Wednesday, January 9, 2008

50 Ways To Be A Cool Mom

Seriously. That is the title of an article in the new Parents magazine. They have different little tips in different categories, but one thing says "A Surefire Rescue Technique When Homemade Baked Goods Are Due Tomorrow Morning At Preschool." It says "Buy grocery store cupcakes, take them out of the plastic container, smooth out the tops a bit so it looks as if you've iced them yourself, and (emphasis is theirs) put them on a pretty plate or tray. Extra credit: Throw on a few sprinkles if you've got a jar in the cupboard."

Ok, really? Because if the preschool starts demanding baked goods, let alone homemade baked goods, they should take what they get and like it. Yes, I would buy them from the grocery store, no I would not try to disguise that fact. I don't have time for that crap. Faking like your grocery store-bought cupcakes are homemade cupcakes is how you get "cool mom" status? Damn those sneaky cool moms.

Here's another: "Become a regular at a restaurant where the waitstaff loves to carry your newborn around while you eat dinner." Uh huh. It really says that. Because that would go over really well at my local Chili's. I can just hear the staff now:

"Oh comes that entitlement whore who thinks we should carry her screaming spawn around while she eats. Seriously lady...get a babysitter!"

They actually have a little cartoon picture of a waiter pouring wine into the glasses of a couple seated at a table with one hand, and he's holding (presumably) their baby in the other arm. I'm imagining this would also go over great with other diners, because when I go out to dinner, what I really want is a server who is all contaminated with some other person's baby's snot. Hello, Health Department?

Here's a good category: "Snacks to Serve On a Playdate That Kids Will Like and That Won't Make Moms Roll Their Eyes." Ok, first of all, if some bitch is gonna roll her eyes at the snacks I'm serving at the playdate, I think she can just host the friggin' playdates from now on. One of their 7 suggestions is "Rice cakes a la hummus." Right. Because my kids love those. Whatever they are.

I'm still baffled that this article is entitled "50 Ways To Be A Cool Mom." You want to know how to be a cool mom? Let your 15 year-old with her learners permit drive home from school, and kind of scrunch down in the passenger seat so no one can see you. Then let her open her window and blast Soulja Boy. Now that's cool. I don't do that of course, but I'm just letting you know that would be an actual way to be a cool mom. I, however, am not a cool mom. I don't serve hummus on cardboard rice cakes, either. I don't think that the word "hummus" has ever been uttered in my house.

My favorite part of this article, though, is the "3 Unwritten Rules of the Playground."

1) "If your kid is being bullied in the sandbox, refused a turn on the seesaw, or pushed down the slide, it's quite all right to tell someone else's child (in a nice way, of course) to knock it off. It's not okay to yell at him, give him a time-out, or take away his toys."

Ha. I think this lady would disagree. I'm not slamming her at all, she was posting in the comments of someone's blog about your bad parenting moments, and I have a lot of those.

2) "Just because there are lots of other moms at the playground watching their kids, it doesn't let you off the hook from paying attention to yours. If your child is stuck in the monkey bars ten feet off the ground, put down your Blackberry and untangle him." (her)

Ok, really? Because I don't have a Blackberry (do most readers of Parents have Blackberrys? Blackberries?), but if my monkey of a daughter was stuck in the monkey bars, I'd have myself a good laugh and tell her that she got up there, she can definitely get down! I'm not into this coddling the kids and helping them climb around on the playground equipment. I may not have a Blackberry, but I've definitely got a book or a newspaper to read. Sheesh. And the rest of you playground moms, stop giving me dirty looks. She'll be fine, she's tough. And she could kick your kid's ass.

3) "Yes, we know there's nothing sexier than a man at the playground pushing his kids on the swing. But in most cases that's someone else's husband, so back off."

Ok, now they're just going too far. Taking away the one vice I have left in the world, which is picking up men with small children at the playground and whisking them to my house for a quickie, is just unacceptable. It's not like we let the kids watch or anything. We put on a dvd and throw some Goldfish at them. Geez, I'm not completely irresponsible.

I am so glad I canceled my subscription to this crap. The online stuff is better anyway, blogs! Some of them are even funny and not this holier-than-thou parenting that the magazine promotes. I'm not sure why they decided to send me this bonus edition. Pink, of's February you know. Oh wow, I haven't even looked for the cute valentine crafts and snacks yet! Hey, here's an article that actually applies to me...or it would have, 6 years ago. "The Unexpected Child." Hi Kylie!

