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The meanest mom in the whole damn town

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Last weekend, some of the kids in the neighborhood organized a lemonade stand. They mixed it up, dragged a table down to the corner, colored a bunch of signs, and handed out cup after cup of lemonade to indulgent passers-by.

I had absolutely nothing to do with it all. Except for supplying sugar, water, ice, and lemon juice – and mopping the kitchen floor afterward.

No, it was Kyle who reminded the kids of all the details they overlooked, made sure they had on plenty of sunscreen, and even bought a cup of lemonade. Me, I was ready to tell them to forget it as soon as Tacy burst into the house to get crayons and paper for signs.

I’m not the mom who opens up her house (and her refrigerator). I’m not the mom who organizes trips to the park and the movies. I’m not even the mom who volunteers at school – not even for the super-cool field trips. It’s just not me.

I come by my reticence to play hostess naturally. My mother wasn’t that mom either.

I had friends over to play. I had sleepovers and birthday parties. I even had a slumber party once. But our house was never a “hang-outâ€?.

Likewise, Tacy has friends over to play. She’s had sleepovers and birthday parties here. In a few years, I’m sure we’ll start hosting slumber parties. But just like my own mother, I don’t want to turn my house into a “hang-outâ€?.

Yes, I’ve heard many times that if you have all the kids over at your house, then you always know what’s going on. Sorry, but that’s not true. I’m not going to go into details, for fear of incriminating myself or others who read this blog and were party to my youthful indiscretions. Suffice it to say that kids are sneaky, even when they’re right under your nose.

It’s Kyle who’s the cool dad around here. Not only was he on hand to supervise the lemonade stand from start to finish, he took ten kids – TEN! – to the movies that Saturday. On BIKES! The man is clearly insane, at least from my point of view.

The weekend before that, we went to a birthday party. The hostess of the party called me to see Kyle standing in her backyard being whacked on the ass by a half-dozen kids. He was beaming even as he pulled them off.

He’s been this way since long before we had kids. In fact, it was his genuine enjoyment of kids that convinced me I could actually procreate with this guy.

I’m not really a mean mom. Not usually, anyway.

But I know my kids’ friends will never lament, “Geez, I wish MY mom were as cool as YOUR mom.â€?

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  • comment avatar Angela Klocke August 7, 2008

    This is me. Although we are TRYING to be more open, we’re still not very much so. You’re not alone!

  • comment avatar Candace August 7, 2008

    A balance in all things. I am the antithesis of this but wouldn’t it be unbearable if ALL mothers were overzealous??!!

  • comment avatar MileHighDad August 7, 2008

    I have been labeled as a “Mean Poopy Butt”! One second and then when the tide turns I hear “Dad, I love you”!
    Same thing I am sure…

  • comment avatar Catherine Dix August 7, 2008

    I’m not a natural-born hostess, either. It always surprises me when Toni’s friends call me “Mom” and beg me to let them come over again. I’m SO not like my sister who bakes treats and projects movies on the wall, and has slumber party activities lined up well into the night… I’m all for letting them entertain and feed themselves. I don’t mean to come across as antisocial, it’s more laziness than anything.

  • comment avatar Marigold August 7, 2008

    “In fact, it was his genuine enjoyment of kids that convinced me I could actually procreate with this guy.”

    Exactly my sentiments! I probably won’t be super-mom but I have a GREAT sidekick!

  • comment avatar Heidi Ahrens August 8, 2008

    I wonder how it will play out in my family. I know how they say daughters start to cling to their dads and see there mom’s as the harsh ones.

    Since I am home with my daughter I make the rules for her so it seems like I am the harsh one but our rules are pretty reasonable.

    I wonder who will be the one who is labeled.

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