Saturday, September 14, 2013

971. Me and All My Badges

As a mom of a 4th grade son and a 2nd grade son, it may come as somewhat of a surprise that I found myself at my very first Boy Scout meeting last night. 

As we all know, Boy Scouts instill wonderful values in your child, values like hard work, respect, discipline, and good citizenship.  Clearly, I would be happy to have any Boy Scout around to open a door, help me walk across the street, or provide necessary first aid if I was ever bitten by a bear.  Boy Scouts perform a crucial role in society. 
However, last night I got the impression that everyone else had started scouting at an earlier age (say, in the womb), and that I was once again late to the party.  There were 5 and 6-year-olds covered in merit badges, decorated to the point that you could no longer see the khaki uniform shirt underneath.  Nevermind that.  Put that all aside for a moment, and let’s concentrate on this new fun concept I was introduced to:  Badges. 

Everything your child does has the potential to earn him a badge.  Your boy plays Little League?  He simultaneously earned the Baseball Badge.  He accompanied you kicking and screaming to a few museums last summer?  Those represent Cultural Badges.  How about the time the two of you fed the neighbor’s cat for a week?  That would be the Community Service Badge.  Do you see where I am going with this?  Everything gets a badge. 
I feel compelled to design a few badges of my own.  How about all those times I asked Tall to make his bed and he ignored me?  Non-Compliant Badge.  And Short whining incessantly about doing his homework the last two weeks?  That would be the Vocal Complaining Badge.  Both of my kids forever leaving their dirty clothes in a giant pile and not remembering to take them to the laundry room?  The Forgetful Badge. 

I, of course, have inadvertently earned a few badges of my own.  There is the Dish Washer Extraordinaire Badge.  The Errand Queen Badge.  The Chauffer of My Own Children to All Their Activities Badge. 
What about the fact that I have memorized the exact aisle location of everything I need to buy at Target?  That would be the Target Memorizer Badge.  It is a bigger badge and more prestigious than the others, and in the shape of a red and white bull's eye.  It takes years of practice and training to earn that one. 

The Husband has earned a few badges as well.  Most notably, the highly coveted Good Listener Badge.  This badge (sadly) has been revoked a few times over the years.  He also has his Knows Everything About Football Badge (the stitching on the badge is an image of a football on a TV screen).  Obviously, this badge is what caused the Good Listener badge be revoked most recently.  He also has his Forgot to Feed the Cat Badge (symbolized by a scrawny cat meowing) and his I Promise I’ll Take Your Car to the Shop Badge (along with a broken car). 
See?  We can all earn our badges. 

There is a new badge I am currently training for:  Shoe Buyer.  The symbol is a sexy stiletto.  Oops, I need to get to Nordstrom now to practice.  Gotta run.