This afternoon I stood in the front office at my kids’ school and conspicuously poured a carton of store-bought lemonade into a glass pitcher of ice and then begged the receptionist to dispose of the carton discreetly. No, I wasn’t trying to gain points with the other Moms by passing my fake lemonade off as homemade; I could care less what they think. Actually, I was trying to trick my kid.
I have a kind of Super Mom status to maintain with my kids, who have not yet figured out that I am actually a very forgetful, easily distracted, and sometimes self-centered person. Which is why when my oldest son asked me eagerly if I would bring his super-top-secret-recipe freshly squeezed lemonade to a classroom party, I happily agreed. And then instead of spending the morning squeezing 100 lemons into a pitcher, I went for a long walk, washed my car, and wrote some text for a client–all with the nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. Luckily, or (more accurately) because of the alarm I set on my iPhone, I remembered to swing by the grocery on the way to school.
After all, as my friend Kim and I discussed after school, we won’t be able to deceive our kids much longer. Soon they will find out all about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and it won’t be long from there until they grow suspicious of us and start to see right through all our Mom Tricks. Yikes! Until then, I intend to savor the simplicity of life with young, adoring fans of everything I do for them.
Your oatmeal doesn’t taste right? Well, let me just turn my back to you while I pretend to sprinkle it with lots of sugar. Tastes better, (even if it’s only in your head) doesn’t it?
Your sheets feel scratchy? I just changed them yesterday, but of course I’ll change them again them while you’re at school! Or maybe just the pillow case, but you won’t notice the difference.
There’s only enough grape juice left for one person? Run check on your sister while I add some water, um I mean ice cubes, and Viola! Now there’s enough for all three.
I do other tricky (mean?) things to my kids, too. I play hide and seek with my daughter and while she hides I pretend to count while I fold laundry or empty the dishwasher. I can count really high. When it’s my turn to hide, I find a really secret spot and get in some light reading or check my email on my phone while she hunts for me. She loves that I have time to “play” with her. And recently I told both of my kids that their t-ball games were canceled on Derby Day because I can’t imagine yelling “Go Cougars” while I mix myself another bourbon from a flask and watch the run for the roses on my phone. Come to think of it, their games will probably be rained out anyway.
Why do I persist in keeping up this facade of being ‘Super Mom’ for them? Because after my son took a sip of his store-bought lemonade at the school party today, he turned to me with the biggest smile on his face and with incredible (and uncharacteristic) enthusiasm he said, “Thanks Mom!” His only suspicious remark was, “Did you have to double the recipe?”
So I admitted: I may have altered it…slightly.