I’m not sure you understand how difficult it is to live in a house full of other people day in and day out doing the same thing over and over and over.

An Open Letter to My Mom

By Lauren Morris

My Dearest Mother,

I’m writing this letter to inform you I am disappointed with your level of attention to detail and listening skills. It has diminished significantly since March. While I understand this is a difficult time for the entire family as we are amid a global pandemic, the tail end of summer break, and the ever-changing back to school plans, my needs still need to be met.

I’m not sure you understand how difficult it is to live in a house full of other people day in and day out doing the same thing over and over and over. Our previous interactions have included compassion. I correctly recall the time when I fell off my bicycle, scraped my knee and elbows how you took the time to clean the hurt area and even kissed and said, “I’m sorry you have a boo-boo.” I have to assume your more recent behavior is due to a lapse in judgment.

While we all need a break from time to time, I find that I have to remind you more often about how hungry I have become. I fear I might starve to death if I do not eat breakfast, snack, another snack, one more snack, a snack after that, lunch, snack, snack, snack, eh, not so sure about dinner, and of course, the meal that takes place a mere 5 minutes after dinner wrapped up because it turns out I am hungry. I worry you will begin to feel unneeded. It’s why I continually announce at the top of my voice I am going to the bathroom, if I’ll be washing my hair in the shower, and asking if permission to consume the snacks that are labeled “no permission necessary just take and eat.”

Recently, I created a game where I run mock videos rating expansion and stuff packs from the game The Sims. As you are aware, I review the items on my computer, and then every 23.45 minutes, I emerge to give you my spiel. I adore you as my only audience. However, it’s frustrating that you are engaged in other activities. Several times throughout the day, you use the bathroom (also, could you announce to us when you are doing so), vacuuming, other household chores, or preparing one of the seven meals I require throughout the day. You also seem to be “fighting” a headache more often.

While I do appreciate the invitation to sit next to you when the activity you are engaged in allows, it’s just not the same level of attention I know I deserve. I’m beginning to think even though you claim you are listening when you suggest we move to the couch so I can talk, and you can “rest your eyes,” that you are not paying attention. Sure there are several “mmm-hmmm,” “oh, I see,” and “interesting” peppered through my 17.21-minute talkback without taking any breaths or breaks in between sentences, but I’m no longer confident those are genuine responses.

I understand that boredom has taken over, and all we have left is existential dread as we ponder our life choices. Not a day goes by that I don’t question whether my Thomas the Tank Engine phase was worth the hundreds if not thousands of dollars you spent on toys, tracks, trains, clothes, books, stickers, birthday cake, paper plates, and even a bounce house shaped as Thomas.

That’s why I try to vary my diatribes. Every morning at 6:15 am, before I enter your bedroom, I consider what I’m going to discuss. It’s a lot of pressure to barge in and not even take a moment to let you open your eyes and sit up before I just start talking. I know you like to keep informed. It’s why I’ll watch some of your favorite shows before I come in and tell you all about it. Plus, I’m careful about spoilers as I always state, “spoiler alert,” before espousing the coveted information.

I know you appreciate feedback and strive to do your best and am bringing this to your attention now instead of later. I think we’d both like to avoid my random meltdown, which is unpredictable and can show up at the most inconvenient of times. It might coincide with your only monthly Zoom meetup with book club friends or when you get on the telephone to set up an emergency appointment with the plumber because one of us stuffed a toy down the toilet, and it won’t stop overflowing, and none of us are fessing up.

I look forward to you reflecting upon this matter. I hope that I experience less audible sighs, your eyes brimming with tears, and that move you do where your hands cover your face. I look forward to seeing you tonight at 9:47 pm for my nightly hour of telling you how much anxiety I’m experiencing about the delay of Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Tenet.

Hugs and Kisses,

The “verbal” kid of the family



About the Author

Lauren Morris writes words. Those words are funny and can be found in MockMom, The Belladonna Comedy, Weekly Humorist, and more. When she is writing or fighting off existential dread she’s busy teaching her kids to spell using only curse words. You can find more at www.laurenhasthree.com or follow her on Twitter @laurenhasthree.