My mother used to be a real mother"" -- and if you can believe the small daughter's glowing memories, a -- perfect one -- dispensing kisses, cupcakes and sympathy as needed. But then mother goes back to work and the children are deprived of not only her attention but their father's as well, for he is now busy with dishes and laundry and such. At last the little girl has an outburst at the dinner table, her parents realize how she has been feeling, and the family works out a way for everyone to share the chores and have fun together too. As usual with such therapeutic endeavors the simplicity of the solution is less convincing than the extent of the problem, but it does point in a realistic direction -- and, more important, Blaine admits what many children know -- that a mother's back to work move is not always that easy on the kids. And when the miserable child reports that ""My parents said we were all much happier now,"" she should hit home with all those frustrated kids whose parents refuse to recognize inconvenient feelings in their offspring. This empathy, plus Wallner's mixture of shaggy contemporary wryness with nostalgic softness and a neo-deco format make this a family worth looking in on.