Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mother Scouts

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season. No matter where we go or what I do it seems that someone we know is selling Girl Scout cookies. And don’t get me wrong—I love Girl Scout cookies. But that’s the problem. I love Girl Scout cookies. They are tasty and little so it seems like you aren’t eating that many. But after a few short minutes with a little box of GSCs, that’s all that’s left—the box! And at $4 a pop, those are some expensive treats! My favorites are the Samoas which I guess are not called Samoas anymore—they are called Caramel Delights. Oh, my heart! I can make those disappear in 4 minutes flat. That’s a dollar a minute. Too bad the Girl Scouts don’t pay me to eat them. I’d be rich!

I do feel like I have a lot in common with the Girl Scouts except I am not in the Girl Scouts and I never was. (I am probably a tad bit too old.) I’m more in the universal “Mother Scouts” troop and I have badges that I have to earn.

First, there was the pregnancy badge. 9 months of fatigue, invasive doctor visits, and growing out of successive clothing sizes at an alarming rate. You earn that badge on Delivery Day. The badge is a wrinkled, stretched out stomach—stretch marks for the over-achievers.

The next one is the D-Day badge. This one is earned by going through the pains of labor. Some go the C-section route and their badge is an abdominal scar. Over-achievers have scars that get infected. Some go the alternate route: labor, back labor, epidural or no epidural, breathing, bearing down, pushing. The badges are broken blood vessels, excessive bleeding, and/or exhaustion.

Other badges aren’t as serious. You get one for the first time your baby vomits down your back and in your hair, one for the time they have an explosive diaper in public, one for the baby mouth marks on your shoulder that you didn’t realize were there and you walked around all day displaying.

Some are on-going—they upgrade to bigger and fancier for each time you do the required task: staying up all night to nurse a sick baby/child back to health, wiping a nose that is running like a faucet for the 11th day in a row, putting a band-aid on a boo boo.

As the kids get older, the badges can get trickier. Teaching your kids to drive—then watching them drive off the first day they get their license. You get one for having your heart broken when they have their heart broken. You get one for all the hours of worry when they go out with their friends and are late getting home. You get one for stressing through tests, papers, projects, SATs, applying for college, going away to college. The badge for these is usually a single gray hair—for each separate event. When you have a full head of them, now that’s a badge of honor.

Apparently you keep earning these badges as long as you are a mom. You even get them as a grandma. Last week Gigi was watching Joy and Marlo while I was at work. Joy was tired, a little under the weather, having a very bad day, but wasn’t afraid to verbalize it. I hadn’t been gone even 30 minutes when she called on my cell phone. She was crying, asking me to send Gigi home and get her a new baby sitter. No amount of reasoning with her could change her mind or placate her. (She was begging me to call someone, anyone to come watch her—she just did not want Gigi in her house anymore.) This went on ALL DAY LONG. I got the red-face badge (for being embarrassed that my child was being so insensitive to her grandmother). Gigi got her “I thought this phase of my life was over” badge. Hopefully Joy’s feelings about the situation will resolve themselves before next week. If not I might have to have a bake sale and try to raise some funds for “Mother Scout” cookies to send my child to full-time child care outside our home.

OK, I’m going to go polish off the Short Bread GSCs. (It’s my final badge of the day. You get it by finishing off anything the kids don’t like/want/are too full to finish. The actual badge is extra pounds.) Maybe tomorrow the little angels will help me out with my fitness badge. All I have to do is run around after them all day long, jump for joy, lift any weight off their shoulders, and laugh my bottom (spelled B-U-T-T) off.

Here’s to earning your Mother Scout badges today!

Posted by The Editor for Busy Body.

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