Vinnie’s Mom Wonders if All 4th Grade Moms are their Children’s Servants



Vinnie gets down from the breakfast bar stool and walks to the fridge. Dexter follows him. Rupert continues smiling at Vinnie’s mom. Vinnie’s mom calls over, “Vinnie only one bean and cheese burrito.”

Vinnie partially turns toward his mom who is now whispering to Rupert. Vinnie says, “Mom, Rupert will tell me everything you say.” He turns back to the freezer and takes a bean and cheese burrito.

Vinnie whispers to Dexter, “Mom didn’t say I couldn’t take a frozen hot pocket.” He slips it into his pants pocket. He reaches for the veggie burger box and pulls out a frozen veggie burger and gives it to Dexter. Dexter’s beagle brain decodes the frozen treat as a gourmet dessert. Dexter wisely carries the gourmet dessert to the entry way, lies on the floor and begins gnawing at it.

Vinnie microwaves his burrito, puts it on a plate and walks back to the breakfast bar. He sits on the bar stool, sets the plate down and says, “Mom, Rupert will never rat me out.”

“Vinnie where did you learn that language?” says Vinnie’s mom.

“From Uncle Mike. We promised each other we’d never rat each other out.”

Vinnie’s mom feels a sharp stabbing pain in her stomach. She forces a smile, “What happened in the office?”

“Mom, last year I was in the office so much I know how to do everything,” says Vinnie.

“I know you were in the office as much as Dr. Cashman,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“That’s not right, Mom.”

“What do you mean, that’s not right?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“Sometimes Dr. Cashman goes on conferences or has all day meetings away from school. I was in the office more than she was in the office.”

Vinnie’s mom fights an overwhelming desire to start laughing, but forces herself to remain serious. “What happened, Vinnie.”

Vinnie takes a bite of his bean and cheese burrito. “Do we have any salsa, Mom?”

“Vincent, you are not having a full meal. You’ll love dinner. Now tell me what happened in the office.”

“Is dinner one of your specialties, Mom?” asks Vinnie.

“Yes, it is. I’m sautéing tofu with broccoli, onions, and mushrooms to go with brown rice. Now what happened in the office?”

“I think onions give Dad heartburn. Did you know that?” asks Vinnie.

“Vincent, onions do not give Dad heartburn. What happened in the office?”

“Why are you speaking loud to me, Mom? Did I do something wrong?” asks Vinnie.

Vinnie’s mom makes a mental note to make an appointment with Dr. Sampson for a counseling session. In the next moment, she decides to delete the mental note to make an appointment with Dr. Sampson and make an appointment for a deep body massage at the spa. She says, “Vinnie, look at me.”

“I’m looking at you, Mom.”

“Very good. What happened when you were in the office?”

Dexter trots back into the kitchen area. He lies down next to Vinnie’s stool. Vinnie breaks off a piece of his bean and cheese burrito and drops it on the floor.

“Vincent, how many times have I told you not to drop food on the floor for Dexter?”

Vinnie says, “About seventy gillion give or take a gillion”

“Vinnie, please, dear God, tell me what happened in the office.”


“What, Vinnie?”

“You asking me or God to tell you what happened in the office?”

Vinnie’s mom hit the wall, figuratively, “Vincent, you cannot play with Joey, Larry, and Sara until you tell me what happened in the office.”

“Oh, that? You should have said something, Mom.”

“I helped Dr. Cashman and Mrs. Nokowski out, that’s all.”

“How did you help out?” Vinnie’s mom understands Vinnie all too well.

“Mom, it was time for the announcements. Dr. Cashman was in her office with somebody. When she doesn’t make the announcements, Mrs. Nokowski makes the announcements. Mrs. Nokowski was taking a mom and her kid to Mrs. Smith’s office to register for school. There was no one in the office to make the announcements, so …”

“You didn’t.”

“Didn’t what, Mom?”

“Make the announcements.

“I did Mom. My first announcement I announced lunch was free and lunch periods were ten minutes longer than normal.”

“My second announcement was my most important announcement.”

“What was the second announcement, Vinnie.”

“Mom, can I do my homework? I want to finish it so I can play with Joey, Larry, and Sara. We got a lot to talk about.”

Vinnie’s mom thinks she’s taken it as far as she can for the moment, “Okay. But I want to hear the rest.”

“You bet, Mom. It was the best announcement ever.”

Vinnie’s mom begins praying a Hail Mary.”

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