Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mom Etiquette or As I Like to Call It, Metiquette

I have completely forgotten my metiquette. I used to know metiquette. When I had my children with me and met other moms, I knew how to behave. No more. Once I entered grandmother (Mimi) territory, I completely forget any manners I used to have.

I took Wes to the park the other day. We were playing and having a great time running around and rolling the ball (bah! bah! God, what a genius he is.) to each other when another mom came over and sat down beside us in the grass. Her little boy ran over to Wes and they commenced a gabbling conversation that sounded like two Martians had finally, FINALLY managed to find each other on planet Earth and now they could proceed with the invasion. She smiled and said "How old is your little boy?" Now, I have to pause here to preen a little at her actually thinking Wes was my child. The fact that my sunglasses were covering the wrinkles around my eyes and my cellulite, spider veins and flabby thighs and stomach were obscured because I was sitting down, is completely irrelevant.

I answered "Oh, he's my grandson and he's 18 months old this month." "He's darling", she replied.

And here's where my metiquette fell completely apart. In hindsight, I should have asked about her child, told her he was just a DARLING child and chatted a little. But, in my defense, I am a Mimi now, not a Mom. All my friends are grandmothers. When we talk about our grandchildren and show each other pictures, we admire how fabulous they are and it's perfectly acceptable to say "I know! He is so gorgeous!". Because, after all, we didn't really make him. We can totally take credit for how fabulous he is because we didn't make him. His PARENTS made him. So it's OK to agree about his fabulousness. We completely understand each other. And, we know, even though we don't say it, that OUR grandchild is the most perfect, the most beautiful, the most angelic child on the face of the earth. Not their grandchild. And we all understand this. Each of our grandchildren is the most perfect one. Of course.

So, when she complimented my PERFECT grandson, I said "I know". I DID. I'm cringing now. But, at the time, it seemed perfectly logical. He is perfect, after all. For someone else to comment on it seemed perfectly natural. She was a kind, pleasant woman. She didn't stare at me incredulously. She didn't reach out and slap me for not complimenting her child. Maybe her child has a similar Mimi. She just smiled.

And took her child away to find a mom who knew her metiquette.


raymond said...

Mrs Who,

I'm not a grandparent, but I did notice part of your information includes "elementary school library media specialist." I study information science and use the word metiquette as metadata etiquette. I know some refer to the word as mobile phone etiquette. When did you start using the word metiquette and what made you think of it?

sarah said...

hehehe...of COURSE he is perfect and you said just the right thing! Any Mimi would!

Nikky said...

MrsWho, I think you gave the perfect answer! I am merely a mom, but I have heard my mother in conversations just like that... her response to me afterward, when wondering aloud why she did not reciprocate the "cute child you have there" chat, she says "Did you see that kid? I was not going to lie to her"
So see, you could have done worse...

Mrs. Who said...

Well...honestly, I couldn't tell you want her child looked like. I was, as usual, basking in the gloriousness that is Wesley.