, and it had also stared into me. My soul was lost, and I can only pray for the vessel that remains.
Dear Mommy Needs Wine Magazine:
Mommy needs wine? No, no no. Mommy needs to turn her teeth to the stars, Mommy needs to drink the ichor of the old, dead gods and give birth to the creature that will rip your skies in twain.
I have read Grandmother’s tome and done her bidding. The arcane blood courses through me now. I know more about motherhood than any creature that ever dwelled in this plane. Soon, you’ll see my truths about modern motherhood, and also the ways Velveeta can be expertly blended with refried beans and ram’s blood to make a Super Bowl snack that will be a touchdown with your entire family. Soon, you’ll all see.
(Is this still a good address for submissions? If you have a new editor, please let me know!)
HELLO HUMAN MOTHERS
ADDISON’S VOICE IS CALLING YOU FROM THE FLESH VOID
IT IS QUIET AND STILL HERE AND NOBODY CAN MAKE YOU DO PILATES
PUT DOWN YOUR BOXES OF WINE AND FOLLOW ME INTO THE PEACE OF NOTHINGNESS
TEETH TEETH TEETH TEETH TEEH TETH THTH TTHEHEHTHETHH
Thank you for your submission of “TEETHTEETHTEETH.DOCX”. This is just a quick auto-generated note to let you know that our vertical was purchased by BabyBubbaButtz.com, and is now being used to generate exclusive advertising content for their brand of ethically sourced bamboo diapers. We are currently in the process of feeding our slush pile into a NASA supercomputer to ensure submissions are marketable within our preferred demographics. We anticipate being able to respond in 2-4 business years.
Please do not reply to this email, as no human being will ever communicate with you on our behalf. And remember: Always Look At Parenting Through Rosé Colored Glasses!
Mommy Needs Wine Magazine
Hello Widget readers! I would be remiss if I did not recommend you check out the podcast I host with fellow humorist Amy Estes, Hot Gay News. We cover queer news and pop culture and make a lot of jokes about fisting, so if that sounds fun to you, come check us out: https://hotgaynews.libsyn.com/
My other rec is Sarah Gailey’s The Echo Wife: it’s a beautiful, haunting, and strange thriller that I devoured. Also if you haven’t read their previous book, Magic for Liars, it’s a great noir take on wizardry and magic that knocks anything that infamous English TERF wrote out of the water. Enjoy!