My friend Eda has labeled me the fun mom. She turns to me for fun mom tips. I did not actively seek this title and yet I welcome it. By the way, I think Eda is a hoot and have no doubt she is a super fun mom. My friend Adam, who has done a lot of before and after school programs and children's theater and has way more kid experience than I'll ever have, has told me that he has never met two children remotely close to Anna Grace and Jenna. He says the different ones are those he finds interesting. Brien is not drawn to children. He asked me why kids are drawn to him. I told him it's like cats. Cats go to people that don't bug them. He doesn't get in a child's face. So they like him. I've only seen him with mine so I only have that to go on, but they are quite taken with him and vice versa. He thinks there are no children more attractive than mine. I would have to agree.
My husband is not necessarily on the same page as I am with the fun mom stuff. But he is elderly and a bit of a stick-in-the-mud. Adam aspires to be him one day. Curmudgeon doesn't quite explain his style. Not just parenting style. Just every day style. Well, not so much a style. Ponderous isn't really a style is it? One of my confidantes said to me recently, "I'm not a people person at all. Then I met Jim. He has me beat." Funny.
OK, fun mom. Here's the thing. I don't recall my mom doing any of this. And I don't remember getting these ideas from anyone else. I just assume most people talk to their kids like I do. There's a Spongebob episode where he goes to a different town and he is not understood because they speak by blowing raspberries between each word. Sometimes the girls and I will talk like that to each other for a good half hour. We play the boring game. That's when I use a particular droning voice to say whatever phrases they come up with. We fly the bed at night. We have to turn it sideways to get out of the house. Then we fly and see what we can see. Jenna usually sees dragons. We fly over our friends' cars, up the mountain, things like that. Sometimes we fly down and look at the cows. Then we fly up to the moon. Flying the bed is tricky business. Takes a lot of flapping.
There's also the color game. I ask them what color so-and-so's shirt was or what color my nail polish is. It has to be something they can't see. I want them to think about details and remember. Then they ask me and each other. And it invariably ends with the same question. In case you didn't know it. All three and four-year-olds find the words butt and poop hilarious and say them non-stop. So they ask me what color is my butt. Naturally, the fun mom has an answer. Don't be shocked. My butt is creamy white. Big surprise there.
We read together, they get bubble baths, I take them to the donut shop where they talk to everyone. They go to Exotic Tropicals in Cookeville and pet the mice, the snakes, the guinea pigs and bunnies. But not all at the same time. We go to Burgess Falls Nursery and learn about flowers and pick rocks and sometimes they go behind the nursery and climb the gravel pile. Yeah, my mom didn't take me to climb rock piles. However, I wasn't raised in a smaller town where we knew many people who owned their own businesses who welcomed cherubs and encouraged their behavior.
I do their hair when they're in the mood though Anna Grace likes hers "crazy." And they do like nail polish and lip gloss most of the time. I have been putting vaseline on their lips since they were hours old. I hate dry lips. I assumed they did too. We accessorize together and the girls can wear my high heels rather well but not out of the house. And I did stop myself from getting them matching leather pants like mine. Seriously, why were they made in that size to begin with? But I walked on by. OK, I touched them. But I didn't take them off the rack. Back off. I only considered it for a second or two. Then thought it would be a little too creepy if we all wore it at the same time. However, the girls would love it as they really like to rock out.
I keep kid music to a minimum. One of their favorite songs is Barrucuda by Heart. They love it that sisters sing it. They also like Cyndi Lauper, The Beatles, Elton John the early stuff not the ponderous stuff he wrote after 1987, and of course, their friend Brien Travis (they highly recommend Tales of Lazy Wednesdays available now on iTunes and Amazon). They also know all the words to Cheek to Cheek and The Piccolina, both from Astaire and Rogers' film Top Hat which I believe came out in 1935 which they watch over and over. Take that Barney.
So, am I a fun mom? Will I regret it? One of my friends said she didn't want to look back on life with her young sons and feel she was such a disciplinarian that she hadn't hugged them enough. I hug my girls every chance I get. Even though sometimes they wipe off my kisses. It still counts though and because then the kisses are smeared all over their hands. Fun mom wins. But then again. Mama always wins.