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'Gone Girl'? Try Gone Mom

Are you a fan of "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn or the film adaptation starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck? Meet Gone Mom. She's got a speech about cool, too, and it goes a little something like this:

No one thought I'd do it. How many times have I fantasized about walking out the door, past the potted succulents that died, shutting the door behind me, walking into our beautiful circular driveway, into the minivan I was forced to buy, and out onto the road?

I shouldn't have such thoughts, because I'm supposed to be a "cool mom." That's always the defining compliment, isn't it? She's a cool mom. Being the Cool Mom means I am a beautiful, accomplished, artsy and patient woman who adores changing diapers, hiding veggies in food, using the word "veggies," listening to toddler tunes and making her home Pinterest-worthy. She's supposed to eat celery sticks for a midday snack and love kale.

I want to grab moms by their diaper bags and say: "No one loves kale!"

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Cool Moms lose the baby weight and then some. They're hot — hot and understanding. They never get angry with, or yell at, their kids. They only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and hand their screaming toddler a timeout "sensory discovery bottle."

Your tantrum doesn't faze me, and I never get tired; I'm the Cool Mom.

People actually think this mom exists. Maybe they're fooled because so many moms are willing to pretend to be this mom. No one is this mom. I suspect Cool Moms aren't even pretending to be the moms they want to be, they're pretending to be the moms they think other moms want them to be.

But I finally did it. I left it all behind — for the morning at least.

Your tantrum doesn't faze me, and I never get tired; I'm the Cool Mom.

"Mama, mama?" my child pokes at her father back home. "Wait, what?" says my husband, still groggy from a full night's sleep.

He gets up to find hot coffee that's been freshly brewed (on a timer, which I always have to set up) and a single empty cup — my cup, the one that says "You're purrrfect," and has a picture of a cat on it.

My husband sends me a text message, but my phone rings on the kitchen table. I didn't forget it; I left it there. He starts to wonder where I am but pours some milk for our daughter.

"What was she thinking leaving me alone? The NFL playoffs are on today." He gives her some toast and jam and doesn't even think of a "balanced breakfast." Soon he's changing a diaper while brutes score touchdowns and beers go unopened. Next to the butt paste he finds an envelope marked "Clue #1."

"In this hall of books, you will find a very special story time. Then find her favorite book that rhymes."

"Um OK," he thinks. "I knew we shouldn't have rented that 'Gone Woman' movie. I guess your mom wants us to go to the library."

He packs a diaper bag, preps a sippy cup and snack, and wrangles our toddler into the car seat. At the library, my husband sits with her while a teacher reads a story and leads them in songs. It's what I do with her every week. Next he looks for our daughter's favorite book of rhymes. Inside the flap of "Fox in Socks" by Dr. Seuss, he finds Clue #2.

"At this French place, the toast is yummy, come hang out, but bring some money."

'Hmm, maybe next time you won't ask me what I do all day,' I say.

There's only one place that has French toast we all love. Le Pain Quotidien, a place that reminds her of life before motherhood, just a few blocks away.

He asks the hostess for a table, but just then my daughter spots me, "The Mama!" I'm sitting at a table with a latte and a chocolate croissant. I spent the morning getting a manicure and pedicure — the first I've had in months — and then I read my favorite mystery thriller on a bench under the trees, with a playground in sight. After story time ended, I headed to the restaurant, where I hoped I'd meet up with my husband and daughter.

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"Nice game," says my salt of the earth, scruffily-handsome husband.

"Hmm, maybe next time you won't ask me what I do all day," I say.


We sit down to have brunch together. I order a mimosa. While it's not a Cool Mom thing to admit, we love our families, but sometimes, we need to get gone.

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Image via Twentieth Century Fox

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