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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 04/12/09

Per our Saturday morning ritual, Randy the perfekt husband, my daughter Julia and I went to the local donut shop. Well, THEY went to the donut shop. I hit the Starbucks for my heart-starting overpriced grande drip with room– moms’ asses can’t get away with deep fried-carbs like men with hummingbird-like metabolisms and kids who are built like sticks of gum. 

After our sugar and caffeine injections, we got up to go for our hike at our local Nature Center. At which point my kid asks “Did you bring snacks for the hike?” “Uh, well, NO, I didn’t bring snacks for the hike”, I replied.  I mean, after all she’d just consumed enough chocolate covered crap to throw ME into a sugar coma just from her breathing on me.

Her face squinched up like a baked apple and she let loose with the longest most annoying WHINY “Awwwwwwwwwww!” that had ever come out of a 6 year old. 

“Well, excuuuuuuuse me”, I said in an equally whiny voice that could only be described as retaliatory (I’m mature that way). “I guess I’m just the WORST MOM IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.”  (I’m also prone to exaggeration).

“I seriously doubt that”, I heard a voice say. I turned to see a 40ish MAN sitting at a nearby table. The hair on my, as yet, unshaved legs stood at attention, my mommy radar went into DEFCON mode. Why was this stranger addressing me? And how can I discreetly scan my Blackberry for the Megan’s Law website? Then I noticed his TWO KIDS and attractive WIFE sitting nearby. The hair on my legs relaxed.  “I’m sure there are a LOT worse moms”, he said with a sincerity and earnestness that would have made me puke if it wasn’t so… sincere and earnest.  

That’s all he said. But he gave me a look that made me think that maybe he knew about worse moms. I know that look because while I have spent years in therapy and one year in particular of absolute rock bottom depression on a diet of Paxil with Cappuccino chasers, I occasionally still get that very look myself. 

Not to sound melodramatic, but I was a victim of bad parenting. An experience I’d rate a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10…10 being the kind of parenting you read about in the “California” section of the L.A. Times that makes you hug your kids extra tight at night. 

And then I thought, this 40ish dude has a point. Hell, compared to a lot of moms out there I’m very likely the perfekt mom.  And by perfekt mom, I mean you can be flawed but still, in the grand scheme of things, be absolutely perfect. I know these moms. They’re my friends.  Here are some examples of these perfekt moms:

  • The perfekt mom forgets to put your lunch in your backpack sometimes.
  • The perfekt mom can’t make all your school functions because she has a job to be at that isn’t nearly as fun as watching you give your book report but pays for the family health insurance.
  • The perfekt mom sometimes puts ointment instead of toothpaste on your toothbrush because she hasn’t had her overpriced grande drip with room yet. 
  • The perfekt mom reaches the end of her rope in the eleventh hour of a 12 hour day. Sometimes in the 1st or the 2nd hour depending on what time of the month it is. 
  • The perfekt mom stays up way past her bedtime (9pm) to finish sewing the sequins on her kid’s Halloween costume and doesn’t get why they turned out wonky (or how that bottle of Chardonnay got so empty). 
  • The perfekt mom forgets to RSVP to kiddie birthday parties by the date given on the card then drops off her kid anyway.
  • The perfekt mom gets to the end of the weekend and realizes that her kid didn’t eat a single green vegetable or piece of fruit.
  • The perfekt mom spends every some mornings trying to find matching socks in the clean laundry basket because she never got around to putting laundry away.
  • The perfekt mom regularly sometimes pulls clothes from the dirty clothes hamper in a moment of desperation. 
  • The perfekt mom regularly sometimes says “sh*!” in front of her kids. Usually when stubbing a toe or discovering permanent marker on the carpet … or realizing she forgot to take her birth control pill. Actually that evokes a whole different word. 
  • The perfekt mom can’t be everywhere all the time. 
  • The perfekt mom can’t be everything to everyone, least of all to herself. 
  • The perfekt mom isn’t perfect. But she loves her kids more than anything in the world. And that’s about as perfect as it gets.

One day, probably when she’s gone, her kids will realize what a perfect mom she was. And the perfekt mom will think that’s perfectly all right.

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