Monday, January 24, 2011

Report Cards

Everyone in my family got a report card this week except for me.
The elementary school sent home very formal critiques of my twins' progress along with a letter from the state describing achievements made by the entire student body; my husband participated in one of those scary 360-degree reviews at the corporation where he's employed. Even the baby's pediatrician handed me a checklist of "achievements" at her 16-month visit.
As a stay-at-home mom, I've gotten my fill of lovely Mother's Day cards and pats on the back from various shoppers at malls, grocery stores and gas stations.
But really, I'd like to know how I'm doing. Right now. Before there are any expensive psychologists to pay.
So, I asked my six-year-olds to develop a rubric to assess my work, then grade me on my efforts.
What, I asked my children, are mothers supposed to do?
"Well, they're supposed to take care of the kids," Elizabeth said.
"And the baby," added William.
According to my first graders, mothers should be held accountable for planning great birthday parties, making sure everyone eats vegetables, reading bedtime stories, cleaning up and doing laundry.
(Noone mentioned the development of spiritual, emotional or intellectual selves but that might be added to the list next year. I am further hopeful that my progeny will also think to include the installment of manners and the ability to obliterate lice.)
Next, it came time to do the grading. I took a deep breath.
I got a perfect score on taking care of the baby. (Did anyone notice that I lost her once today?)
I also took the cake when it came to the birthday parties. My Spontaneous Easter Egg Hunt for 50 children last April was mentioned, albeit not technically a birthday celebration.
"Though you should have gotten us skateboard last year for our birthday," Will added.
I also pulled it out in the nourishment category, which was a complete surprise to me given the loud moans displayed at nearly every meal.
"But you should still make Will eat more vegetables," Elizabeth reported.
On the defense, I quickly told her I make an effort to present them every night. I cannot, however, force him to consume them save inserting an IV drip line.
According to the kids, I am furthermore a wonderful story reader. I was given credit for doing interesting charachter voices even when it is late at night and I'm really cranky.
Moreover, both children interpret the house to be clean. This means I will cancel my naptime dusting tomorrow in lieu of browsing the web.
Then they informed me that I am not perfect.
It would seem there is a significant problem with my laundry skills.
"Mom," said Elizabeth, "We need to talk about this sock problem."
Sock problem?
"You only match about 40 percent of the socks," she said.
I cannot deny this fact: Most people in my family wear mismatched socks on most days in my house. In fact, every bedroom in the house includes a display atop dressers of lonely singelton socks waiting for their mates.
Well, I tell them, I will work on that.
Right after I plan the next birthday party, that is.