Friday, March 27, 2009

Über Mom

I was at preschool with my daughter, who was arm deep in a water tray full of bubbles. I happened to make what I thought was a safe observation, "Of course she into this, she loves bubble baths."

Safe, right? I couldn't imagine anyone criticizing my parenting skills by that statement. But one mommy looked at me with a cocked head and let out a high pitched, "Oh." You know the kind of "oh" that immediately demands your attention, like a dog whistle to a Bichon Frisé. I didn't know what was to follow, but I silently cursed because my deflector shields were down leaving my undersides vulnerable.

Mommy continued, "You let your daughter take bubble baths?" Spoken in the same tone my mother used to ambush my father: You’re not really going to wear that tie, are you? The seemingly innocuous question packed with overtones. The conversation became as dangerous to navigate as class five rapids.

I answered mommy’s query as if I was caught at the border, with an illegal alien in the trunk, "Well... Yes. But not all the time. Maybe...once a month. No. Not even that often. Every two months?" The last two words went up in inflection. A decided question mark where a question mark didn’t belong.

Mommy then finished the job off with another "oh". Downward inflection this time. Precise. Clean kill. Silence. Even the birds stopped chirping.

I couldn’t take it. I had to ask, "Is there something wrong with bubble baths?" It sounded ludicrous coming out of my mouth. At least the question mark was needed this time. Bubble Mommy then informed me in a no-big-deal manner (letting me know it was a really big deal) that there is a pitfall to girls taking bubble baths. The soap can irritate their female parts. News to me.

My daughter continued to slosh in the bubbles. The birds went back to their chirping.

The above can be typical über mommy behavior. The know-it-all mommy who quotes facts and statistics, offers well balanced recipes and has a squirt jar of sanitizer at the ready. They are the mommies I call when I'm in a pickle. Because, trust me, I have no über mommy qualities.

I am not savvy mommy. I do not read mommy books or articles. I couldn't tell you how much my kids weigh nor what size they wear. And my thermometers never work. I do not have the answers.

I am not cuddle bunny mommy. I do not want to be with my kids twenty-four/seven. I approve of preschool for two year olds. Although not those granola co-op preschools, where you have to clean, paint and fund raise for eight hours a month on top of paying their exorbitant $850 fee. If I'm forking over that much, you better keep my kid all day, teach him a second language, service my car and recap my teeth.

I am not holistic nor organic mommy. These ladies know how to combat any health issue. They say things like, "Honey, you need to take your flax seed oil." I don't even know what flax seed oil is. I don't grow my own vegetables nor compost. And frankly, the later sounds disgusting.

I am not cleanliness-is-next-to-godliness mommy. For some reason, that gay gene is not a part of either Michael or I. We are guys and we are messy. Don't get me wrong, we don't live in filth. But I am not one to vacuum in my pearls. For me, cleaning up is a learned behavior. As I'm tidying, my mind still shouts, why put breakfast dishes away if you're just going to get them out again for lunch!

So, what the hell kind of mommy am I? Valid question. My kids are groomed. They have good manners and great senses of humor. They laugh and play reasonably well together and sing show tunes and maybe most importantly, they shake a pretty mean cosmo. They might say fart instead of pass gas, I'm sure even June Cleaver herself would overlook that, as long as the Beav could pour a good cocktail.

22 comments:

ciara said...

i grew up taking bubble baths, my girls, too...it doesn't irritate every little girls' parts. sheesh. i really can't stand know-it-all moms. part of the reason i don't have friends where i live is cos i'm not like the other moms. i don't subscribe to their ways or parenting books. child raising comes w trials and errors...i wouldn't have it any other way. why is my mother-in-law in your post (june cleaver)? lol

Sarah said...

Just get a natural bubble bath product at, say, Whole Foods and you're good to go! It's usually sodium laureth sulfate that does it. It's good info to know, but has no bearing on your parenting, Mommy With Penis! But you know that...

xo

Pip said...

i did not know about bubble baths irritating a girl's down there. u learn something new everyday.

justlori2day said...

You are a REAL mommy! Most of us realists have grandiose ideas of doing some of that other stuff that only muttles my brain thinking about it, but reality dictates a much more "human" approach. We make mistakes, we aren't perfect, yet we raise damn good kids!

Besides, when was the last time you saw an uber moms kid act like an angel when she wasn't around. I guarantee those kids will need therapy more than ours.

Ok, well maybe not more than mine... They DO live with me...

Oh and bubble baths??? If she ain't complainin' then it ain't broke (or irritated!)

Adele DaMate said...

Hey, wait a minute. I compost, grow veggies AND use Flax seed oil. Does that make me one of "those" mommies???

Isabella said...

I'm with ciara on this one...I took bubble baths my whole childhood and never had an issue.

I don't mind if someone wants to share some information with me...it's when they present it in a "know-it-all" way or say it condescendingly that I have an issue. (I could go on for pages about this, but I won't).


