I am blow-drying Emma the Brave's hair when she turns to me and says, "Mommy, why can't you be a hairdresser?"
I jiggle the dryer with professional flourish. "I suppose I could be a hairdresser if I wanted to be."
Emma's lip protrudes ever so slightly. "Everybody else's mommy is something except mine."
I stop the dryer and kneel down. I consider naming off all the other stay-at-home parents I know, but don't. "You know Mommy writes stories. And before I had you and Mighty Mouse I was a physiotherapist."
"But something real," she says with an emphatic stomp.
I tickle her tummy until her pout gives way to giggles all the while assuring her that being a writer and therapist are something real. I don't argue the realities of motherhood--it's clear that option has been eliminated.
With hair dried, I brush two sets of teeth then herd my pint-sized pair upstairs to read a chapter from The Faraway Tree before bed.
Twenty minutes later, with lullabies sung and sips of water dispensed, I slip back down. Supper dishes still clutter the kitchen table, two report cards beg to be signed, and a load of pink laundry is calling my name. I neglect them all to spend forty minutes stranded on an uncharted tropical island in the South Pacific.
'Something real' can wait.