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.
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.