When I tire of watching Ben slide down the slide for the forty sixth time my attention inevitably turns to my fellow park moms. Over the last two years I have noticed they can be split into distinct groups.
Pedometer Packin' Parent
These Mothers hover on the path itching to get back to their power walk. She is wearing $300.00 runners and sports a hair do above the shoulders. She snacks on LARA bars in her LU LU Lemons and drinks distilled water from a stainless steel bottle. Her children are transported in a PHIL and TED's jogging stroller, with a well behaved Goldendoodle pooch leashed to the handle. The offspring are snacking on organic granola and wearing firm arch support shoes.
These Mothers are here...but not HERE. Blackberry is firmly in hand and multitasking is no stranger to this mom while she pushes the swing between phone calls...between emails...between pages...between tweets...between status updates...between sips from her starbucks cup. This mother is still wearing her power suit and is on her way home from the babysitter. She wears conflicted guilt on her face as she yells "Just a minute honey!" for the seventh time and pauses to order in dinner before following her youngster awkwardly in her pumps through the sand. She is snacking on half a protein bar dug out from her mother's Coach bag between calls.
The helicopter mom
This is the mom who hovers over her child. Calling out "That's too high!" "Be careful!" "Don't fall!" "Don't touch that dog!" "Don't put that in your mouth!" She begins visibly hyperventilating when she loses her preschooler for a moment from eye sight. There is a 4 second until panic timeline while she scans the play structure and clutches her heart in relief with her child emerges unscathed from behind the slide. On goes her leash, cleverly disguised as a bear on her back...with a long rope attached. She is snacking on applesauce...less of a choking risk, and rides safely in a peg per ego pram, reassured by superior European safety standards.
This mom looks like she has never missed an hours sleep, despite her three little ones running around. Her home perpetually smells like apple pie and her toilets are cleaner than my dinner plates. Incredibly the sand doesn't seem to stick to her children's clothes and they continue to look scrubbed despite their active play. They remember their manners and don't even attempt to climb up the slide. One sideways glance from Mrs clever is enough of a reminder to share their buckets and shovels. They eat homemade oatmeal cookies and soy milk for snack and wear matching knit sweaters...complete with "made with love" tags in the back.
She carries her infant and toddler in double mai tai carrier fashion, which she manages to do all the while tandem breastfeeding. No shoes for these tots, the baby is happy to hang out on mom's lap in little else than his "monkey bum" cloth hiney.
She smiles affectionately as her toddler eats the grass in his PETA shirt.
This is the mom who is reminding the rest of us that crocks were only currant in 2008. I don't care if you ARE wearing the new mary jane version....Puh-leeeeese!
She is wearing her stone washed sevens, sports proudly, purple highlights and has a child, currently wearing an H&M polo and designer cutoffs who prefers to sit on the bench with his nintendo DS and stone slab ice cream than play tag. He is wearing vintage converse on his feet and rides home in a motorized jeep.
This is the mom in her husbands sweatpants and Garfield shirt that could fit a woman three times her size. She makes no excuses for the cigarette in one hand and the mutt on the end of a leash who nips at the ankles of anyone who walks by in the other. Her toddler sits in a Winnie the pooh umbrella stroller with the remains of her lunch adorning her face. Her hair was brushed last Wednesday. She alternates a handful of Cheetos with a sip of MacDonald's milkshake from her bottle. She wears Dora the Explorer sandals on her feet with half the straps missing.
Funny enough, the kids are oblivious as they run after one another and take no note of one another's shoes.
And where do I fit in??? I think I am little of everyone...