Intermediate Level - Badges, badges, badges! My very own Mom's version of Cubs/Scouts/Brownies.
29 January 2016
Following on from yesterday's Beginner Level Badges, from my Mom's Society, I present to you with the Intermediate Badge Requirements listed below:
- Personal Space Badge – this badge is awarded to mothers at birth. However, it is a gift that keeps on giving. Children have no sense of personal space. Nor boundaries. It is a concept, they simply can’t grasp. Nothing is sacred. Not even the air you breath. They are particularly fond of breaching the personal space bubble, when they are sick. And simply dying to give you gastro too. Or on the odd occasion, when they have a nightmare, and you selflessly invite them into your bed, so that you can comfort them. Beeeeeg mistake! They will hog your duvet, your pillow and mattress space too, and you will find yourself, doing a death-defying cling to the outer ends of the bottom left hand corner of the mattress, for a wee little bit of sleeping space. Only to find a foot in your face. One wearing your sock. Jeez!
- I-Forgot-I-Have-A-Test/Oral/Project Badge – this badge is only ever awarded after bedtime. Which is when unparalleled amazing memory recall from offspring, usually comes into play. Mere hours before the aforementioned test, oral or project. In general, requests of this manner are hardly ever generic. Rather, they’re extremely type specific, of the “I need Lumo green A3 paper”, variety. Something hard to drum up out of thin air. Like having failed to mention the need to dutifully record the moon phases for the previous lunar month, complete with accompanying pictures. You know, sort of “easy-to-achieve” things. You can simply fabricate….. Why just a few years ago, my one kid “recorded” the most cloudy moonless nights in living history…
- Triangle/Square Badge – this award is given to all those mothers who have accidently cut their beloved offspring’s lovingly prepared sandwich into triangles, when it was meant to be cut into squares. However, the reverse is also possible. Hell hath no fury like a toddler who wanted triangles and you foolishly presented them with squares. Pffft!
- I’ll-Do-It-Myself Badge – this award is given to all mothers who have heard this phrase over and over again. It can be noted that this phrase is most often uttered by children, who really can’t be doing what they want to be doing, by themselves. Like peeling their own orange, with a sharp knife, at the age of three. However it is not merely reserved for death-defying feats. It is also uttered most frequently, when the mothers are pressed for time. And they’re in a reeeaaallly big hurry. Like being late for the school run with a kid in Gr1 (they stress terribly at this age), and your delightful toddler, insists on first putting their snack box into their school bag for playschool, and having a lengthy struggle with a stubborn zipper on the offending bag. Then insisting on putting their bag on their back, on their own, battling to get their arms through the straps. All this in aid of the 12 step journey to the car. Having reached the car, they then insist on taking the bag off their back. Battling once more. Then they insist on climbing into the car, at a snail’s pace. Before struggling with strapping themselves into the safety belt. All of this accompanied by howling from the Gr1 kid. In hindsight, never leave home without earmuffs. They come in handy at the most unexpected times.
- Safety Belt Badge – this badge is awarded to all mothers who on a daily basis, has to utter the time-old-phrase of “please put your safety belt on”. This despite this being the norm, for every single car trip. Ever taken. Anywhere. No exceptions. Ever.
- Toothbrush Badge – this badge is a really trying one and simply always well deserved. It entails the mother uttering, “please brush your teeth” in a calm and friendly voice. Followed shortly thereafter, by, “go and brush your teeth”, and then, “Your teeth!”. Lastly followed by, “for the 4th/5th/6th time, go and brush your teeth right now”. At this point, it is a given, that the child has still not brushed their teeth. After a few more “terse” and less friendly instructions, sometimes accompanied by an increasingly raised voice, the child might eventually proclaim to have brushed their teeth. You might even hear the sounds of the electric toothbrush in the distance. But do not be fooled. The wily child, simply puts the toothbrush on. Without putting toothpaste on it first. Wetting it. Or even putting it in their mouth. They will try this tactic every single morning. And most especially at night. They are slimy little suckers when it comes to brushing their teeth.
- Towel Badge – mothers who spend an inordinate amount of time picking up or instructing their offspring to pick up their towels, need no explanation for this award. It speaks for itself.
- Lice Badge – the lice badge is also slightly larger than the average badge. And is gold embossed. It entails the long suffering mother spending hours of her life, combing out nits out of a howling child’s hair. A child who proclaims at 23 second intervals, “you’re pulling my hair”. There is a reason, that lice combs are used. And not lice brushes. A whack from a lice comb, does not inflict too much damage. Whereas brush beatings can be rather severe. It really is an in-built safety measure. The reason for the gold embossed badge, is the fact that lice infestations, are the equivalent of a relay race. Lasting weeks. No sooner have you deloused child one, before they pass it on to kid 2. Just when kid 2 is lice-free, kid 3 is infected. And kid 1 starts complaining of itching once more. Lice badge moms are known to be overly fond of alcohol.
