“I’m a real mom!”

Okay, now read the title like Pinocchio says “I’m a real boy!” at the end of “Shrek.”

Now you’ve got it!

This is what I felt like yelling (the “mom,” not the “boy” one) Sunday night after managing to accomplish several “real mom” tasks that day.

First off, I was trolling through Michaels on the lookout for some sort of glueish substance that would hold on Boy #2’s badges now that he’s an official Cub Scout. I finally found something that looked like it would accomplish the goal, but after reading the instructions and warnings, I decided to suck it up and do the “mom” thing: I decided to sew the badges on myself. With a real needle. And thread.

How hard can it be? I thought. As I told my husband after he was unable to hide his surprise and amusement at the thought of me tackling a sewing project, “I can figure this out. I’m not an imbecile.” And he added, “Or an invalid.”

True. I am in relatively good health and have full use of my limbs. (Not that you need to be in good health or have full use of your limbs. My mom can sew me under the table and one of her hands is deformed. And no, she won’t care that I’m telling you this. We all love her crazy hand.)

So after staring at the sewing section of Michaels (which, fortunately for me, isn’t very big) for literally 15 minutes, I finally picked out needles, straight pins, and thread that I thought would work. And a thimble. (Do people really use those?)

It only took me an hour to sew two sides of a two-inch number patch on the shirt. That’s when I decided that black thread on a red patch is NOT cool. Especially when sewed on by a non-sewing mom. There was no hiding any mistakes or stitches-gone-horribly-wrong. Sadly, it only took about a minute to rip all those stitches out. Next purchase: red thread.

I moved on to the dark-colored patch, and after poking my finger numerous times (I couldn’t even move my finger with that stupid thimble on!) and nearly going blind, I got that puppy to stay. And it didn’t look half bad. (Note to self: Dark-colored thread on dark fabrics; light-colored thread on light fabrics. Who knew?)

I even took a photo to show off my handiwork. (The one I sewed on is the “Den 4” patch.)

Also that day, after realizing how incredibly nice it was outside and how my boys hadn’t ventured outside for nearly 24 hours, I told Boys #2 and #3 to get in the van.

I took off with no real destination in mind and ended up at a nearby lake. “Let’s look for leaves,” I told them, giving them each a plastic bag to collect their treasures.

They were gung-ho — until they saw the playground.

FINE, I said. You can play on the playground. (This was really cutting into the “cool mom who does nature things” rep I was going for, but I gave in for a little bit, thinking maybe I could just switch to the “cool mom who is so flexible she lets her kids have an impromptu go at the playground” rep instead.)

It was during my daydreaming about all the mom awards I was going to win that I noticed that Boy #3 was wearing two different shoes. Oh, they were both Crocs. But one was navy and red, and the other was light blue and looked like a pirate.

I realized, though, that the other mom on the playground probably wouldn’t either notice or, if she did, care, considering she had 5 kids ages 1 to 12, and the two oldest boys were playing “rock wars” the entire time. This, as you may surmise, consisted of throwing rocks at each other as hard as they could.

Yeah, don’t worry about the other kids on the playground, three of whom are yours and are barely walking. A rock in the eye never hurt anyone. In fact, it builds character…

Eventually my boys were persuaded to leave the playground and look for leaves. They were kind of excited at first but quickly became a bit bored by it. This became evident when I spotted the lone tree with bright-red leaves in the distance and pointed it out to them saying, “Guys, go grab some of those red leaves for our collection!” and they said, “Eh, you can go. We’re tired.”

I tried to point out the differences in the leaves, how some were big and some were small, some were red and some were yellow, some were rounded and some were pointed, and I think they actually absorbed a little of it. Really, I know nothing about trees, but it seemed like the “mom” thing to do.

When we got home, I asked the boys if they wanted to make a craft with the leaves. After looking at me quizzically for a few moments (Crafts are not something we routinely do in the Boogers & Burps household, at least not intentionally), Boy #2 said, “Naw,” and ran upstairs. Boy #3, however, was ready for some fun.

The fun didn’t last too long, though, because the “craft” I concocted was just to stick the leaves on some contact paper and then put another piece of contact paper on the other side, making a place mat, of sorts.

Luckily, since he doesn’t have much to compare it to, this craft was good enough for Boy #3, and he was proud of the result.

Sewing  AND crafts in ONE DAY? Man, I was on a roll.

Just as quickly as Pinocchio became a real boy, however, the Fairy Godmother’s renegade wand turned him back into the wooden toy.

And like Pinocchio, I gave a little sigh of disappointment when I woke up Monday morning and realized that I had only experienced a moment as a “real mom.” The spell had broken. I picked up my marionette-stringed arms, gave my boys a hug and sent them off to school — realizing as I dropped them off yelling ‘”Go! Go! Run so you’re not late!” that I hadn’t made them brush their teeth either.


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