My daughter recently returned home from Girl Guide camp where she had a fantastic time. We missed her terribly – until roughly 24 hours after her return home. She and her sister were right back to their old ways of fighting like cats and dogs. If it were at all possible, their fighting was even worse than usual. This had me threatening to either drive them both back out into the woods, or begin work on my ‘Vodka Badge,’ which led to Lynn of The Nomad Mom Diary and I discussing other badges that moms could earn. Such as how I am dangerously close to earning the Arson Badge if people keep pissing me off, without supplying me with an adequate supply of Xanax.
Lynn suggested Spit-cleaning, Underdressing, and Shower Avoidance. I personally feel that I am rocking those badges, and that it’s about time that I got some recognition for these skills…you know, other than the public shaming.
I feel like we should earn some props for the diverse skills that we demonstrate as mothers. They’re often for skills that you never knew you would need. Here are some badge suggestions (hands-off Girl Guides – these are Mommy’s badges):
- Creative Wine Justification – It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.
- Sleeping Kid Transference – Putting a sleeping baby in her crib, without waking her is an art. Especially avoiding that last-minute toe-stub-flinch-swear combination.
- Toy Relocation Program – Like the Witness Relocation Program, the toys just disappear without a trace while no-one’s looking, and assume new identities, never to be seen again.
- 5-Point Harness Placement on a Hostile Passenger – This can be simulated using a honey badger with a flat board strapped to its back, while your car-alarm is going off. Practice this when you are already 20 minutes late for an important meeting.
- Torture-by-Cartoon-Voice Survival – Must be able to listen to Caillou without smashing every dish in the room.
- One-Handed Stroller Transformation While Holding an Escalating Baby – Keep the Honey Badger for this exercise, and attempt to open a stroller and strap the animal in. While it’s raining. Wear long sleeves for the claws, but choose a fabric that breathes – you will be sweating.
- Projectile Vomit Redirection – Skills needed for this badge include strong risk-assessment abilities (which piece of furniture is harder to clean) and cat-like reflexes. Also, don’t aim the kid at the cat. That’s an automatic failure.
- Counting to 10 Slowly While Looking Like You Mean It – To be successful in this badge, you must show that you are believable enough that the child is convinced you have an endgame. You must not actually reach the number 10.
- Transportation Coordination and Execution – This badge requires a series of packages to be picked up and dropped off, with overlapping timeslots in opposite ends of the city. There will be random pee-alert drills and snack demands. Be prepared.
- Peeing with An Audience with Confidence – This is like the recital of motherhood.
- Shopping Cart Rocking When sans Baby – You’ll be recognized as a seasoned mother if you are spotted rocking the grocery cart back and forth on a rare occasion that you make it out of the house alone.
- Chicken Nugget Preparation – Must be able to do this one-handed and without directions, while tiny robots charge the oven every time you open it.
- Compromised Diaper Detection – Change 10 diapers in a row before they leak or a helpful stranger tells you that your kid has “made a stinky” and this badge is yours.
I’m currently working in vain on these badges:
- Panic Room Construction
- New Identity Creation
- Laundry Completion
- Cooking Something that Didn’t Start in a Box
- Leaving the House on Time
- Filing Cabinet Use (but if there were a badge for highest tower of disorganized paperwork, I would OWN that baby)
- Ice Cream Avoidance
- Hot Dinner Consumption
We give kids badges and sticker charts to give them an incentive to do new things and create good habits, so why not give moms the same kind of validation? It seems perfectly suited to us – we live by the Scouts’ motto of Always Be Prepared. I think they may have stolen that phrase from looking inside a fully-stocked diaper bag, that could supply a child for either an afternoon or a 3-month mountain trek equally well.
I hope you’re as excited as I am to get some of these badges – I can’t wait to glue-gun them to my yoga pants. And the next time a stranger has helpful comments about my parenting, I can direct them to my flair (there’s a bonus badge for you if you get the Office Space reference), and say “Do I look like a rookie? I’ve got badges.”