"There's no such thing as robots Jane." I looked over at my sister. She was wearing a pillowcase over her head and pretending to be a robot. "Mom, Jane's pretending to be a robot." My mom was in the kitchen making supper so I went to see if I could do something to help. Sometimes my mom lets me help cook things. I could make a lot more if she'd let me but she hardly ever does. "Can I help cut the peppers mom?"

"Maybe when you're a little older honey. This knife is sharp and I don't want anyone to get hurt. You can set the table if you want."

"I wish we had a robot. Then I'd never have to set the table ever again." I snitched a piece of pepper when my mom was stirring something. I was so starvingly hungry I could have eaten the whole thing. "Are robots real mom?"

"Please don't talk with your mouth full of food and please stop eating the peppers. I need them for supper."

"What are we having?"

"Chicken. With robotic red peppers."

"Can I have a snack?" 

"Not right now honey. Dinner will be ready soon."

"But I'm starving. Please mom? Please, please, please I love you so much in the world please can I have a snack?"

"Sure honey. Tomorrow when you get home from school you can have a snack provided you ate all your lunch. How does that sound?"

"Terrible. If we had a robot she would let me have whatever I wanted. Are robots real or not? How come you never answer any of my questions?"

"I was so repulsed by the partially masticated food in your mouth that I forgot you asked me a question. Maybe if you weren't talking with your mouth full of food I would remember what you asked me. What was your question now?"

"Are robots real or not?"

"What do you think?"

"I don't know. I guess so. Are they?" My mom gave me a pepper before she kneeled down to talk to me. She does that sometimes. "Robots are real. They do a lot of things that people find dangerous or monotonous. They never get bored although they can be broken."

"I'm bored. You're boring mom. You never do anything fun."

"I'm sorry you feel that way honey but life isn't always about fun and games. For me cooking supper is fun. Why don't you go pick up the toys in your room before daddy gets home?" I stuck my tongue out at my mom when she wasn't looking. "I don't want to clean my room. Cleaning is boring."

"Sitting in your room until it's clean is probably fairly boring too but that's your call. Now go clean your room like I asked you to and stop sticking your tongue out at me unless you want to sit on a chair for six minutes with your tongue out in the air. Do you want to try that or do you want to go clean your room like I asked you to?"

"But mom, you're not being fair. How come you're so mean all the time?"

"Because I don't have a robot to clean the house and make supper for me. You can come out of your room when it's clean. I'll set the timer for you."

"I wish I had a robot to clean my room. All I'd have to do is say 'Robot, go clean my room'. I'd never have to clean my room again. Can we get a robot mom?"

"Ask your father when he gets home. Now go clean your room or no computer games tonight."

"But mom..."

"But Jill..., I told you to do something and I expect you to do it. Go. Clean. Now. Please." I went back down the hall. Fluffy was on Jane's bed so I grabbed him and started reading my new library books. My mom was going to be sorry when I starved to death in my room.

Today is going to be so great. My sister and I can hardly wait. We talked to my dad and he said we could get a robot because my mom was going to take a trip. He said it was only going to be for a short time but I know how that is. We had to take my mom to the airport after school today. I wish I could go to California. I never get to do anything fun ever. I gave my mom a super big hug right before she left so she remembers to buy me a really cool present down in San Diego. I can't wait for her to get back so I can see what she gets us.

My dad is going to work on putting the robot together when we're in bed. I wanted to see it right away but we had to wait because Jane was crying. She always ruins everything but my dad said we could see the robot first thing tomorrow morning. It's going to be so cool. My friends are going to be so jealous of me. I went to see the new robot right away when I woke up. It looks different than I thought it would. I thought it would look like a person but it looks more like a vacuum cleaner than anything. She cleaned our whole house too. Everything is so clean, my mom never cleans, she just yells at us so we have to do it all for her. I went into the kitchen for breakfast. The robot was getting bowls and cereal down. "Can I have a waffle instead of cereal?"

The robot got the milk out of the fridge while I stood there. "Please may I have a waffle for breakfast robot?" The robot poured me the apple cinnamon cereal anyways. No matter what I said she didn't listen. The cereal is so disgusting I can't even look at it. It's the worst cereal ever. My mom is the only one who eats it and she only eats it because there's no sense in letting good food go to waste. Jane wants waffles too but the robot isn't listening to her either. After breakfast my dad took us to school but it wasn’t until I was sitting down at lunch that I noticed I had Jane’s lunch instead of mine. The robot came to school to pick Jane up. My mom and Jane always eat lunch with me and the rest of the first graders but the robot came and took Jane and my lunchbox back home. Jane was crying but the robot took her anyways. I had to push her sandwich way off to the side. I got into trouble for not eating it but she had peanut butter and jelly and I had ham and turkey in my lunch. I must be allergic to peanut butter. Every time I eat it I get so sick I feel like I might die. My friends eat it but I don’t.

