by REBECCA SPARROW
If there were medals given out for incredibley impressive feats accomplished during motherhood, then I earned one today.
Today, I made baby food for my 9 month old son, Fin, from scratch.
You heard it. I peeled and chopped and steamed and pureed and… well that was pretty much it actually but still, for me it was a Martha Stewart meets Julie Goodwin moment. One of those times when – in my head at least – I earned a few of those elusive motherhood brownie points.
And trust me I needed them to help get me out of the red on the motherhood balance sheet. In the past week I lost several dozen points for random CMM (Crap Mothering Moments). I sent Ava to kindy with a lunchbox so full of store-bought items I thought I was going to get reported to authorities. And then I promised to jump on the trampoline with her and spent the entire time talking on the phone to her Aunty Mandy. While I was jumping.
So today, for me, taking the time to cook up an enormous batch of baby food for Fin FROM SCRATCH was a high-five moment.
Naturally, everyone’s Parent Brownie Point system is different. The bar is set by your competence. Luckily for me I’m an imbecile so the bar is set low. Really low. Look down, my bar is on the floor and you can step over it on your way to the fridge.
Hence I earn points from pureeing a carrot. On the other hand, I imagine the only way Martha Stewart can get brownie points is if she builds a pre-school in Rwanda before breakfast. Sucks to be you, lady.
So what other activities earn me Parenting Brownie Points( PBPs)? Here’s a selection:
1. Managing to do the grocery shopping with two children under four. Double points if I don’t stop in aisle 3 and drink gin from a hip flask.
2. Jumping on the trampoline, playing dress-ups, baking biscuits or playing ‘shops’ with Ava for 30 minutes. Double points awarded if I don’t ark up about the fact SHE IS RIPPING ME OFF CHARGING ME $50 FOR ONE APPLE (This price rort has been going on for a year. Her shop has ‘mini-bar’ prices… am thinking of complaining to ACCC).
3. Successfully bribing Ava into eating a vegetable at dinner, rather than her seeing carrot sticks and green beans as some kind of scaffolding to the protein on her plate.
4. Making a home-made birthday cake. (300,000 bonus points if not from a packet mix. )
5. Having all the birthday and Christmas presents bought and wrapped 24 hours before the big event. (This has never happened. I am nothing if not optimistic.)
6. Getting through the dinner, bath, bedtime Bermuda triangle and not losing my sh*t at anybody in the process.
7. Reading three stories at bedtime and not skipping over any unnecessary dialogue between characters that has zero impact on the plotline and is therefore a complete waste of time. (Mr Men books, I’m looking at you.)
8. Smiling and chatting to other mothers at kindy drop-off instead of racing in, making zero eye contact with any adult, signing form and racing out again like some kind of stealth ninja.
9. Mending holes in Ava’s leggings instead of throwing them out. Or making her wear skirts over the top. (Frankly, I’m not sure I’m ever going to do this but if I do I plan to award myself 1,000,000 points.)
Of course, points can be gained and then lost in the same moment. For example you successfully harangue your three-year-old into having porridge for breakfast. But in order to eat the porridge she insists on pouring half a cup of sugar on top. Hypothetically speaking. *cough*
So yes, today is one of those days when I felt like I deserved a medal. But of course there are no medals for motherhood. That’s why God invented wine and really, really large wine glasses.
What motherhood activities do you or would you give yourself brownie points for?