what moms and dads do

It was back to school for our family today, after three weeks off. That’s two legit vacation weeks, and one playing hooky. But Cooper is still in pre-K, and I felt that missing “Q” week in order to vacation with his cousins would not have any long-term ill effects.

Anyhow, I dropped the boys off this morning. Fergus’ nursery classroom is beginning a “Family” unit, which will take them through the rest of the school year. Recently, Fergus’ teacher helped the class make a list of what mommies and daddies do. She posted the lists in the cloak room, so we’d be sure to see them. They were so interesting, I thought I’d share them with the viewers at home.

And now, “What Dads Do.”

Fergus said, “They play with you.”

And here is the list of “What Moms Do.”

Fergus said, “They take you to the doctor.”

Cooper did the same exercise last year, when he was in nursery school. He said, “Dads scrap with you,” and “Moms make Shake ‘n Bake chicken for you.” That was horrifying on several counts, not the least of which was that Cooper was telling the world that I actually made my children eat Shake ‘n Bake.

Once I saw Fergus’ responses, however, I could see a clear trend:
Mommy takes you to the doctor, and cooks.
Daddy goofs around with you and wrestles.
Mommy works.
Daddy plays.
In other words, Mommy is Martha and Daddy is Mary, for those of you who went to Catholic school.

I was already complaining about this just last week, after my trip to Sea World– that moms have to organize all the good-times-having, but rarely get to participate themselves. And if you look at the other children’s responses, that does seem to be borne out:

“Moms cook dinner.”
“Moms make lunch.”
“Moms sometimes paint with you,” Julian remarked, but note his qualifier.
Max said, “They are supermoms,” which sounds fantastic, but I must tell you that he has two dads at his house, and is therefore speaking entirely in the hypothetical.

And the dads?
“Dads tickle you.”
“Dads play football.”
“Dads take you for ice cream.”
(Lenny said, “Dads clean houses.” I have to figure that’s four-year-old humor. )

However, the list of what moms do was not entirely lame. Some kids said,
“Moms watch movies with you.”
“Moms take you to eat Chinese food.”
“Moms let you go on rides by yourself at Chuckie (sic) Cheese.”

And that makes me feel even worse. Why didn’t my kids say something like that about me? Why didn’t they say, “Moms take you to SeaWorld”? Or, “Moms let you eat Easter candy after you have brushed your teeth”? Why did my kids have to say stuff like, “Mom holds you down while you get your cavities filled”?

Do I need to seize the reins, here, and become Good-Times Mommy? Maybe I should be the one playing Planet Heroes with them, and let the babysitter take them for their flu shots. I know I’m a good mommy. I want to be a fun one, too.