I know what I did was wrong. I could even go to jail for it. But it wasn't my fault. The chicken had gone bad. Being a single mom isn't easy, anybody will tell you that. Every day is the same. Dress the kids. Feed the kids. Drive the kids to school. Go to work. Get yelled at. Ward off the advances of Jerry in the next cubicle. Bring home barely enough money to feed everyone. Pick up the kids. Pay the babysitter. Feed the kids. Entertain them. Feed the kids. Put them to bed. And through all of it, every day, you have to solve everybody's problems. Allen forgot his homework. Elle won't wash the dishes. Again. But who's there to help me with my problems, huh? When my kids slip up I'm there to pick up the pieces. But when I slip up, oh no, that's all my fault. I've just ruined everything, poor old Mom is going crazy again. So I have to pick up after everyone, even myself. I have to clean the litter box when Sam won't. I have to sweep up the broken plates. And of course, I'm the one who has to figure out what to cook when the chicken goes bad. I tell ya, stress can do some crazy things. I thought, maybe I can cook it anyways. It looks a little gray but maybe the bacteria will cook off? But when I opened the package and got a whiff of it, I knew the kids wouldn't touch it. Kids are so picky. There was so much happening all at once. As I sat there in the kitchen, racking my brain and trying to think of something to cook, the fire alarm went off. One of them must have been playing with the matches. That, of course, woke Baby up, and Baby started crying. Like the good mom I am, I picked up the pieces. Opened the window. Fanned the smoke. Put the matches back on top of the cupboard. Went to quiet Baby. I'm not proud of what I did. It was a band aid when stitches were needed. Hell, it caused more problems than solutions. But it worked. The kids are all in the TV room now, their bellies full of the delicious dinner I made. I'm a good mom. I do the best I can. But sometimes, even the best players have to cheat a little. I don't know what I'll say when people ask. It'll be nice not to have to pay the babysitter anymore. The kids will be wondering where their baby brother is though. What will I say? I just want to go lie down now. Maybe I'll put the kids to bed early tonight. I can clean up tomorrow. I can come up with a story tomorrow. For now…I think I've earned some sleep.