4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.
1. It’s 7am. You open the dishwasher and pull out your kids’ four favorite farm animal plates, their four juice cups, pour some milk, slice some bread, cut up some bananas and serve. You return to the dishwasher only to discover that most of the dishes still have food stuck to them… and the inside door of the dishwasher is still all splattery… and the little container that holds the dishwasher detergent never opened. Because you never ran the dishwasher. You:
a. Run across the room and grab those dirty plates and cups away from your children, throw out the food, apologize for your ineptitude, replace the whole breakfast but on clean, matching, teddy bear plates.
b. Walk across the room, retrieve the plates and cups, put all the food on whatever plates you can find and return to the table.
c. Say “Oops!” Pause for a second and then quietly chuckle, continuing with the day as if nothing happened.
2. You are dressing your sweet baby girl, just three years old, for pre-school. She stops you somewhere between helping her put on Hello Kitty panties and turning her t-shirt right side out. She gently holds your face between her soft chubby hands, looks into your eyes and says, “Mama? I love you when you don’t yell.” You:
a. Vow to never, ever yell again and hug her precious chubby body to your chest.
b. Shake your head with chagrin and reply, “Mama is so so sorry she yells at you, sweet girl. I love you so much. You know that, don’t you?”
c. Kiss her chubby hand and say, “Mama loves you, too, even when you’re so annoying that she has to yell at you.”
3. You head downstairs dressed for date night. Your fashionably trendy, half-your-age, dewy-skinned beauty of a babysitter says, “I love that outfit!” You look down at your slightly see-through white Anthro blouse, your black and white Aztec-patterned skinny jeans and leopard trimmed wedge-soled booties and ask yourself:
a. Have I gone too far? (As you head upstairs to change.)
b. Do I look like a cougar? I mean, I am wearing leopard…
c. Right?! Who’s getting lucky tonight? That guy! (Pointing at your husband, who has just returned from work.)
4. You are driving home after feeding everyone, dressing everyone, dropping everyone off at their respective schools. In your mind you are already spending the next three, blessedly free, hours on decadent things, like writing, making art, finally taking a shower, running, cleaning all the spoiled food out of the refrigerator and putting it in the compost bin. You pull into the driveway only to see your husband’s car has returned. He is working from home this morning. You:
a. Get excited! You get to see the man you love more than any other and on a weekday morning!
b. Put a slightly angry game face on. You will now loudly fold laundry, clean the refrigerator, prepare food and do all the other things you do for the other 14 hours every day like the martyr your mother raised you to be.
c. Feel a little tiny piece of you inside die. You will now pretend to unload the dishwasher, prepare dinner, and do laundry while actually running back and forth to your computer to check Facebook, read your e-mail, text other Mamas and write a blog post. Computer, sink. Computer, refrigerator. Computer, dishwasher.
5. You are having a play date with a brand new Mama and her two adorable kids. You’ve wiped all the pee off the powder room toilet seat, prepared a nutritious and delicious Gluten-free, nut-free, organic snack and straightened up everything you could get your hands on. As the kids all sit down to eat their snacks the little girl gets up and asks her mother if she can go wash her hands. Then she says, “The table is so dirty, my hands got sticky” And then looks at you with the accusatory expression only a five-year-old girl can manage. You:
a. Try really hard not to, but you take it personally.
b. Know you shouldn’t, but you take it personally.
c. You take it personally. (Sigh.)
Give yourself 5 points for every time you answered C, 3 points for each B and 1 point for each A. If you recognized any of these scenarios you get a bonus 20 points.
1-5 You are a way better Mother than me, but that goes without saying. Although you are wasting precious time reading this blog while you could be devising an in-house math curriculum based on fruit and measuring cups, so maybe you’re not as awesome as you clearly think you are.
6-24 You are a better mother than me, but I’ll still be your friend. Because you know you cheated on this quiz, and I sort of like that about you. You’re conflicted, a little loony maybe. I appreciate that in a Mama friend.
25-45 You probably feel like a terrible mother. I sort of do. But you are actually a good mother. Because being a good mother means never having your daughter say, “I could never be as great a Mom as my Mom was to me.” Congratulations! You have arrived.