Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Cookie Makes the Mom

You can tell a mom by her baked goods. My kids’ schools are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. Today is treats for the teacher day and I dutifully lugged two dozen cookies to each school office. My cookie of choice? That’s easy, the chocolate chip cookies you place and bake. Thank you Pillsbury dough boy.

I haven’t introduced all the moms on the cul-de-sac yet. I would prefer to do that with a good glass of wine, but a few left over cookies works.
The teacher’s lounge was full of treats today. Juliet, the organic mom, brought some spinach based brownies she had baked from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook. Unlike the same brownies I attempted at home, hers were delicious.

My friend Cheryl brought some scones from a local coffee shop. As a Cougar Mom, Cheryl packed her desserts in a Victoria’s Secret bag. She strolled into the elementary school lobby in her Juicy Couture sweat pants (the same pair as my teenager daughter’s friend) toting a large Victoria’s Secret shopping bag, complete with the requisite pink tissue, drawing both awestruck gasps and giggles from the 5th grade boys. The Leoninus Matris also got some looks from the other moms though in some perverse way we admire her knowing we don’t have the curves, cleavage or guts to carry it off.

My Apple Pie Mom friend Kate brought baskets of fresh baked shortcakes and strawberries and set up a make your own shortcake bar. Normally, this would annoy me tremendously; but, as a Pommum Pie Matris, Kate does these things not to show off or make the rest of us look bad, she does it because she likes it! Hers Is the Kool-Aid house where all the kids gather. She always has fun games and snacks for the kids without a trace of martyrdom.

Amy is the Obsessive-Compulsive Mom among us. She didn’t participate today. The idea of all that food, prepared in who knows what kind of kitchen, touched by little hands that have been who knows where and left out for all to breathe on was too much for the Detergio Disturbo Matris.

The resident Alpha Mom at the elementary school was on hand to give directions. Susan had things under control. I saw her again barking orders at the middle school and I know I will see her this afternoon at the preschool our youngest children attend. With kids in many different schools, and a key role in the PTA at each of them, she has hit the Alpha Mom trifecta. Susan is part of everything. If there’s a sport, a group, a school event, a neighborhood happening, the Alpha Matris is there and in charge. For her contribution to the baked goods extravaganza, she bought those huge sheets of muffins at Costco, one for each school.

The only other mom I saw today was Olivia, the Harvard Mom. She dropped off some nutty energy bars and headed straight for the library. As the Educatio Superus Matris, she has little time for such frivolous events. Although her children are only in first and third grades, she is planning their college careers. She did mention they were planning a family vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia to bring history alive for the children. They will also tour three colleges along the way.

That’s a brief introduction to a few of the moms in this suburban habitat. With unique traits and attributes, each matris is finding her way, relying on instinct to best raise her brood.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Natura Matris

The Birkenstock's and yoga pants should have been a giveaway. And the Burt's Bees lipgloss. I just thought Juliet was cool. I thought I was cool when I bought matching chapstick for me and my daughter. Juliet would never buy chapstick. She makes her own baby food and always has fresh fruit in her house.

I bought a bunch of reusable grocery bags, which I have used twice in six months. I always leave them at home or forget they are in the car. Not Juliet. She faithfully brings her canvas bags to the neighborhood grocery store. And she walks! I had my suspicions but they were confirmed today. She is the Natura Matris, the organic mom.

She is way past organic Rice Krispies and eco-friendly lightbulbs. I took my two youngest kids to the store today to get eggs to dye for Easter. I found the dye that comes with plastic cups you use to dye the eggs and then you throw the whole kit away. We head to the egg section in search of the cheapest dozen eggs sold. Making our way up the aisle, I can't help but notice the mom already carefully examining the egg cartons. She looks so healthy. And her kids don't have a free cookie clutched in their little hands, nor are they on their way up the sugar high curve. It was Juliet.

"Hi," I said reaching for the store brand eggs. "Getting ready for the Easter Bunny," I ask. "Yes," Juliet smiled. I look at her buggy. There is not a single item of junk food. My kids look at her cart like it's some alien spaceship. I'm pretty sure my son audibly gagged when he saw the broccoli. Thank goodness we didn't have our usual cart crammed full of frozen pizza and Cereal boxes all bearing some cartoon character or Disney star. That Hannah Montana cereal is good!

On top of her pile of reusable grocery bags, I see a recipe card for homemade natural egg dye. I hid my egg dye kit which I learned at home, contained not a single natural ingredient. "Do you see free range," Juliet asks. "Ummm, No." She then explained the importance of free range, even for egg related craft projects. I knew at that moment, Natura Matris.

We exchanged a few more pleasantries, "Isn't Spring Break flying by" and promised to get the kids together next week. As we left the parking lot, I saw Juliet loading her wagon. I imagine her dying her eggs with the color of organic green tea. We finished our eggs and although the dye contains many capital letters and numbers in its ingredients, it's hard to beat hot pink Easter Eggs with High School Musical stickers!


Moms: Doing the best we can!

I live in a suburb of Washington DC. That's all I can disclose or I may end up in the witness protection program. Not because of the crazy characters who may recognize themselves or me. No, it's not the neighbors. It's my kids. If they get wind of this little project, wI'm toast.

My kids range in ages from nine to 22. Rest assured, if you are going through anything with your kids, I've been there, screwed it up and laughed about it later.

My  backgroud is not in science or latin for that matter, but I have found the suburbs are much like the wild. There are different species of moms and they can easily be classified much like species of tigers or monkeys. That mom who still sports an "I heart Palin" bumper sticker is a proud member of the Matris Conservatus species. Her antagonist is none other than the Matris Liberalis, who is working out twice a day and wearing sleeveless shirts in winter as a tribute to Michelle Obama. As I tell all from the cul-de-sac, I'll profile these species and many more.
My mission is simple: world peace, one mom at a time. Humor is a great way to poke fun at our differences and celebrate our similiarities. When it comes down to it, all us moms want what's best for our kids and everyday we do the best we can. Reading this, you may recognize and laugh at yourself, your mom, your sisters, your daughters, your friends and that bitch down the block you can’t stand!