Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Not a Project Mama

To begin with, I’m not a mama at all. That is, M and E, especially E, tend to call me Mama, pronounced “Muh-muh,” which is far enough away from Mama, pronounced “Mah-mah,” that I can accept it. And I hang out with some mamas and super-respect some others. My sister is definitely a mama, and likes her kids to call her Mama. But even though it seems to be the term of choice for a certain brand of young (I’m not really), kid-focused (I’m really not), hip (I try, really I do) mothers, the word just makes me cringe. A fingernails on the blackboard kind of thing. I prefer to self-identify as a mom, or even a mother. Mommy is fine too, if I’m directly referencing or being referenced by my kids.

But this morning what we were saying at my house was: “I/You are not a project mama” (luckily, pronounced “Muh-muh”).

With varying degrees of grace and grumpiness, depending on my mood and what I’d rather be doing, I can be a solid swimming mommy, a reasonably together cooking and baking mommy, an excellent hang out in a café mommy, a dynamite read aloud mommy, a fine computer game mommy, a super take care of sick kids mommy, an ok playing baby mommy, a quite fun bike riding mommy, and so forth. But I am not a project mommy.

What, you may be wondering, constitutes a project? Most art. Anything that arrives in a box with multiple components that are meant to end up as a single coherent object. Finger painting. Collages. Sculptures. Rug hooking. Clay-painting kits. Butterfly-growing kits. Chip-away-the-sandstone-to-find-the-Egyptian-artifacts kits. Spin art. Today, at least, especially spin art.

Unfortunately, I have project kids. Fortunately, they have a project daddy. Unfortunately, their daddy spends a lot of time at work. Which is why I found myself today trying to find the right screwdriver to open the battery case for the spin art, fitting the paper into the spin art, suggesting ways to make the spin art look more like the spin art on the box, arranging the drying spin art on sheets of newspaper, and having a thoroughly miserable time of it.

1 comment:

Libby said...

Thanks for the link! (The respect is mutual...)

And, for the record, no one has ever called me "mama." But I like the alliteration. And I am so not a project mom (which is what the kids do call me) either. Which can make homework hard some days...