Dealing with the 'other mother' who does everything right

You know her. I know her. Worst of all, my children know her. At least they tell me about her all the time. She is the "other mother." I heard about her the first time when Paul was in kindergarten. He was only allowed to watch "Sesame Street" and "The Electric Company" on television. The other mother's children watched all day. By the time the other mother was doubled and squared and taken to the third power I capitulated. Paul was allowed to watch cartoons. Was he happy? Not at all. The other mother's children were watching Dr. Shock and Frankenstein.

The other mother is cool. She never yells about silly things like the wet springer spaniel lolling on the bed.

The other mother's children do not have to pick up their rooms, make their beds, or clean the bathroom. On top of everything else, the other mother has a maid.

Spaghetti at the other mother's house is special. At mine it is "do we have to have this again?"

life at the other mother's house is a continuous whirl of activity for kids, I am told. She plans picnics and ball games and hosts a season of slumber parties. So how can I possibly complain about Bullet Katz and his BB gun spending the night?

The other mother is said to be immaculate, so it really doesn't figure that her children are slobs. They are allowed to wear the same blue jeans for a month and sleep in their shirts, and although they were born with ears, nobody could tell it today, since haircuts are not required. And they can chew gum whenever they choose.

Bedtime doesn't exist at the "other mother's house. Her children stay up until they are tired, because they know what is best for them. My children do not think they are tired. They unicycle down the hall at 10 p.m. and pit each other with half nelsons at 11. Only I get tired.

The other mother is groovy. I am square.

The other mother is also elusive. I thought the other mother was Billy's mother. When I met Billy's mother, I realized that the other mother must be Johnny's mother, but after meeting her I knew it must be Frank's mother. Then I got the biggest surprise of all -- theym thought the other mother was me.m

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