The Bad-Mommy Method


When you’re trying to quiet
a fussy toddler in the back seat,
long overdue for a nap
and hanging onto wakefulness
by a frayed thread,

and you're stuck in traffic
a long way from home,
listening to the screams escalate,
wondering why you timed your outing
to Train Town

or the zoo
so badly,
and you’ve exhausted all
the good-mommy options

like singing lullabies
and passing back the sippy cup,
baggy of Cheerios,

or even
the contraband binky that he’s trying to quit,
then proceed to the bad-mommy method:
Turn up the AC/DC real loud.

You’ll feel much better, I promise,
and your baby will be just fine.


And one day,

maybe twelve years or so in the future,
you might experience a moment
like the one
that is currently warming
the bad-mommy chamber of my heart:
from the room down the hall,
where my son is practicing his guitar,
come the unmistakable strains
of “Back in Black.”