Happy FF!

WeaselMomma said...

You sound like a great 'mommy' to me.

KWG said...

Well done. Great read. My mom used to be an uber mom and it practically drove my sister mad (which she is, but that's another story for another time).

Thankfully by the time we had our child, Mom had mellowed significantly.

A little uber-anal still, but much more palatable.

PJ Mullen said...

Brilliant, love this post! I couldn't agree more with what you've said. My kid is happy, healthy, clean and fed. Everything else is bonus points and I don't need those.

Joeprah said...

Man, I can't stand those know-it-all moms and I have run into my fair share during my years as a SAHD and let me tell you it just gets worse. These ladies live in a different culture where everything revolves around them being completely unchallenged--except when they try and step to me--doesn't work, I can't shut myself up. Dude, I wish I was there, I got your back. Great FF post man! Have a great weekend.

LLnL said...

Great post. I have a small desire to become the uber mom, but in reality I don't want any part of the hard work that's involved. Saying that I almost forgot that I don't have any kids of my own. I've been taking care of my 17 year old sister-in-law for 3 1/2 years. Still I've been around kids my whole life so I feel like I've had the mom experience.

This is my first visit. The blog title got my attention;thank God for that, because your writing knocked my socks off. I am a new blogger has had a 15 year writing dry spell. I picked up again to be able to vent and express my creativity, but have become a blog addict at first post.

I feel a little intimidated because my vocab is small, my grammar is weak and my spelling is horrible, but reading this post has brought me so much inspiration.

So hopefully you can trust my sincerity when I say that reading your blogs makes me want to be a better writer.

Bella Daddy said...

OH HELL NO...we have "those" types all over the place here...I am with you...live and let live....my kid loves bubble bathes, farts and laughs, announces it to the world...says please and thank you, and excuses herself when she burps...and ya know, she is gonna turn out just fine!

Andrew's Daddies said...

I like getting suggestions from mommies to help me..but I can't stand the ones that carry an attitude. I am not very patient with people like that. I told one lady, "you know people may actually listen to your parenting tips if you weren't so condescending." I looked at another mommy as I turned away..she covered her mouth to hide her laughter.

anymommy said...

You sound practically perfect in every way to me.

No ones as perfect as they want you to think. Also, my kids totally take bubble baths, I've noticed no issues. Bet they have organic ;-)

Buuuutttt, I'm one of those coop mommies. I like going to preschool with my kids. Well, maybe not 'like.' Feel good about?

Jason said...

If you don't wear them while you vaccuum what the hell's the point in having pearls?!?

Oh, and yeah, I have no doubt you're an awesome mommy. If buuble baths don't hurt her and she likes them by all means, bubble away.

Rich B said...

Very funny post, yet so true. As a pediatrician I get to meet all kinds of moms (and dads) and sometimes that's the most interesting part of my day. The way I see it, as long as everyone's trying to be the best parent they can be, the kids will be fine. Kids are resilient.

parentingBYdummies said...

Well then I guess I like my girly parts getting irritated b/c I love a nice warm scented bubble bath. Whatever! And, by the way, I totally love your blog. It is AWESOME! I wish you lived around here b/c I would so want you and your cosmo shakin' preschooler to hang out with me and my farting, burping, crotch scratching, sometimes-swearing-though-not-allowed-to band of brothers. Glad I found your blog as I will be haunting it regulary:)

Tina said...

You sound like a pretty fun mommy:)

Venom said...

A lot of those uber-moms are "in a phase" and it eventually passes. Or, was that just me?


I'll drink to the rest of that.

PaleMother said...

Hello Mommy. Just found your blog a week or two ago and thought I'd say hello. I liked this post so much, it really stayed with me.

Then I wrote a post and linked to you in it ... the subject was sort of related.

Love the blog! Nice to meet you.

D.

Divine Chaos said...

yanno, I'm gonna duck after I say this ... but, I'm in the healthcare field, and bubble baths can irritate the girly bits and can, in some cases, cause urinary tract infections

That being said, I took bubble baths all the time when I was a kid, my daughter always loved them too, and it's never bothered either of us. If it's never bothered Maxie before, it most likely never will .. especially since it's rare that she has them ;) By the way, if she ever does seem to be having a reaction to it, she doesn't have to miss out on her bubbles .. just use baby shampoo instead of regular bubble bath :-)

I hate that condescending tone that know-it-all parents use .. there is absolutely no reason to do that. I'm more likely to take advice from someone who is kindly sharing their knowledge than I am from someone who's shoving their advice down my throat like they are the end-all be-all of parenting.

I'd let my kid stick gum in Bubble Mom's hair or something, that's just how I roll .... ok that's a lie, i wouldn't let her. but i'd think about it .. and giggle. ;)

I'm lovin' your blog .. I found ya through vodka mom, and I'll be coming back lots!

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