- Communicable Disease Badge – the Communicable Disease Badge is not an easy achievement. And is usually achieved after Chickenpox. Once more, Chickenpox, is not so much a disease, at it is a relay race. The itchy baton being passed from one kid onto the next. If you have 3 kids, you can find yourself housebound for 5 weeks. With miserable kids. Spotty miserable kids. Who can’t refrain from scratching. The benefit of most anti-itching oral medicines, is the high alcohol content. There comes a point, when the kids are too zonked to scratch. Use this time to sleep.
- Walking Tissue Badge – this badge, goes to every single mom who has ever used her t-shirt, dress, jersey, sweater, scarf or pants to wipe a child’s nose. On rare occasions, she can even be known to sacrifice a sock, or her handbag lining. At a push, a till slip from Checkers has also done the trick.
- Cartoon Badge – this badge is awarded to moms who have lost a certain range of hearing, due to squeaky cartoon voices. The decibel range is forever more scarred. Upon hearing just a few seconds of the Barney song, or the voice of Phinneus, or Hannah Montana, these moms can be found in the corners of rooms. In a foetal position, rocking themselves, mumbling, “make it stop”, over and over again. They have also been known to make bizarre looking Voodoo dolls, resembling Hannah Montana and Barbie. Occasionally even Spiderman and Superman.
- Learner License Badge – I don’t really feel that I need to expand much on this one. Suffice it to say, that you as the mother, are a blithering idiot. Knowing very little about driving and road safety. Which is surprising, I suppose. Given the fact that most moms of Learner Licence kids, have been driving for 20 years or more. But fear not. Your Learner Licence driver knows everything! Can drive anything. And the fact that they occasionally nip the side walk or stall the car, is merely a means of keeping you on the edge of your seat and ensuring that your knuckle defying clutch on the sides of your seat, is not released. It can be noted that mothers of Learner Licence kids, all of a sudden find themselves, with offspring who have developed extra sensory hearing. At the merest tinkle of car keys, they come racing down the passage, with a request to drive you somewhere. These mothers are known to go into stealth mode on occasion, to avoid just such an experience. Using extreme caution to remove the car keys from the hook at the kitchen door, occasionally going into fictitious bouts of coughing, to mask the sound of jingling keys. Learner Licence kids are also fond of the element of dodging the law. Requests for driving are often uttered, when they don’t actually have their Learner Licence on their person. Because, “the police will never pull us over, no one will ever know”, and my personal favourite, “I know how to drive, I won’t have an accident”. Learner Licence moms are also overly fond of alcohol. Occasionally they indulge intentionally, so that they themselves are over the legal limit, therefore avoiding the whole teenage driving experience altogether.
- Teenage Badge – the Teenage Badge is not only bigger than the average badge, gold embossed and emblazoned with tassels, it also comes with a voucher for a rare treat - a set of earphones and an iPod to muffle out the sounds of teenage whining and demands, a sleeping eye mask to prevent accidently witnessing uninhibited eye rolling and a t-shirt, stating, “been there, done that, wearing the t-shirt right now”. Unless you have actually parented a teenager, you have no comprehension of exactly what this entails. Boundaries will be crossed. Experimenting will occur. Liquor will be consumed (not only by you). Cigarettes will be smoked. Hormones will be having a party. There will be boy/girl problems. Teachers will be declared unfair. Homework will be ruled archaic and senseless. Curfews will be deemed outdated. No matter how old you are, how many children you have born, the fact that you have completed school, and tertiary education, you’ve run a home, had a few jobs, endured many a hardship, you still would not have it as bad as them. In addition, despite your advanced years and life experience, they are sure to know more. About everything. Yip, they’re special like that. A particular favourite of mine, is the slow way they speak to me on occasion. Enunciating with care. As if I’m the most intellectually challenged person, every having crossed their path. It’s a miracle I’m bright enough to cook them supper every night, without burning the house down.
- Lunchbox Unpack Badge – this is a badge that you’ll find yourself earning again, and again, and again. Kids have a latent, inherent inability to unpack their lunchbox from their school bags at the end of every day. It might be a physiological design error. A group of teenage “intellectuals” are investigating this phenomenon right now. But they’re finding the research a bit lame…
- Fussy Eater Badge – aaaaahhh yes! The Fussy Eater Badge. This badge is mostly reserved for families of multiple children. Where more than one child has a dislike for some random food substance, for no obvious reason. Like eggs. Please note that said child does not have an allergy. Said child just doesn’t like the thought of eggs. However, eggs in batter is allowed – for treats like pancakes, waffles, flap jacks, cakes, etc. The Fussy Eater likes to be picky about something that most other people are not fussed about at all. Vegetables are a common thread. Occasionally, the fussy eater, picks a colour of vegetable they distrust. For no obvious reason. For example. All of my kids are absolutely crazy about my Spaghetti Bolognaise. Particularly, when they don’t have the bolognaise bit with their spaghetti. And they actually only have the plain cooked spaghetti on its own. Some even like to forego the whole cooking-the-pasta-ritual. And like to eat their pasta raw. It makes for very crunchy meal times. #wishiwasjoking
- Acceleration Reflex Badge – this badge is awarded to the moms with the most amount of self-restraint ever. The Acceleration Reflex Badge is only ever awarded to mothers of teenagers. It happens in that exact moment, when you’ve spent a bit of time with your “all-knowing and wise” teen in the car, and you drop them off somewhere. And as they get out of the car, and they walk in front of you, you have to clamp down on the urge to accelerate. And flatten them. Acceleration Reflex Badge moms often have white knuckles and clenched teeth.
