Turning the Tables

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day always feel like dueling holidays in our house. I want breakfast in bed, so he demands breakfast in bed, even though I know he’d rather snooze till noon and skip breakfast entirely. Anticipating that he’s going to ask for free time in lieu of gifts on Father’s Day, I feel guilty expecting flowers and presents on my big day.

What if we traded places, I started to wonder. What if I assumed complete control over Father’s Day, while he took charge of Mother’s Day? Would we both have more fun? Or would we give up celebrating our days completely?

Here’s how I think things would play out:

If Fathers Controlled Mother’s Day
The official attire of Mother’s Day? Lingerie.
The traditional Mother’s Day breakfast? Readymade delicacies such as bagels and jelly donuts, or pizza and Chinese food. Yes, served together.
After he and the kids prepare the meal, you’ll clean up. Hey, it’s only fair!
You and his mom will insist on spending the day together.
He’ll be in complete charge of the kids all day long, so he’ll get to start drinking at noon.

Rather than buy you a gift you’re only going to return anyway, he’ll just hand over a nice crisp stack of twenties.

Forget a card. Mother’s Day cards will no longer be printed.

Flowers? The dandelion will now be the official Mother’s Day flower.

All restaurants will be closed by order of law—to spare men the agony of trying to score an impossible-to-get reservation and shelling out for an overpriced meal.

When the kids go down for their naps or out to see friends, you and he will engage in the traditional Mother’s Day activity of sex.

Mother’s Day will officially be over once the kids wake up from their naps or at sundown, whichever comes first.


If Mothers Controlled Father’s Day

Breakfast in bed? Forget it.

Dads will want to celebrate the day with the kids by being an extra special hands-on father. Right? We thought so.

Then your hubby will want to make breakfast special by cooking pancakes for the whole family.

Next, he’ll give all the kids horsey rides.

Then, he’ll give you a foot rub. It is his day to enjoy—and he just loves to please you.

As a gift, give him a new shirt to replace that one you hate (now you can throw out the old one). And give him some cool tools—a viper-grip wrench and a cordless power cleaner. He can put those to good use immediately in order to show his appreciation.

And hey, last Father’s Day you got him that super-duper gas grill— he can get that out to grill dinner.

To make it a party, invite your Moms Group with their husbands, who he’s met…maybe twice.

Sex on Father’s Day? This is supposed to be a family holiday!

And forget that game on tonight, instead he can end the day with some quality time with the kids.How about popping in a Disney movie while you get a jump on some shut-eye?

Happy Graduation to Everyone:

It’s not only high school and college students who get to graduate these days. Middle school kids, kindergartners and even day-care toddlers enjoy graduation ceremonies that mark the culmination of one stage of life and the passage to another.

But why stop there? Most of us graduate in lots of ways at different moments of our lives.  Parents as well as kids, older people as well as young, can graduate, too. Here, some of the milestones we need to start celebrating.

Awesome Talent in the Frivolous Arts–Have you become such a yoga fanatic that you’ve managed to touch your nose to the floor? Or maybe the inventive birthday cakes you bake for your kids are imitated by moms all over town. Why not celebrate with your own low-key graduation? Growing a gorgeous rose bush may be a tad more frivolous than earning your law degree, but it’s still an admirable accomplishment.

Finally passed marriage 101–Couples who’ve mastered the arts of holding their tongue when annoyed, not criticizing each other’s mothers and never fighting in front of the kids graduate from the early, tempestuous days of marriage to the more mature phase where divorce is no longer a constant threat.

Ph.d. in Sleep–Children shouldn’t have to wait until age two or three for their first graduation. Instead, start by celebrating their first major passage: Sleeping through the night. Baby gets a soft blanket and a cuddly new stuffed animal; mom and dad breathe a sigh of relief.

Advanced Certificate in Self-Confidence–No longer give a fig what the neighbors think of your garden? Couldn’t care less whether your mother-in-law likes the dinner you cooked or if anyone flirted with you at the high school reunion? Then you’re ready to graduate to an advanced level of self-confidence, wherein you gain the right to eat, say, wear and think what you want. And anyone who doesn’t like it can kiss your diploma.

Look, Ma!  No Hands!–Perhaps a more meaningful milestone of childhood than kindergarten or eighth grade graduation are moves to independence: the first time your child walks to school by himself, the day you kiss your summer camper goodbye without fear of a tearful middle-of-the-night phone call.

Parents’ Independence Day–Just as our kids graduate to new levels of independence, so do we as parents, from the first time you leave your infant with a sitter to the first time you leave your tweenager home without one. These passages can be just as nerve-wracking for parents as they are for kids, and just as deserving of celebration.

Graduation to Adulthood–When do kids become adults these days? Hard to say, though it’s no longer at 18 or 21 or even necessarily by 30. Moving out of the house and getting a job may just mark a more advanced stage of adolescence. It might be more accurate, then, to celebrate the parents’ graduation back to adulthood post-childcare, post-college tuitions and post-full-time mom-and-dadhood. Ready to reclaim your independent adult life?  We’ll graduate to that.

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  • http://shyneschool.com redmond private school

    Sleeping through the night. Baby gets a soft blanket and a cuddly new stuffed animal; mom and dad breathe a sigh of relief.