Author’s note: Every once in a while, I pull a column out of the digital file, dust it off, rewrite it a bit, and reprint it. This one was first published in September 2007, but it seems particularly appropriate for Mother’s Day.
Local musician Billy Jonas sings a brilliant call-and-response song called “What Kind of Cat Are You?” If you live in Asheville and have kids, you probably know it by heart: “What kind of cat is a really big disaster?” “Catastrophe!”
In homage to Jonas, whom my kids think is Elvis, I offer my “What kind of mom are you?” quiz. It’s a weak homage, really, because the quiz doesn’t incorporate the letters “mom” in the answers. I’m not that clever.
So, what kind of mom are you? Take the quiz and find out.
1) On a typical school day, do you:
A. Pack your children’s lunchboxes with organic produce and hormone-free, “happy until they’re dead” animal products?
B. Throw leftovers in the lunchbox and hope you’re covering three of the six food pyramid categories?
C. Forget to pack lunch and pick up a bagel at Bruegger’s on the way to school?
2) Do you have a consistent bedtime routine for your kids?
A. Bedtime Nazi here — bath, reading, hugs, then lights out at 8:15 every night without fail.
B. Yes, but I’m flexible if there’s an event that runs past bedtime on a non-school night. Like I’m late with dinner or something.
C. When the kid falls asleep on the sofa, I carry him to his own bed — most nights.
3) How many extracurricular activities do your kids engage in per week?
A. In addition to every day and weekend sports events? I don’t understand the question.
B. One or two after-school activities per week, but I try to keep our weekends somewhat free.
C. None. My child’s into free range play. Plus, I’m minimizing my carbon footprint by not driving him all over the place.
4) How many kids do you have?
A. Three or more. The more, the merrier.
B. Two. Man-on-man defense.
C. One. Carbon footprint, remember? Wait, are we just counting the ones living at home?
5) How many pets/extended family members/random entities live with you?
A. Each child has his/her own pet, which he/she takes care of himself/herself. My mom lives in the mother-in-law suite, and the nanny has the basement apartment.
B. We have two cats and a dog, plus the occasional short-lived amphibian, and my spouse just gave his mother a key to our house.
C. Do fleas count? I think there’s a feral cat living in the basement.
6) What do you once the children are asleep at night?
A. I tie up any loose ends in my home office, pack lunchboxes and backpacks for the morning, then go to bed.
B. I fold one third of the laundry mountain, then have a glass of wine and unwind with a book or in front of the television.
C. I make a path through the toys to the fridge to get more beers for my friends, then hang and party until the kid falls asleep on the sofa.
If you consistently picked A: You are a high-functioning, organized, often competitive, mom. Your children are the center of your world, and they know it. Later, when they’re in rehab, you can remind them of all the sacrifices you made for them.
If you consistently picked B: You have the potential to be an “A” mom, but your hormonal levels and spending half your day breaking up fights between your kids often does you in. But you’re the “Little Engine That Could” — you never stop trying.
If you consistently picked C: You’re a slacker mom. Your child will be remarkably flexible and resilient — if he stays out of prison. At least you’re saving the earth for his slacker children.
If you picked two As, two Bs and two Cs: Call me, and I’ll give you my therapist’s phone number.