Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mama badge for a real trooper


In a moment of weakness and semi-insanity, I agreed to help take on an entire Girl Scout troop.  And while anyone who truly knows me knows that there is probably no better job for me, I have to admit that it’s harder than I thought it would ever be.
Growing up, I was a Girl Scout for many years.  The girls in my troop were without a doubt my best friends, and my leaders were positive and permanent role models in the way I live my life even today.  It was, all in all, an outstanding experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything – not even all the badges in the world.  As it was, for all of the years I was an actual scout, the number of badges we actually earned were very few.  It was almost as if one night around a campfire the leaders looked at each other and said, “we don’t need no steenking badges!” and they erupted into hearty belly laughs.
But here I am, faced with having to plan meetings and read books and organize beyond my wildest dreams, so that our troop can earn the lovely badges that grace their fancy uniforms and look fantastic.  Meanwhile, we leaders end up run ragged and usually have glue, glitter, or paint stuck to us somewhere, and there’s not a badge in sight.
That’s why I’ve decided that Mom Scouts (yes, I made that up,) the ones who live our lives to the fullest even without a vest or a promise, should have our very own set of badges.  Dust off an old vest, ladies, and get working towards these lovely rewards:
First Aid.  For a mom to earn this badge, she must always carry a bandage in her purse, along with a kiss and a magic phrase or gesture that instantly turns booboo’s into giggles.  She must also be able to do an instant conversion from milliliters to teaspoons for administering late night fever reducing medicines as well as know the difference between “my tummy hurts” and “clear a direct path for the bathroom.”
The Clean House Badge.  This a badge worthy of the Mom Scout who is always ready for the unexpected guest without just shoving everything into the laundry room and closing the door.  To earn this badge, complete at least one of the following: a) Find the bottom of your kitchen counter, b) dust your return air vents, or c) scrub your toilet tanks with a toothbrush.
The Sports Badge.  Contrary to what you might think, a true Mom Scout doesn’t need to even flex a muscle to earn this badge.  Instead, she has to sit absolutely quietly, either in her car, on a bleacher, or on a folding lawn chair while she watches her children all play sports and tries hard not to yell at officials and even harder not to hit the concession stand for snacks a-plenty.
Food: Simple Cooking Badge.  In real Girl Scouting, the girls are required to do things like plan a simple meal and make sure it is part of a balanced diet.  For Mom Scouts, the ante has been raised.  Not only do you have to plan it, but you have to race to the store last-minute because you’re oddly out of mustard.  You then have to finish the preparation and set the table in light speed because someone has practice of some sort in fourteen minutes.
Know Your Nature Badge.  Forget the wilderness and survival knots and foraging for plants to eat if you were stranded, this badge has to do with one thing: flowerbeds.  They must be neat and weeded and seasonally correct, and this badge can be revoked if, come January, you have the skeletons of summer’s flowers poking up through the snow.
Community.  For a Mom Scout to earn her community badge, she must give selfishly to the community, volunteering for everything she possibly can even though it means that she puts her own life on the back burner to get it done.  She must be overscheduled, underpaid, and believe she doesn’t have the word “sucker” tattooed on her forehead.  For an extra gold star, she might even lead a Girl Scout troop of her own.

By the way, cookie orders start in January.

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