Coal. That is what I will surely find in my stocking this year. No use making a list. And all because of one minor parental slip up…

Since becoming a mom, it seems I have spent a lot less time on the highway. And for no particular reason really – I suppose we just try to keep our trips short and rarely venture downtown during the week.

Not that I miss it. Before moving to Nashville, I had more than my fair share of bumper-to-bumper traffic commuting to work on I-4. Driving the back roads, waving to the cattle is a welcome change if you ask me.

But there I was, trying to merge from one highway to another on a hurried trip downtown to pick up some paper samples. As I turned my blinker on and prepared to shift lanes, I noticed a car coming up quickly behind us. I slowed down to let her pass. Unfortunately, so did she. In fact, not only did she reduce her speed, but instead decided to be so gracious as to come to a stop in my blind spot and wave me in.

Now, the other thing you should know is that I rarely ever swear. In fact, when I do… if just for fun or if trying to sound tough in an argument, my voice typically jumps an octave right at that word, defeating the whole purpose. It’s rather ridiculous.

Can you see where I’m going? There we are… stuck in a deadlock at the end of the merge lane and something compels me to curse this lady under my breath. “Sh*! Lady! Just move it already!”

I decide to blame the extra caffeine from all the peppermint mochas.

We finally come to an agreement and I pull ahead of her, nervously accelerating and quickly switching lanes to lose sight of all potential witnesses. Then it happens. From the backseat I hear a sweet, tiny voice…

“Sh*! Sh*! Sh*!”

Yes, brilliant move mama. This one is all on you.

Guess what Sesame Street? The word of the day is…

– Ana, Mama Moderne