When we got home I had to do my homework and then we had to sit in our room for an hour. The robot said it was solitude time but I know that we were really supposed to be taking a nap. The robot kept us in there for hours but then she said we could go outside and play. I brought the mail in and the robot didn’t even say thank you. She threw away all of our art projects and she wouldn’t let us go over and say hi to the neighbors either. My mom would have let us. I know she would have. After supper we could either watch TV or play on the computer. I wanted to play a computer game but the robot said I had to play an educational game. My mom lets us play Polly Pocket and sometimes we go on the Barbie website. I painted Barbie’s nails and Jane put some ribbons on Barbie’s horse. It looked stupid. I could have done a much better job.

At bedtime the robot used the hot toothpaste even though I told her we had kid toothpaste for me and Jane. It was so hot it felt like my mouth was on fire. The robot scrubbed our faces and we had to go to the bathroom but we always have to do that before we go to bed. I had to pick out my clothes for school so I opened up my drawer but there were no clothes in it. "Um, I need some more clothes robot." The robot handed me a sheet of paper. It was a government study about how people should only have three sets of clothes. "I said I need more clothes robot." The robot ignored me and went downstairs to finish the laundry. I fell down at recess so the robot was washing my new jeans. When they were dry she put them out on my desk.

"Um robot, I just wore those today. I can't wear them again tomorrow." Now Jane was crying because she had to wear the same clothes again. I was so mad I started hitting the robot. "Give my sister some new clothes robot!" I was screaming inside the house but I didn't care. My sister has to have different clothes to wear and so do I. The robot pulled the door to our room shut so Jane and I kicked the back of it. I told Jane that as soon as the robot goes to bed I’m going to sneak out of my room and get our old clothes back. We'll show her and my dad is going to be mad when he finds out the robot threw away all the clothes that she doesn't think we need. I hate that stupid robot. She didn't even read us bedtime stories like my dad always does. She stinks too. She smells like the time the toaster didn't work. Maybe tomorrow will be better but I doubt it.

I didn't mean to go to sleep but I did anyways just so I didn't have to think about wearing the same clothes to school tomorrow. I woke up and my nose was bleeding all over me and my pajamas. I started crying and I went into my mom and dad’s room but I was crying so much I couldn't talk. My dad told me to go lie back down but I told him my nose was bleeding so he got out of bed even though he didn't want to. He told me to go into the bathroom and he made me lie down on the bathroom floor while he called my mom. The robot was plugged in for the night so my dad had to take the sheets off my bed. I showed him where my mom keeps the extra sheets for my bed and he said he didn't know why she kept them in the dresser drawer but I told him they didn't fit in the cedar chest because the winter stuff was in there. 

I put some clean pajamas on when my dad was fixing my bed. I was putting my undershirt on when I started crying again. I miss my mom. She would help me out with all of this. I’m sending that robot back first thing tomorrow morning no matter what. I know my dad will help me take the robot apart so I can get my mom back. He doesn't like getting up in the middle of the night. That's my mom's job. When we went to pick my mom up from the airport I saw her before anyone else did. "I love you so much mom. I thought you were never coming home." My mom gave me a super big hug when she picked me up. She kissed me too. The robot never kissed me even once. "I love you too honey. Did you girls have a good time with daddy and the robot?"

"We had to send the robot back. Did you bring us anything?"

"As a matter of fact I did but we have to wait until we're home because it's in my suitcase. We'll get it out as soon as we get home okay sweetie pie?" I had to give my mom another hug. "You're the best mom ever. You're the best mom in the whole entire world."

"That's because I have the best Jill and Jane in the entire universe." We all got back into the car because this man at the airport told us to. My dad drove and we went out for supper. My mom made us eat vegetables but that's okay. I like broccoli. We had Oreo cookies for dessert and I spilled my milk but my mom asked the server for some extra napkins so it got cleaned up even if my shirt was still wet. My mom went out to the car and she let me wear my brand new sweatshirt even though she didn't wash it first. It's purple and it has a patch on the sleeve because I love patches. Jane's sweatshirt is the same as mine but hers is pink. Mine is way cooler than hers is but she likes hers anyways. It was really late when we got home. We had to quick get ready for bed and I'm so excited because we're going to read the books my mom brought back from her trip. We read Jane's out loud and I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open but I have to because I want to read the book my mom gave me. I want to know what happened the day she traded her children in for stuffed animals.


Thanks to maxClimb for catching my spelling error. 04/29/08

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