- Chore Badge – the Chore Badge is awarded to those moms who have braved the wrath of their children. By daring to give them humiliating and demeaning tasks. Like making their beds. Unpacking the dishwasher. And setting the table. These are clearly an evil manner of mother. Respect!
- Extra-mural Badge – this badge is awarded to those moms who have wasted away the best years of their lives, gaining pigmentation next to the sports field. Watching their kids playing hockey, tennis, netball and rugby. Mostly with mediocre skills. They’ve done swimming lessons and karate. Art, modern dancing and ballet. There have been instruments – string, wind and percussion. There has been choir and Playball. The list goes on and on. And on and on. These moms have done it all. Albeit from the side lines. They actually deserve medals, one and all.
- Make-over Badge – this badge is mainly awarded to the mothers of girls. For bravely enduring the worst manicures in history. The clown-like make-up applications and the eyeball watering, scalp and hair pulling endured, during the routine offers from their daughters to do their hair. Brave mothers have endured this all. Even worse, they’ve professed to love the results.
- Are-You-Wearing-That Badge – the badge goes to the moms of teens. Babies don’t care what you wear. They’re not discerning about what style of clothes they ruin and stain for you. Toddlers and young children are not too fussed either. However, the second one of your children develops hormones, they become the fashion police. It. Does. Not. Matter. What. You. Wear…..You. Will. Get. It. Wrong. Guaranteed. It’s too long or too short. Too bright or too dull. It’s got too many pockets. Or not enough pockets. The golden rule is this – wear it anyway. Because history will prove, in 10 short years, when they look back upon the pics taken on this very day…..That. They. Were. Wrong. Because who actually looks like an idiot? Undies are called just that – undies. It implies that the garment is meant to be worn UNDERNEATH something. To name but one example. We’ve all lived to regret our teenage dressing disasters. Why, personally I can attest to the bubble skirt fiasco. The yellow/purple combo at all times. The hair bubble too. So here’s my suggestion – simply bide your time. Take pics of what they’re wearing this very minute. It’s a bit of a long game, but fear not – you will be victorious!
- Art Work Badge – this badge is particularly applicable to mothers of playschool and preschool children. Rule of thumb – never presume to know or understand what the artwork is. It might look like a sweet little painting of a dog. But chances are, it’s a turtle. Or a frog. Possibly even a car. The first time they come home with a box construction, it’s all rather sweet. Until you realise that box-construction-day is every Thursday. And you are never allowed to throw anything away. EVER! Any given “masterpiece” can consist out of an empty 17kg box of corn flakes, a Berocca tube, a tissue box, a rusk box, a toilet roll inner, a box that formerly contained batteries, and a shoebox. All miraculously glued together with 3l of cold glue. Which is never quite dry. So it gloops down all over your car. And have I mentioned yet that it’s covered in glitter? Red if you please. In addition, brace yourself – there is a whole subdivision dedicated to loo roll creations. At Easter time, they’re turned into cutesie little bunnies. At Xmas they become Santa. At Valentine’s Day they become picture frame holders and at ….. And so the list goes on. And don’t even let me get started on the dry noodle creations. You have but nooooo idea. Unless you’re an Art Work Badge mom. In which case you’ll get it. And only too well. So here’s my advice. Deconstruct the box-construction creations, piece by piece. And smuggle the bits out of your house. Weekly. In small deposits, in the big black bin, on bin collection day. Shortly before collection. This all done, lest the child becomes suspicious of your activities and they decide to investigate the bin. Hell hath no fury, like a child whose artwork has been violated… If you are ever caught out, desecrating artwork, my advice is this – LIE! Save yourself and blame the father…
Lots of food for thought Moms. I am sure that without too much effort, many of you, have already qualified for an enviable amount of badges. Such is our multi-tasking skills. While you've been thinking you've been merely parenting away, day in and day out, with your main goal simply being bedtime when the little cherubs go off to sleep, you have inadvertently already qualified for many a badge.
Tomorrow I will end off with the highest level of badge earning - Level 3 - Experienced/Advanced. Stay tuned for more tomorrow...