I submit, yet again, that this magazine should be called "Parents of Babies and Toddlers." Just calling it "Parents" is really misleading. If your kid is over 4 years old, it's useless. Coincidentally, according to suggestion #7, that's the age where it's ok to serve frozen grapes at the playdate. And stop rolling your eyes at me.


Jenifer said...

Toby is sitting to the left of me and is reading your blog. Thanks, now I will never be able to go to the park again. Why did you have to publish our little secret??

Shelley said...

Crap. Well, what the hell is he doing reading my blog anyway? lol Hi Toby!

Manic Mom said...

Hey, I think you can write Marnie--you got her pinned!!!

: )

Mary said...

So, this magazine isn't for a mom who has kids in college, high school and diapers? A mom who has never served hummus covered rice cakes but has offered ten varieties of stale cereal? I've even gone so far as to say "you're hungry? go home and eat!" That's going to disqualify me as a Parents Magazine cool mom, isn't it? hmmm... this magazine doesn't sound like its for me. I'm not that kinda cool!

I'm a blog mom!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I hate that "you have to hover over your child at the playground or you're a criminally negligent child endangerer". I don't know how many blogs or comments I've read about "that woman wouldn't put down her book" blah, blah, whatever. I don't know what they'd think about me with 3 boys running around all over the place and I have to go looking for one leaving the others to hang out by themselves. Or, god forbid, talk to the other mothers or deal with girl scout stuff while the buds play.

I bet there are mothers out there that think I throw them out of a moving car in the morning and drive by to pick them up on the afternoon. Just because you aren't right by the kids side doesn't mean you aren't watching them.


Rob said...

Dang, can I rent your kid so I can take her to the playground and get picked up but these apparently voracious moms? I'll bring the Goldfish!

Funny stuff!

Lish said...

I was going to comment on the Parent observation (not being for those with teens), because don't these people realize that we ARE cool to our kids until they're about, what? 6? 8? When their magazine doesn't apply anymore? ;)

The restaurant thing...okay, here I will admit to how small a town I live in because I have had the girls at the Chinese restaurant carry Aidan around. Heck, the nurse at the doctor's office did too. Small town though, everyone knows everyone. ;)

And hummus...YUM! We do eat that in this house, but you know how wierd I am already. ;)

onthegomom said...

Ok we eat Hummus (occasionally) but I LOATHE Parenting magazines. This was a VERY FUNNY POST!!!!!!! Love ya Shelley!

kristabella said...

I'm thinking this is 50 ways to get your ass beaten on the playground.

Or 50 ways to really embarass your kids.

Or 50 New Ways for Your Kids To Hate You!

Melissa said...

I dislike Parents, too. I can just imainge what would happen if I served hummus to any of the kids I know.

Picking up hot dads at the playground? Usually most of the hot dads are at WORK!

And I have to say I have yet to see a Blackberry in our park. Really, if you can't leave the phone home then you don't need to lave the house.

Anonymous said...

Writing this makes you a cool mom. Hey...number three really crimps my style. My the hell else would I take my kids to a playground with an extra bag of goldfish (ps...finally added you to my blogroll. sorry it took me so long)

MadMad said...


JuliePie said...

Kudos!!! I wrote a letter to the editor about the stupid let-the-waitstaff-babysit-for-free suggestion. There's only one restaurant where that happens to me, and it's the one I WORK AT! And only because these are people I've been friends with outside work for 5+ years and they go run and wash their hands first.

I liked that you used the term entitlement whore, because that was the EXACT term that came to mind.

rookie cookie said...

I have no idea how I ran across your blog, but I am here and I read this post and I can't believe it!!! I hate those kind of magazines.

I am bookmarking this and showing it to MY cool mom.

Nanodance said...

I hate magazines of this genre- full of ridiculous tips that are so damn PERKY and smug.

Cool mom, in my house, means that when I show up to pick up the teenage boy, I make it seem like an accident- "Since I am here anyway, do you want a lift?" We wouldn't want it to appear that he has a mom that loves him and takes care of him. That is definitely not cool. Being a cool mom means pretending not to hear all the n words and f words in his music and patiently listening and really honestly trying to understand why he likes it. It means trying not to become a screaming lunatic because the boy's room is dangerously messy (we are talking health department condemnation here) and it smells bad. Being a cool mom means not actually killing your kid after asking him 440 times to do something simple- it is always simple- take out the garbage, move the backpack you left in the middle of the floor, turn the music down...

Being a cool mom is stressful. But now that I got that great tip about picking up men off the playground for quickies, I think that I have found a way to deal with the stress.