I've been blog stalking this cool lady named Mary Grace (not her real name, but I think I heard a rumor she actually answers to it IRL). I love her writing style, and I find the foster/adopt process interesting, and, well, mainly, I like her writing style.
So, as I was combing her archives, I came across a post she did on Merit Badges for Mommys. I love 'em! I'm actually, seriously thinking of getting some to put on the tail of my Maya Wrap next time I have someone to carry in it. Okay, maybe not, but it's a cool thought.
Until then, I thought I'd steal the idea and share the ones I feel like I've earned*. In no particular order (actually, they ended up in alphabetical order, because that's how they were where I saved the images), they are...
Birthday: For the themes thought up (with no repeats). The presents coordinated (often months in advance to ensure their presence in-country on the appropriate date). The cakes baked. The icing ideas given (because, you know, I don't do the decorating, but I do give ideas). All with very little ready-made available.
Diaper: For the multitude of diapers changed, mainly in locations without changing tables. And, most recently, for using cloth, especially in a country where I am probably literally the only one. Nah, I'm not a rebel or anything.
Medical: For coordinating doctors visits on at least three continents in as many languages (German being the third, in case you're wondering). Keeping my own records so as to be able to pass information along to the doctor-of-the-month (or at least that's how it felt for a while; it's much more settled now; we only have two or three peds). Oh, and giving birth in a second language.
Travel: Do I really need to elaborate? Okay, in the summer of '07, I traveled internationally with four children ranging in age from 18 months to 8 years. Alone. And this last summer, we flew without a lap child for the first time in 9 years (you can travel with children under 2 in your lap). And, when we came to this country originally, we had two lap children to save money on airfare.
Shopping: I don't deserve this nearly as much as many of my international peers. I now shop at Safeway (and Cozmo and Carrefour when we get to the capital). But I have chosen live chickens and gone home with them warm in the bag. And I have gone shopping less than a week in a new country with almost no language skill. And I have spent two hours in HEB jet-lagging after having just arrived in the US, yet unable to leave without examining each and every aisle, just because there might be something that we might need (a very common occurrence for internationals upon returning; either that or leaving in tears due to too many choices). So, I guess maybe I've earned this badge, too.
Sleep: The Lord blessed us with one phenomenal sleeper as a first child. I would share an example of his daily schedule from when he was 6-8 months, but you would all hate me, so I won't. Even Second Child, WM, (the one who is no longer with us), slept through the night at 2 weeks. And then came JW, who, due to undiagnosed medical issues, slept horribly for about the first year of his life. MA was good. And then came ZL, who, probably due to food allergies that we didn't know about, slept horribly until, oh, last year sometime. I know I'm blessed to have had some good sleepers, but, still, there were the months on end of sleep deprivation, so I'll claim this badge, as well.
Storytime: Whew, I'm glad there was this badge, and not one with blocks or dolls or something, because, well, I'm not the best about playing with my kids. I struggle with this. Be it board games or Legos or Polly Pockets, I have to force myself to enter in. And it just doesn't happen that often. But books? Oh, yeah. I'll read books. For hours on end. Or at least until there's another meal to be made or an appointment to keep. Heck, our whole homeschool curriculum is books to read. So, "Storytime," yeah, I've got that one down.
How about you? Which Mama Badges have you earned? I'd love to hear.
*Now that I read back through this, it sounds an awful lot like I'm tooting my own horn. I hope it doesn't come across that way.