Professional Mom


                On Thursday nights we go to pottery class. It is what I would do for a living if I were good enough to do so, but sadly after many years of lessons, I am not. My Hubby tolerates it out of affection for me. I believe about four years ago we made a compact. If he would come to pottery class with me, I would go shooting with him once a month. It is now two babies and four years later and I am pretty sure I have only been shooting twice since then (although there have NOT been any definitive research studies done on the effect of lead exposure on nursing or pregnant women).
                The Hairy Potter’s wife, Jillionaire keeps Z for us on Thursday nights. Baby Bird who is still nursing flies to pottery with us, and Neurotic Beagle (Neurotic Beagle MUST go with us to avoid property damage) also joins us. Jillionaire is one of those moms who makes me feel inadequate. Her three girls, Braintrust, Fashonista and Sweetie Pie are always dressed in clean, stylish outfits. It seems like every week they have just gotten a new hat that is perched charmingly atop their freshly trimmed or braided hair. My child has never kept a hat on, EVER. Everything in her house is always clean and is arranged with an expert touch. Martha Stewart should really talk to Jillionaire about how to arrange and organize because Jillionaire could teach her a thing or two. She does all this while managing to look perfectly put together every time I haul my bedraggled kiddos, and my yoga pants clad self across her doorstep. But you know, professionals make things look effortless, and I am clearly a poser mom.

                A few weeks ago I could feel my face flush with frustration as I argued with Z as we were about to go to Jillionaire’s house. Last time we were there, she played with Braintrust, Fashonista, and Sweetie Pie in a kiddie pool. Of course, they were all stylishly dressed in complimentary but not quite matching bathing suits. When I told Z that we were going to their house, she immediately retrieved her bathing suit and started struggling off her clothes, saying, “I wear swimsuit.”

                I glanced outside at the rainy sixty-five degree day with skepticism and ventured, “Sweetheart, it is really cold outside, I don’t think the girls are going to be swimming today.”

                My arguments were to no avail in her two year old brain. She managed to get her swimsuit on, so I tried to compromise by getting her to put her clothes on over her swimsuit to camouflage the situation. This resulted in a meltdown, and an angry toddler yelling, “I no like pants anymore!”

                We were running late, so I tucked her jammies in her bag and threw her in the car in her turquoise bikini, sunglasses, and sandals.

                I prepared myself for the judgment of Jillionaire. I have NEVER seen her girls inappropriately dressed for the weather. If it is raining, they have cute patterned matching galoshes. If it is cold they have mini-infinity scarves tucked around their adorable little necks. I dropped her off in red-faced shame. I remember being embarrassed of my mom when I was a teenager, but no one bothered to tell me that your children can embarrass you.

                Jillionaire met us at the door and greeted Z with calm aplomb. She led Z in where indeed, Sweetie Pie, Fashonista and Braintrust were dressed appropriately and performing calculus in the floor with quiet politeness. Z seemed a little shocked to find, that her mother was right, and they were not in swimsuits.

                When I picked Z up later that night, she was tucked warmly in her jammies that I could not struggle on her using either love or money. I asked Jillionaire how she got Z out of the coveted swimsuit and into her jammies. Jillionaire nonplussed reply was, “I just gave her popsicles until she got cold.” Well played professional mom. Well played indeed.

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