"You're such a good mom!"
Ah, the words that every mother wants to hear. "You're such a good mom!" A mother can bask in those words for hours, hungily slurping up the much needed and infrequently received feedback. I recently got such praise at my son's preschool on his birthday. I have 1 son who turned 3 this week, and he's finally at that age where he actually cares about his birthdays. Oh, and he has so cared about this birthday for weeks, months, practically, ever since his mother told him he'd have to wait until his birthday for his Super Sonic Superman toy. (The kid is WAY into superheros, by the way. More on that later.) We bought Spiderman cupcake holders and sugar cake decorations months ago, mostly because Jacob was screaming at the top of his lungs in the grocery store, "I NEED THAT!" and my ears were beginning to ring. So, the day finally came when we could use these cupcake holders at his preschool. I dutifully made cupcakes as birthday treats for his school. And since there is one kid in the class who is violently allergic to eggs (we're talking quick trip to the hospital here), I found a recipe that did not call for eggs. The upshot of that is that the cupcakes taste "healthy", because the recipe calls for wheat flour. Ok, so I brought them in, everybody got nice and sticky, and the mother of the allergy kid said, "Oh, you're such a good mom!" I smiled, and so, "Oh, bosh", or some other sort of self deprecating comment, and smiled appreciatively. Then I thought about it some more. I'm a good mom because I can decorate cupcakes? What about the angry spanking I gave my child the day before for flushing an entire roll of toilet paper down the toilet? What about the fact that my kid wears socks that are 3 sizes too big because I misunderstood the shoe sizes listed on the package of 12 pairs socks I bought at Target, and I'm too cheap to take them back? What about the fact that almost every day when my husband gets home, his child is buck naked because I don't have the energy to put the little stripper's clothes back on for the fourth time that day? Baking cute cupcakes erases all of these things? I realize, of course, that this woman was being nice, and I actually like her quite a bit. But it makes me wonder if she really thinks I am a good mom. I mean, she sees me twice a week for 5 minutes when we pick up and drop off our children together. What does she know? So what is the criterion for being "such a good mom?" One thing I do know about that other woman who thinks I'm so great. She clearly did not taste the cupcakes.