Badges of Motherhood

(Originally published in The Beach Reporter on 5/6/93.)

You know you’re a mom when…
… Going to the dentist alone is seen as a pleasant and relaxing interlude in your day.
… You can read Goodnight Moon every night for two years, and still not be bored.
… Instead of subscribing to Cosmo and Glamour, you now subscribe to Parents and Highlights.
… You can do the Hokey-Pokey in Mommy and Me class without being the slightest bit embarrassed.
… You have made the recipe for Toll House cookies so many times, you don’t need to look at the recipe any more.
… You have served as a Scout leader, a library aide, a room mother, and a chairperson for a major event at school, learning what it’s like to work out of love, and not for recognition or pay.… You learn to never say never.
… You know the rules to Clue, Sorry, and Monopoly, and can mediate disputes over those rules.
… You have gone to Chuck. E. Cheese on a rainy Saturday and lived to tell about it.
… You suddenly become aware of your own mortality.
… You can wear a Cub Scout den mother uniform in public without being totally humiliated.
… Your favorite gift of all time is your child’s nursery school handprint mounted in a popsicle stick frame.
… You need a good haircut and a manicure, and you plan to get them someday when you have time.
… You say things your own mom used to say, like: “Because I said so, that’s why.” And, “I know everyone in fifth grade has pierced ears but would you jump off a cliff if everyone in fifth grade did that?”
… You can make pancakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s ears.
… You have given up on house plants.
… You haven’t owned anything white (clothing, towels, or furniture) since the birth of your first child.
… You know the nutritional value of Froot Loops as compared with Cocoa Puffs.
… You find yourself arguing with a three year-old, and you are losing the argument.
… You have the phone number of the nearest Domino’s pizza on speed dial.
… You have stayed up past midnight doing any of the following: building a volcano, making a Halloween costume, baking cookies for your child’s class, giving a baking soda bath to a child with chicken pox.
… You know the lineup of the Disney afternoon shows.
… You are constantly on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
… You have called all the McDonald’s in your area to find the one that still has the Happy Meal toy your child doesn’t have.
… You have a stash of good chocolate hidden away from the rest of the family.
… You can eat a bean burrito while changing a diaper, and not lose your appetite.
… You know the names of all the Fraggles in Fraggle Rock.
… If you had a choice between a good night’s sleep and a night out with Robert Redford, you would choose the sleep.
… You cut all your food into bite-sized pieces before you eat it.
… You haven’t had an uninterrupted phone conversation since the birth of your first child.
… You know the locations of every restroom in every park and shopping center near you.
… You can talk on the phone, make dinner, and help your child with her homework all at the same time.
… You have smudgy, grimy fingerprints all over the house, but you really don’t even see them anymore.
… You can actually read a magazine while four kids are playing tag, running circles around you, screaming.
… Your favorite time of day is when your kids are asleep and you can stare at them until your heart is full up, without them even knowing about it.

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