Wednesday, October 31st 2007
The Dirty Mom in the Hall

Only recently have i realized that i don’t stand up for myself all that well. If I’d thought about it, I would have noticed. I just never thought about it. But now that i get it, i’m determined to change it.

This little revelation has unfortunately coincided with Caden-3yr deciding that I really don’t measure up to the other moms at PeeTool. (PeeTool is how he says ‘preschool.’) PeeTool is exceptionally important to Caden-3yr, who has only just started going this fall, and only three mornings a week. Those three mornings a week have given him peers and peers’ mommies with whom he can now make comparisons. How truly helpful.

So this morning the schedule was for me to drop him off, then head directly to the gym for a workout with Workout Barbie. I asked Caden-3yr to put on a jacket, and we were on our way out the door when he turned to me and asked, “Why do you look like that?”

“…huh?” I wore black Adidas capris and a black t shirt, hair back in a little elastic headband thing.

Caden-3yr looked me up and down. AND THEN SIGHED. “I guess you’re taking me to PeeTool and then going to workout?”


“so after that you’ll take a shower and change clothes?”

“yes.” I thought that was the end of it.

If only.

We arrive, and I take Caden-3yr to his classroom, balancing Seth-2yr on my left hip. I sign him in, amid a small crowd of one mom and two dads saying goodbye to their own little ones. Caden-3yr decides a public apology is in order. Oh. YES. And a loud one, since he is three, and everything is loud.

“MY MOM IS JUST DROPPING ME OFF HERE AND THEN SHE IS GOING TO THE GYM TO WORKOUT. THAT IS WHY SHE LOOKS LIKE THAT. BUT IT IS OKAY. SHE SAID SHE WILL TAKE A SHOWER AND CHANGE CLOTHES AFTER SHE’S DONE.” So with that taken care of, he walks off into his classroom, and i avoid the possiblity of making eye contact with other parents by kissing Seth-2yr’s cheek as I leave. Very, very humbling.

I might point out that this is my absolute number one PeeTool of choice. It is NOT some snooty place where a mom in workout attire would ever feel out of place. (Except today, thank you so much Caden-3yr.)

When I pick Caden-3yr up, he waits until we are out of the building before nodding at me and saying, “You look VERY nice, Mom. You look… CLEAN.” I didn’t say anything – yet – but getting a Hygiene Talk from a kid who has been potty trained less than six months is really obnoxious.

Then we get to the car. Where I have – once again – fallen short. “MOM! Why is the TIRE on the SIDEWALK?”

“Because I DO THAT sometimes! And you know what? It’s okay!” It’s a big giant Escalade. OF COURSE i occasionally park a corner of it on a curb or a sidewalk.

Caden-3yr shook his head and said that his friends’ moms do not put their tires on the sidewalk. To be sure, he looked at all the other cars neatly in their spaces.

This attitude is new. And I’m thinking it has to go.

So we get in the car and he tells me that if I park on the sidewalk, I should just back up and try again. Now. That might strike some of you as sweet. And accurate. Good advice, even. But after the morning I’d already had, it didn’t go over well.

I turned around in my seat to look at him, seated directly behind me. Our heads might have been at odd angles since one side of the car was a little jacked up on the sidewalk. whatever.

“Caden. I might park on the sidewalk every once in awhile. That is okay. I might drop you off at preschool looking like i’m going to go to the gym, and THAT is certainly ALL RIGHT. I think you are forgetting that I AM YOUR MOTHER AND I’M VERY GOOD AT IT. I am a ROCKSTAR of a mommy – you just have no idea! Not just any mom can sing Abba AND Bon Jovi, and simultaneously make sure that the lyrics are not morally inappropriate for toddlers. That takes SKILL that not everyone has.”

He looked confused. Apparently I was the only one who really loved the musical selections on the way to preschool today.

“AND? You were NINE pounds. NINE!”

I realized he had no idea what I was talking about. It didn’t matter. i needed to say it. We rode in silence almost all the way home before he spoke again.



Then he said something I have said to him many times.

I wish he hadn’t.

“Mom, you are not acting like yourself today and I know what that means. That means that you really need a NAP.”


9 Comments on “The Dirty Mom in the Hall”

October 31st, 2007
8:20 pm

Oh dear. I believe Caden is going through a personality spurt. A growth spurt of precocious personality.

It’s funny from Massachusetts, sweet pea.

October 31st, 2007
8:57 pm

Oh my goodness how funny!!! Loved reading…

November 1st, 2007
2:43 am

Priceless. Who knew the “embarrased to be seen with your parents at school” thing started so young?

November 1st, 2007
5:29 pm


November 1st, 2007
5:33 pm

Oh, I just thought of a good idea. If you really want to embarrass Caden, you could always take him to PeeTool in THE TRUCK after you’ve 4-wheeled in it and gotten it filthy inside and out! har har har

Nenia Ryan
November 3rd, 2007
12:32 am

Very funny, and enjoyable reading! Thanks for sharing! I’d love to read your book when it’s out in the stores. I enjoy your style of writing!

November 3rd, 2007
10:32 pm

LOL over here, how cute is he? You must get a good laugh in everyday with that kiddo. Oh and thank you for the lovely gift:))

November 4th, 2007
12:56 pm

This is too funny… although probably not as much to you. My 11 year old son is very nice to me as I drive him to school. Once we’re there, he doesn’t know me. Maybe it’s because of what I wear and how I park too… :) Thankfully he didn’t start this attitude until 4th grade! But maybe Caden will also snap out of it earlier (if they ever do!).

Holy Mama! » HR and Elvis
October 19th, 2010
2:24 pm

[...] ago. The beginning of another long day, and a similar moment in the car with Caden-3yr and probably my favorite Caden post ever. He’s an adorable mix of personality, charm, candor, and [...]

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