Shall I translate for you? First of all, MME is Meanest Mom Ever. I currently hold that title, although more than a few moms have laughed and welcomed me to the club when told about my title ;-) Apparently, being dubbed the MME by your children is actually a good sign, a sign that you are doing something right as you muddle through the swamp of parental decisions. If you happen to be an MDE (aka Meanest Dad Ever), then let me welcome you to the club, too, although I am inclined to think there are more MME's in the club. When the potential MDE in our house gets home from a long day of work plus commute, he is not likely to spend time uttering phrases such as "because I said so" or "get down from there before somebody gets hurt." That's just the way it is in our house. Mom is gonna tell you to quit burping in your sister's face, and Dad is likely to laugh at you because it really is kinda funny. Mom is gonna tell you it's time to calm down for the evening and quit tormenting your brother by asking him why he's sitting there watching Hannah Montana if he hates that show so much, and Dad is likely to laugh at you because it really is a good point you just made.
This whole MME versus the GD (aka Good Dad) thing used to really tick me off, especially when the kids were little and I was the one who took them to work with me at the daycare while Daddy sat in an office. . .in a cubicle. . .that I thought had to be a sanctuary of quietude. . .for the whole day long. Now, after three years of being a mostly stay at home mom ("mostly" because I started substitute teaching last spring and can't wait to do some more as soon as school starts and teachers start judiciously using some of their time off), I am finally starting to have much more understanding for the differences between moms and dads. If I were the one sitting in that cubicle, that potential sanctuary of quietude where no one interrupts you in the middle of washing your hair so they can let you know starvation is imminent if you don't help them decide what to eat within the next 30 seconds, IF I were the one sitting in that cubicle, then it would no longer be a sanctuary BECAUSE :
- The phone would be instantly start ringing off the hook with long distance complaints that "he looked at me funny" and "she hit me on purpose," and these kinds of complaints simply get very little reaction from a Dad.
- If the phone didn't ring, then I would sit there for precisely three minutes before I started wondering "exactly why is it so darn quiet all of a sudden," and these kinds of Mom-tuitions or Mom-dar cannot be ignored.
Sooooooooooooooooo, let me just say that I have finally reached the point where I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not want to trade jobs with my husband. I appreciate what he gives up so that I can be here to drop the kids off at school in the mornings, pick them up in the afternoons, make sure homework is done (correctly, and don't let me ever again catch you making up answers so you can get done faster), and you get the idea. I appreciate the sense of freedom and bravery he gives to our kids because he can ride the Superman (one of those drop straight down from 253 feet rides at Six Flags) with them without flinching, because he wrestles and plays with them without scolding that "if you keep that up, somebody's going to get hurt and then it won't be so much fun anymore," and because he lets them walk around the block by themselves in his old neighborhood without worrying excessively that the neighborhood might have changed since he was 7 or 8 years old almost four decades ago. Lesson finally sinking in-- kids can use both kinds of parents, it's just that some of us are good for one area and others are good for complementary areas.
Oops! Got carried away and almost forgot I am supposed to translate P&Q for you, too. Heehee, betcha some of you already know it stands for PEACE AND QUIET. Over the course of an entire summer vacation, it will likely by accompanied by more words, such as "just for a few minutes, please" or "shhhhhhh...enjoy it...we're being quiet" or "if I don't get some P&Q, then Daddy's gonna be paying for a nanny while Mommy is staying at the closest mental institution." Yep, P&Q is one of the things on my list of selfish desires that contribute to keeping Mom sane :)
And all of this rambling is the prelude to telling you that I think Mom-vana (that's mom-nirvana) might have been achieved yesterday evening when both of my children wanted to sit in the candlelight, listen to a cd of Native American flute music, and meditate with Mom. I don't even meditate in this way, flame meditation at the torch is my version of meditation, BUT we had some new candles, the stars were aligned just right, James chilled out after much squirming and goofing around, Kate sat cross-legged on the chair and om'ed, and for that hour or so, this Mom was graced with the most wonderful P&Q ever . . . peacefulness and quietude with two thoughtful and profoundly wise-when-they-want-to-be children. James and Kate, I hope that memory is one you'll treasure as much as your mother will.