They were gathered around a large table at our local coffee shop, babes in arms or baby carriers, while toddlers played in the toy corner. A seemingly Rockwellian scene, but these mamas were playing for keeps.
“14 hours. Did you hear me? 14! While he is reading a magazine.”
In case you’re unfamiliar with the high-stakes game of Mommy poker, anything involving a declaration of hours usually refers to childbirth or helping children with homework. The higher the number, the bigger your mommy street cred.
“14, huh? Well, try 22 hours and no epidural. And he talked on his cell phone to his mother half the time.”
Hmmm. Predictable call. I’m guessing someone ups the ante.
“Oh, ladies. Listen to this: 24 hours, no epidural and ended up with a C-section anyway. And he asked me if I’d brought any snacks for him. FOR HIM.”
Yep, as I thought. This is a cash game, alright. Playing for keeps.
“Oh, please. I went 24 hours without an epidural, got the C-section and he FAINTED in the operating room.”
Let’s see. Anyone going to call her bluff?
“Girlfriend, I had all that and a mother-in-law in the room for most of it. Who said, ‘Don’t you want to change and fix your hair before pictures, darling?’ Like she was fresh as a daisy after childbirth.”
Wow—royal flush. Didn’t see that one coming.
The game didn’t end there. They moved on to feeding and education. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say the mommy who grinds her own organic baby food, reviews flash cards with Junior every day (in English and Mandarin) and who has instituted “enrichment time” at dinner where the day’s news events are discussed, won hands down.
Too bad I wasn’t playing. I would’ve called her bluff. Really. Who besides a native can read flash cards in Mandarin?
Possibly the victor with the amazing poker face. But if I were a betting woman . . .