Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mommy Peaces

Sitting in Panera recently with my mom and my two very squirrely children, I couldn't help but notice the other moms sitting around me with their munchkins. (The battle to keep Leo in his seat/keep Leo near his seat/keep Leo in the vicinity of our seats/keep Leo in the restaurant definitely garnered their attention to me as well.... not to mention the ensuing Leo behaviors, none of which included actually eating lunch....) One mom had remembered to bring absolutely every "essential" with her to lunch, so that her only child was sufficiently protected from high chair germs, table germs, germs from her hands, germs from the air, and germs from the germinating plants hanging in the window. Her daughter was cozily nested inside the protective high chair cover and eager to try any new little thing her mommy offered her. The sippy cup, appropriately BHD-free or BVD-free or DVD-free or whatever those toxic plastic letters are, was filled with organic milk, and there were enough toys to keep Little Miss occupied for the next four meals, if necessary. I looked at that mom and thought, what a good mom.

About that same time, I noticed another mom whose daughter was sitting directly behind Leo in her own carefully cushioned, germ-free high chair. She was dining with her mom and what I assume was a close friend; both Mom and Friend ignored the apples on their salads in favor of the Apple of their Eye sitting between them. Not a crumb (whole wheat, whole grain, preservative-free) was spilled on her pretty dress; not a dollop of yogurt (organic, hormone-free, probiotic) stayed on her chin long enough to drip on her striped tights. I looked at that mom and thought, what a good mom....

And then Leo also noticed Miss Thing. He promptly stuck out his tongue and made spitting/raspberry noises at her. Horrified, I quickly quoted literature to Leo (From No Biting! By Karen Katz: "No Spitting! When do we spit? When we brush our teeth!") but to no avail. My attempts at manners seemed only to fuel Leo's refusal to acknowledge them. Miss Thing was not the least bit amused, and stared at Leo with saucer-shaped eyes, horrified. At first, I think the Mom was slightly amused. But as Leo continued, and she witnessed her daughter draw back in fear and loathing, I saw Mom's humor seep right out of her funny bone and land on the floor.

I made my escape as quickly as I could, averting my eyes from the admonishing glances (stares?) of the other moms... and yet I still thought that they were good moms, and realized how much nicer it feels to engage in the "Mommy Peaces" instead of the "Mommy Wars." Does this mean I'll never again judge the shopper mom who has a poopy kid with no diapers or wipes nearby? Snub the beach mom who didn't bring a single sand toy? Watch in horror at the exhausted pool mom who yells at her kid to stop yelling and walk faster? Scoff at the frazzled mom in the mechanic's waiting area who only brought a single toy (to share!) for the hour long wait? Probably not.... but it does mean that I'll try harder to wage the peace, because I've been That Mom in every situation, and I'll be That Mom in a million more. And so begins the Mommy Peace.


Kristi said...

Tell the truth...I am the the pool mom you refer to that yells at her kids to stop yelling.

Kristi said...

Good blog today, and you are so right...we have all been "that mom" at sometime, so best not judge. We have to stick together!

Linsey said...

ha, I thought I was going to get tarred and feathered at panera the other day for letting the baby eat lettuce and chicken off my plate.

I am *always* "that mom" :)