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Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes
Author: Alexa Martin

 


PROLOGUE


   • • •

 

 

Lauren


   “And just one more,” our landlord, Miss Morielli, says as she hands Jude and me the final paper to sign before our town house is legally ours.

   The irony doesn’t escape me that I’ve had to sign more paperwork to live in a town house with brass hardware and popcorn ceilings than I did to take my daughter home from the hospital. I’m pretty sure being granted a tiny human should at least require a background check.

   “Thank god. My hand is starting to cramp,” Jude moans beside me. “I thought people signed this stuff over the computer now? Did you know they aren’t even teaching kids cursive anymore? I wonder what Addy’s signature is going to—ouch!” She finally stops talking and glares at me for kicking her beneath the table. If she’s expecting me to feel bad, she’s going to be waiting awhile because I don’t. Not even a little bit.

   HGTV has really tricked people into believing that house hunting is this joyful experience where the only downside is the previous owner’s terrible taste in wallpaper. And maybe it is when you have unlimited funds and don’t have to worry about all the ways your five-year-old could possibly conduct a vault flip off the loft railing or mistake the terrible green paint for a chalkboard she can deface.

   So after weeks of looking and lowering our standards until I’m not sure they could get much lower, the last thing I need is for Jude’s complaining to throw a wrench into everything when we’re one signature away from finally crossing the finish line.

   “We’ll sign as many papers as you want. We’re just so grateful to live in your beautiful property.” I sign my name on the final line and push the paper over to Jude—who is still glaring at me. I’m definitely the suck-up between the two of us. And I’m good with that. “Adelaide hasn’t stopped talking about how she wants to decorate her room or asking if the cookies she had when we toured the house will be there too.”

   “Oh, the pleasure is all mine.” She takes the document from Jude, a wide smile spreading across her face. Probably from knowing how much money she’ll be making off a condo she no doubt paid off ten years ago. “It can be so hard finding the right people to rent to in this city. But the last lesbian couple I rented to was so nice and respectful, I was thrilled when your family walked through the door.”

   My eyes nearly pop out of my head as I register her words, but Jude, my very reactive and not at all measured best friend, almost comes out of her seat. “Oh my god, what? No!” There’s no masking the shock in Jude’s voice. I’m not sure if I should laugh along or be offended she’s so horrified at the idea of kissing me. “I mean, not that I haven’t swum in the lady pond once or twice, but never with Lauren. She’s my best friend, we’re practically sisters. Gross.”

   Okay.

   Not offended. Just wildly embarrassed.

   Thank god this happened after we finished signing the paperwork and the condo can’t be revoked.

   Poor Miss Morielli’s cheeks look like we set them on fire, and I’ve never related to a person so much. Jude really knows how to work a person up. “Well, I guess it’s a moot point, with as much paperwork as you both just signed together, you may as well be married. At least for the next twelve months.”

   “I’m not sure I believe in marriage.” Jude stands up and rounds the table. I swear, the woman is incapable of keeping any of her thoughts to herself. She’s lucky she’s too far away to kick this time. “But I am a fan of sister wives . . . without the husband, of course. It’s all of the support with none of the dude drama. I guess you could say that’s what we’re doing.”

   “Sister wives, huh? I think you might be onto something.” Miss Morielli holds out two keys. “I hope you’ll enjoy your new home.”

   “Are you kidding me?” Jude grabs the keys out of her hand and crosses the room, placing them next to the only photographable plant in the room. I have no doubt in about two minutes the photo will be on her Instagram feed with about a million filters. “We’ve only been planning this for our entire life. This is going to be the best year ever.”

   I think about asking Miss Morielli for her notary and making Jude sign that statement. Because as much as I’ve warned her and she’s said I’m crazy, I have a feeling having a rule-following mom and a five-year-old for roommates is not going to be everything she thinks it will be.

   But like it or not, she’s stuck with us now.

 

 

ONE


   • • •

 

 

Jude


   Children and hangovers do not mix.

   I’m sure it’s common sense to most people, but this is not a problem I ever thought I’d have.

   For one, my uterus is under heavy protection. And two, by the time I have kids—if I ever do—I’ll be a real adult who makes grown-up decisions. You know, like one glass of heart-healthy red wine with a well-balanced meal and not the parade of low-carb vodka shots I had after eating a side salad, no dressing, last night.

   But as the sticky, tiny fingers literally peel open my eyes, and my tongue is uselessly stuck to the roof of my mouth, I have the very unkind realization that this is my new life . . . at least for the next year. And for the millionth time, I hope that if a giant sinkhole were to open up, it does so underneath Asher Thompson’s feet.

   “Auntie Jude, Mommy made pancakes. She said to ask you if you want some before you go to your special meeting.” Adelaide holds my eyelids hostage and stares into my eyes, which are no doubt bloodshot, with the most innocent expression that it almost makes me smile. Almost.

   “Addy.” I push her hands off my face and resist the urge to hit her with my pillow. But, seeing as she’s only five, I feel like society and her mother might frown upon that kind of thing. “We have to find a new wake-up technique. You’re going to give me crow’s-feet.”

   Her mouth purses and her little nose scrunches, giving her these wrinkles on the top of her nose that are adorable now but might make her consider Botox in about thirty years. I don’t tell her that. “You’ll get a birdie’s feet?” Her voice is a screech, and she honestly sounds appalled. “What happens to the rest of the bird? How will it land with no feet?”

   “Oh my god.” I wrap my arms around her and pull her down to me, covering her chubby cheeks with kisses until she squeals. “This is why I’m obsessed with you,” I shout over her peals of laughter before sitting up with her and ignoring the slight pounding against my skull. “Crow’s-feet aren’t birds. They’re the little lines around eyes that make your grandma Keane always look so sleepy and old.”

   “Oooh.” She nods, but I’m pretty sure she still has no idea what I’m talking about.

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