Now, When Did That Happen?

>> Monday, November 8, 2010

This morning I realized something.

Somewhere in the past two years, I became a "mom." 

No, no, no.  I don't mean a parent.  I don't mean a mother.  I mean a "mom."  I'm one of those women that drops the kids off at school and heads straight to the supermarket to stand in line with all the other "moms" to buy cheese and meat before pickup time.

Have you ever noticed that?  The primary population of the grocery store before 10 AM is moms with small children and very slow moving senior citizens.  (Then again, if you are neither, chances are you are at work, or still at home in your PJs sipping one more cup of coffee before forcing yourself out the door, so how would you know?)

I'm guessing that these particular moms are at the store at that hour because it's just down the street from the preschool and/or elementary school drop off, and grocery shopping with one or more fewer children is SO MUCH EASIER, no matter how many you still have with you.  After all, these women seem to have a more well-worn look to their faces and a very practiced hand on those carts.  These are no novices, even though they have small children in arms or carts.  They mean business.  They've seen this road before and know all the tricks.

Take me for example.  I mean, before we joined preschool, I thought 10 AM was plenty early enough to make it to the store.  Now I'm peeved if I'm not home by 10 AM.  I used to struggle managing a bag of envelopes with coupons, a cart-ramming Toddler with a baseball arm for yogurt cartons, and a shopping list with some measure of dignity.  Generally, I failed.  Now, sans Toddler, I can do the whole thing in 1/3 the time.  I'm guessing that the next step along the path (should we choose to take it), is gaining the same kind of shopping speed, poise, silent children, and determination that these truly veteran moms do.  (Oomph, I think that requires having more children.  Hmm.)  The daily goal?  In, out, on the way, home to unpack, do laundry and dishes, and still get back at school in time for lunch. 

I'm impressed by the silent dignity and grace of these women and all they accomplish before noon.  After all, I still get hung up with my blog and Twitter while the dishes linger in the sink and the laundry breeds on the living room floor.  (Guess what I'm supposed to be doing right now while I'm blogging to you?)

I'm also appalled that I've reached this phase in my life where I can seek fulfillment in rapid-shopping, spiffy cleaning, and quiet children, although I can certainly envy all three.

My child is 3 1/2, and I'm still not ready to be a "Mom".  A "mommy," and a "mother" are all well and good, but "Moms" chaperone field trips and run carpools and attend youth league sporting events.  Me?  I'm still a goof-off that would rather go to the toy store to shop for my husband's birthday present 'cause I know I'll find something.  I still think McDonalds is lot of fun, with or without my son.  I haven't managed to panic yet about food preservatives, and I still cringe when someone calls me a "Mommy Blogger."  Most of all, I cannot fathom that we are scheduled to drive for next week's field trip to the pet store. 

I'm sending Daddy.  I'm not ready yet.


saywhatyouwill November 8, 2010 at 3:16 PM  

whenever i feel like this (sometimes, not often, but enough) i feel like screaming "SERIOUSLY THIS IS NOT THE REAL ME!!"

Susan November 10, 2010 at 6:17 PM  

Great post. Thanks for the laugh. Ahhh life is so good now that I can do the grocery shopping when the kids are in school.

Shara: Mommy Perks November 12, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

Thanks for the laugh. I have three kids now and was a nanny for over 16 years. I've worked in education for many years, too. For me, the biggest issue is boogers. I never get used to boogers. So many kids pick them, eat them and even try to share them with others.

After 23+ years of working around children I'm still not ready for boogers.

The grocery store, though - better than boogers. For me, anyway. Although I do generally go after my volunteer shift on a Tuesday night. When the kids are at HOME with DADDY :-)

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