...and Fran and Lynette head back into Lynette's office for a chat. Fran, sipping coffee (so much coffee in this episode!), says to Lynette, with much incredulity, "You want me to put my daughter in daycare? But I'm a stay-at-home mom!" Lynette tells Fran that she doesn't necessarily have to leave her daughter there all day, but maybe "just a couple hours in the afternoon?" Lynette, in total pitch mode, says how nice the time off would be, how relaxing Fran would find it, etc. But Fran insists that she doesn't need any time off; she loves taking care of "little Mindy." Lynette: "Oh, of course! But we all have days when we're starting to lose it. Wouldn't it be nice to have some place to take her, before you want to strangle her?" And the way Lynette says "strangle her" is super-jokey, like "from one mother to another," but clearly Fran is shocked to hear such a thing coming out of another mother's mouth. And while I totally relate to Lynette here, I think that, as a professional pitch-giver, she'd be able to read her audience better, because from the second Fran walked in, you could tell that she's 100% Stepford crazy. Fran laughs a superior little laugh and then tells Lynette that she "cherishes every moment" she spends with her daughter.
You can see that Lynette is finally realizing what she's up against, but she keeps her smile fixed in place. She takes a big breath and then she "levels" with Fran, telling her that the real reason they need Mindy is to get their numbers up so that they can qualify for daycare. Fran: "Well, that's not my problem." Lynette shrugs and says okay, that she just thought she'd "give it a shot." Fran, with complete insincerity, tells Lynette that she wishes she could help, and she gets up to leave. But at the door, she turns and asks Lynette, "Why did you have kids if you weren't going to raise them?" Lynette's smile hangs around for a beat or two, and then her eyebrows go up and she says, "Excuse me?" Fran: "I just don't understand women who say they want to be mothers but then hand their kids over to glorified babysitters." Lynette laughs a humorless laugh and tells Fran that she works because her family needs her to. ["You'd think she'd add, 'Much as your husband does, which is why he never sees the kid he's totally not raising, by your definition.'" -- Wing Chun] Fran: "Oh dear, now I've upset you. And that wasn't my intention." Lynette shakes her head, smiling, and tells Fran, "I...bet. Make no mistake, I'm a good mother." Ha! Fran: "That's the difference between us. I couldn't settle for being a good mother. I want to be a great one." Lynette sort of flares her nostrils and smiles some more, and Fran says, "Bye bye" and leaves. I don't get it. Can't they just say Mindy has signed up for daycare, and then just never make use of it? Or does this "insurance daycare" come with its own police force that's going to come a-checking? And if so, not all kids are going to be there at any given moment, so can't they just claim Mindy's out sick, or out of town, or something?