Just as you've always feared, you are being graded

THE PERFECT MOM

May 08, 1994|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,Sun Staff Writer

To be a perfect mom these days, it's not enough to have your heart in the right place, listen to your children and make sure they do their homework. You have to take a look around, see what things other moms are doing and do them, too, only better! Test your perfect-mom quotient below and see how -- or if -- you rate on this fair Mother's Day. (Warning, this is an exam for over-anxious mothers. Others need not take this quiz seriously or take it at all.)

* Your son returns from school every day with an untouched lunch. So you:

A. Make lunch -- complete with apple slices and carrot sticks -- all over again for the next day

B. Recycle the same lunch

C. Let him eat fish sticks

* Halloween is tomorrow and your daughter wants to be the Little Mermaid, so you:

A. Stay up all night making the costume from scratch

B. Buy a plastic costume at Caldor

C. Give your daughter swimming fins and wish her good luck

* It's raining, the kids are rowdy, the VCR's trashed. You:

A. Whip up a batch of homemade play dough from a recipe you know by heart and let them run it through the fancy pasta machine

B. Invite a bunch of kids over for an impromptu sock hop

C. Turn up the radio

* Your child's now 4. You:

A. Join the National Aquarium, the Science Center, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Tiny Tots series, the Smithsonian Institution, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery. Bear in mind the law of membership decals: the more on your car, the smarter your kid

B. Subscribe to Highlights

C. Turn on "Jeopardy!" after his bath

* It's a beautiful day to get outdoors. You:

A. Put the baby in a backpack and take him and the twins for a 5-mile hike along the Gunpowder River

B. Take them to the neighborhood tot lot

C. Show them the door

* It's time to get involved at school. You:

=1 A. Commandeer the library committee, organize

playground activities, run the spring festival and get elected PTA president

B. Chaperon a class trip

C. Buy a school T-shirt

* It's cold season and the kids have runny noses. You:

A. Carry tissues for emergency wipes at all times

B. Use your sleeve

C. Use your kids' sleeves

* You think your child is musically gifted. You:

A. Buy her a Stradivarius

B. Enroll her in Suzuki program

C. Play lots of Raffi tapes

* The baby rolled over early. Time to:

A. Hire a personal trainer

B. Enroll him in a swank gymnastics class

C. Put him in child care at the health club while you work out

* As a mom, it's important to be plugged in. You subscribe to:

A. Parents, Parenting, Highlights, Family Journal, Family Fun, Prevention, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal

B. Rolling Stone

C. Cosmopolitan (How do you think we came up with the idea for this quiz?)

* Your child's first birthday is coming up. You:

A. Invite 25 friends and family members for a big do, featuring pony rides, a magician, hot dogs, filet mignon, vegetarian lasagna and a birthday cake from the local patisserie

B. Let Chuck E. Cheese deal with it

C. Put the baby to bed and toast him with a much older bottle of wine

To determine if you are the perfect mom, add up your A, B and C answers. If you have mostly A's: Congratulations! You are the perfect mom. Barney and Mother Teresa and Mr. Rogers all rolled into one, miraculous package.

If you have mostly B's: You need to work a little harder to qualify for competitive nurturing laurels. Nice try, though. If you have mostly C's: You probably are doing your own thing, ignoring popular wisdom and overcoming the insecurity that often comes with momhood. Your kids are thriving and you deserve a big, sticky kiss and breakfast in bed. Well, even just a kiss would be nice.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

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