Emma has gymnastics every Tuesday morning. She loves this class with all of her heart and happily bounds into the gymnasium each week. I like this class because unlike other ballet or gymnastic schools we have been to, I do not have to stick around and make small talk with all of the other moms who invite me to playgroup and ask me how I could possibly survive without my husband home and why in the world I would want to homeschool my children! This school offers you an out-there is a golden piece of paper that you sign your name to and leave your cell number in case they need to get a hold of you and then you can run free without your 5 year old for an entire hour. Amazing, I know.
I can get a lot done in an hour without Emma. Without Em I can get the grocery shopping done, have the van oil changed, mail 100 packages at the post office, end world hunger and discover the cure for the common cold. I am not kidding. With Em I can basically get her socks on in an hour. Maybe only one sock... that is how slow she is. It is not a bad thing, Emma just likes to stop and smell the roses in life. She stops and smells every rose she can possibly find.
I must admit that I really do like to escape the gymnastics waiting room. I am not one of those moms who needs to chat with other moms about little Billy's toilet habits or why little Molly won't stop biting her baby brother. (I have a blog to do that). I have never been able to make that kind of small talk with other women because I usually look at them and say things like "Are you neurotic?' or "What kind of medication are you on?" I also loathe playgroups. Don't get me wrong, I love love love to have my children play with other children, but they are usually children that I have done an extensive background check on to make sure they aren't little destroyers disguised in a sweet little body. Playgroups to me are more for the mom and not so much for the kids. I have been to so many playgroups where a kid is trying to get their mother's attention because he has had a toy stolen from him or some other little kid took a two-by-four to their head, and the mom is getting more and more irritated that she having to stop her conversation about the use of Splenda in baking and how it is just wonderful to feed your children healthy cookies with chemicals that they are not sure if they cause cancer or not but dammit little Billy! JUST GO PLAY! Can't you see mommy is having her own playgroup while you play with other kids who will hit you, bite you, and make you feel inferior? It is all part of the circle of life so deal with it Mufasa.
No, I am not a playgroup kind of mom so that makes me an outcast in the gymnastics waiting room. A person of interest on the mom list. "You see that blond woman over there? The one who thinks she is 10lbs. lighter than what she really is? She doesn't do playgroups! Can you believe it? Who does she think she is? Does she really think she can parent her young children without the social interaction of little bullies and brats? The nerve!"
Well, yesterday was "parent participation" day at gymnastics. This is basically a way for the instructors to show the moms what their children are learning in the class. It is actually kind of sweet and the kids love to have mom or dad in there with them... but let me tell you, it is like the back stage of a beauty pageant for the moms. I must say that if all of the moms are as nice to their children when other people aren't watching and judging them as they are in plain view, well then the Safe Haven law here in Nebraska is going to be getting a reprieve from all of the 5-17 year olds that have been dropped off in the past few weeks. Phew.
I must admit that I fall victim to this evil charade as well. Of course I don't want strangers knowing that I yell at my kids, that I send them to their room when I have had enough or that I call them "twerp" or blame them for my future admission to the loony bin. I want strangers to think I am a fabulous mother and we live a fabulous life and my kids are so well behaved that they need to say things to me like "How do you do it oh wise and powerful one?"
Yeah... none of that fabulous stuff happened for me yesterday. You see, on these parent participation days, younger siblings are not allowed in the gymnasium. This means that you have to find someone to watch your baby for an hour while you go skip around a smelly gymnasium with your 5 year old proving to the world that you are a great mom to this kid... but a bad mom to the one you just dumped off at the babysitters.
I don't have a babysitter for my kids. I watch them myself. I don't have any friends who do not work and I could drop the baby off with because if you remember, we recently moved here and all of the friends I have here are the ones that I have had for years now and they all stopped having children about 10 years ago so I am the only one who is not only old, but also has young children at home during the day. And... AND... My husband is GONE! Yesterday I was really twerked off that he was gone and not home to watch the baby for me. The nerve!
So I went to gymnastics with Emma and the baby. I even put little Mary in my wrap that binds her to my body in such a way that she could not escape if she tried to... not even if she bribed me with kisses and hugs.
I was not allowed into the gymnasium with Emma. I was shunned. I now know what it felt like to have lived in Salem during the witch trials. The gymnastic rulers of the world reminded me that younger siblings were not welcome into the big gymnasium because why? They may have fun? Or they may smile and giggle? Oh... because they could interrupt the Olympic hopefuls that are taking gymnastics at the ripe age of 5.
So Emma was the only kid there without a mom. All of the other moms looked at me and shook their heads as they filed past in their tight sweat pants and stocking feet. I should have grabbed Emma out of class so that she would not have to endure such a long hour without her mother there to participate with her... so that she was not an outcast while all of the other little brats had their fabulous mothers with them and Emma's mom, the lady in jeans and a sweatshirt in the waiting room? She was labeled a BAD MOM by all of the women who were able to get their lives together that morning and find someone to watch their babies.
But I didn't drag Emma out. I know how much she loves gymnastics so I sat on the other side of the glass windows and watched her the entire hour. I clapped when she did something good and I cheered when she accidentally tripped a mother walking by. After class we went out for a Happy Meal... because sometimes you need a little trans fat to right a wrong.
So the Mother of the Year Award is still up for grabs if any of you would like to take it from me. I know you are out there... but you are going to have to come up with something a lot better then "Tommy screamed that he hated me in the middle of Church last weekend" to steal this award from me. It takes a lot of be mother of the year. Do you have what it takes? Do ya?