The Great Mom Divide: Are You a Newbie or a Veteran?
There are all sorts of mothers, but I’ve noticed that you can generally divide us into two groups: newbies and veterans. It’s not just a matter of how long you’ve been a mom– one of my friends has a one-year old and a total veteran approach, and another has two school-aged kids and still acts like a newbie. Duration counts for something, but when it comes to determining if you’re a newbie or a veteran at heart, it’s mostly about attitude. Which side do you fall on?
1. Your baby is crying, so you_____.
A. Abandon all other duties and hold him. The. Entire. Day. (This may or may not involve the use of a baby-carrying sling/backpack/wrap.) You will not give him a pacifier because The Almighty Parenting Book says that he is “developmentally capable of self-soothing.” -3pts
B. Pick him up long enough to pop a binky in his mouth, which you loudly justify by its promise of future orthodontia avoidance, and then promptly re-buckle him into a swing/bouncy chair/jumping device so that you can “get on with things.” +3pts
2. Your preschooler asks to watch t.v., so you ____.
A. Perform an elaborate puppet show for her involving at least five different voices and a minimum of three costume changes per puppet. At the conclusion of the show, you immediately begin a two-hour nursery-rhyme readathon lest she should still have any notion of partaking in such brain-draining activities as “vamanosing” with Dora the Explorer. -5pts
B. Flip on any station containing animated people, and offer a silent prayer of thanksgiving for this babysitter with 24-hour availability and no urge to raid your pantry. You quickly change the station when you hear Cartman telling your three-year old, “Screw you guys, I’m going home” and then resume internet browsing, figuring no harm, no foul. +5pts
3. It is the first day of summer vacation, and you are feeling ____.
A. Overjoyed that you can finally have your precious darlings all to yourself, free from the greedy clutches of their school teachers. You have a full itinerary planned for each day, including excursions, field trips (of course you know the difference!), experiments, art projects, themed snacks, and advanced water games. -2pts
B. Overwhelmed, nearing the point of mild substance abuse. You have no idea what you will do with the wild, fighting, vociferous beasts that will be tromping sand and finger paint through your living room for the next two and a half months. +2pts
4. You’re watching your friend’s toddler for the morning and he develops a runny nose, so you____.
A. Call your friend in a tizzy and demand that she come collect her grimy germbag before he infects your Immaculate Child. While you wait in outrage, you ceremonially wash all available hands with antibacterial soap and follow up with hand sanitizer. You make an appointment with the pediatrician for that afternoon. -4pts
B. Wipe his nose and then check everyone else’s drippage while you’re at it. You ardently hope that, whatever is going around, your kids all get it at once so as to cut down on sick time. (You may or may not intentionally expose your kids to the latest germ by re-using the original tissue.) +4pts
-14 to -1pts: Newbie. The Almighty Parenting Book is your bible. You might want to go have a Screwdriver with a veteran mom while her kids show yours how to entertain themselves for an hour.
1 to 14pts: Veteran. You use The Almighty Parenting Book as a coaster for your Screwdriver. You might want to go hang out with a newbie mom and let her show you how to really enjoy your kids for an hour.
0pts: You are a perfectly balanced mom and the rest of us hate you. No Screwdriver for you!