The Time my Attempt at being 'Cool Mom' Totally Backfired

Nope, not me. Or the Handy Man. Or our sons.
But, I can see how you thought it was us.

I saw her on TV. She served great snacks, threw fabulous birthday parties, and knew all the 'in' music.  She was stylish and fashionable, and so were her kids. She was 'Cool Mom' and I knew that someday, I would be her.

Kids would hang out at our house.  My backyard would be a magnet for groups of kids. We would have water fights and late nights.  It would be awesome.

Guess what?  Reality rarely lives up to TV.

I'm the mom who forgets it's early Friday until it's too late and I have to hurry home to find my first grader sobbing on the front porch. (Twenty minutes isn't forever, people.)

I'm the mom who doesn't send in the book order, so my kids have to look longingly at the piles of books the other students get.

Moms who volunteer for field trips and plan amazing parties? Not me. Room mother? Oh, heaven forbid!

But, every now and then, my desire to be Cool Mom surfaces and I try. I really do try.

Take Sunday night.  My boys had discovered the sleeping bags I'd stowed under their bed. (What happens when some of your kids leave the nest, then fly back home? Serious re-arranging. I haven't given up my extra dresser, yet, though!) Anyway, they found the bags.

What do you do with slick sleeping bags? Slide down the stairs, of course.

My first reaction, the one my gut demanded I make, was to run into the hall and yell er, ask quietly, "Stop! You know you'll hurt yourself."  I was enjoying some snuggling with the Handy Man on my quiet sort of quiet Sunday afternoon and I did not want to go to the ER.

But, my Cool Mom hopes surfaced and I said to my husband, "I remember doing that when my mom left the house. It was so much fun."  And, I snuggled closer to him and listened to the boys as they squealed down the stairs.

The bumping went on for a while and I smiled to myself.  Someday, my kids will gather as adults and talk about their childhoods.
"Remember when Mom let us go down the stairs in sleeping bags?"
"Yeah, that was great! Our mom rocks!"
"We're so lucky we have such a cool mom!"
I almost got teary as I imagined their future reminiscing.

Then, I heard it. The cry.
Not the 'I-bumped-my-toe-and-it-hurt-a-little' cry. It was THE CRY.
Aw, crap.
Max came running into the room, blood flowing from his mouth.
"Noah hit me!"
To this Noah shook his head.
"OK, you guys are DONE!"
Noah ran crying to his room while I took Max to the bathroom.  I inspected his mouth.  Nothing that was hospital worthy-whew.  He'd cut his upper and lower lip, his tongue, and several teeth were bleeding. I checked, none of them were loose. I gave him a wet washcloth and went in to smooth things over with Noah. "Not your fault, kiddo. It was an accident."  He whimpered a bit, but felt better.

We all went downstairs, Max nursing his mouth, Noah wiping tears and me realizing my dream was still just beyond reach.

"Remember when we were kids and we rode the sleeping bags down the stairs?"
"What was Mom thinking?"

(I need this shirt. Maybe for Mother's Day?)


  1. Ha ha, we totally did that as kids. You know what my mom did? Took pictures. I don't remember if there were injuries or not.

    1. OH! I totally should have taken pictures- before the accident!

  2. I have definitely had those same thoughts. The cool mom on the Totino Pizza snack commercial, serving up Totinos to all the rowdy kids in her living room. At the end the son looks up and says "Thanks Mom". She winks and walks back in the kitchen.
    I had one of those sliding down the stairs days too. They do create memories that are worth the stress. Good for you! Letting them slide down stairs definitely gives you cool mom status.:)

    1. I hate that Totinos mom! When I buy pizza snacks, they're gone in 60 seconds and I never have the chance to offer them to friends.

  3. We are ONE, Jewels. One. I need to send you my column in this month's Chicago Parent. Same premise, different examples. I somehow lost your address (fine, I can't remember for sure if you sent it, but I wanna say you live in a state that starts with the letter "U"?). I am not the cool mom. I am the mean mom. And I tell all the kids at the park to warn their friends. Hilarious post, as usual.

    1. Sisters from another mother, or something like that. Every time I read your blog, I feel so validated. (I'm not the only one!)
      I do live in a 'U' state. I'll send you my address in your email. =0)

  4. Oh, the things we got up to when my mom left home. Suffice it to say, I found out I could literally climb the walls--or at least corners and narrow doorways--among many other death-defying feats. Glad there was no lasting injury--except to your image of yourself as the Cool Mom. ;)


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