The Mom Code

Love is in the air. My husband flies in for a two week visit on Thursday. Our daughters, ages 3 and 6, are still “dating” the brothers next door, also ages 3 and 6. And our son?

Well, he still hasn’t revealed his crush.

I have to say I did try and get it out of him last week. I was only kidding with him but he didn’t think so. He actually blushed.

It all started with our dog. Our dog is still a puppy at two years old and sixty-five pounds.

He’s a lot of work but he’s mellowed out a lot.

I am not embarassed to say that I pay the kids to clean up after him in the backyard if you know what I mean. They each get three bucks when they do and I definitely keep track of when they don’t. Let me tell you, this is best nine dollars I spend every week.

The kids got this idea to pool their money from this week and from two weeks ago (See? I told you I keep track of when they are pooper-scoopers) to get some big Pokemon figurine pack from Target. We already went earlier that morning to pick up birthday presents and it was approaching three-digit weather quickly. I did not want to go to Target again.

They took turns pleading their case. As if I didn’t know how that worked.

“Mommy? Can we go to Target? We have enough to buy that toy.” The oldest is the voice of reason. We have a purpose. We have enough money. We are not wasting your time.

“Hi Mommy. What are you doing? I need to go to Target to get something.” The middle child. Please vow to me that you’ll help me watch over her. She’s subtle. Uses her friendliness. Her sweetness. And she’s vague.

TOO vague.

“Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY! MOMMY! Where’s my money?” Yes, the three-year old said that one.

They obviously understand my moods. If Mommy is irritated, let’s get along and stay out of her way. If Mommy didn’t say no, that means she could say yes. If Mommy doesn’t say no right away, we’ll ask her later.

Trust me. They’re good.

So when our son came to subtley ask me if we could go to Target. I said maybe. That stopped him in his tracks.

“Really?”

“Yeah,” I said. “But first you have to tell me who you like in class. JUST KIDDING!”

He blushed and it was adorable of course. I made sure I said I was kidding right after. I didn’t want to coerce this tidbit from him even though I really wanted to know. I knew he’d be okay because he’s pretty close to his friends’ moms.

You know, just in case.

There is an unspoken code amongst moms that I’ve befriended and gotten to know over the past few years. It isn’t limited to friends or even moms for that matter. Just a set of rules that I follow when it comes to motherhood.

The Mom Code is a work in progress, tailored to meet anyone’s needs, and applies to all kids and parents I know. Please feel free to add your own.

THE MOM CODE
According to me
Also similar to, but not exactly, THE TEACHER CODE before I became a mom for obvious legal reasons

1. I will feed, get tissues, fix ponytails/braids, calm cowlicks, tie shoes, snap pants buttons (in plain view), yell “WALKING FEET!”, and calm any and all children I come in contact with.

2. If a child appears to be lost, I will not touch him or her and will calm him/her down with my magical soothing voice at the same time as subtlely and frantically looking for security.

3. I will not scold any child (except for my own) but I will use my Teacher Voice and have guilt-inducing conversations such as, “HMMMMM… SOMEONE left a toy in the middle of the aisle. I wonder if SOMEONE could pick it up before SOMEONE trips over it… Oh? You will? Thanks, dude!”

4. If my child brings up some juicy gossip about yours, I will tell you but precede the convo with, “Okay, this is what my kid said so I don’t even know if it’s true but…”

5. If your child confides in me, I will honestly evaluate this information and share with you that he/she did. This is a gray area because I have never had to deal with this. All I know is that if one of my kids went to my friends with the presupposition this would remain a secret from me, I’d want my friend to tell me there is a secret and either say “Look, he/she came to me but I got this. Don’t worry.” OR “He/she wanted me to keep this a secret but it’s important you know”. I trust my friends and husband to make the right decisions.

6. If I see a mom/dad struggling with pushing the cart with all his/her kids in tow or trying to carry something heavy, I will offer help. To make sure he/she isn’t offended and think I’m being condescending, I always say, “I have three and people have always asked if I needed help.”

7. I will not judge your parenting skills but if you’ve got something between your teeth or if your kid’s butt crack shows when he sits down, I’m gonna tell you. Please tell me if I’ve something in my teeth or my kids’ pants/skirts aren’t fitting. Please tell me if you see my butt crack too. It will almost always be accidental.

8. Short of something smelly or dirty (but keeping the time of day, i.e. right after lunch, soccer, birthday party, in consideration), I will not judge your fashion choices. I will comment when something is very adorable though. Please do not judge my kids’ outfits as they are now in charge of dressing themselves. Actually do judge because they are admittedly very… unique.

What are some rules YOU abide by? What are some rules YOU wished everyone abided by?

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