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Choosing a gift for mom

Homemade touches are the best; leave the short skirts on the rack

Homemade touches are the best; leave the short skirts on the rack

May 07, 2004|by LISA TEDRICK PREJEAN

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9, and I'd like to offer assistance to all the last-minute shoppers out there.

There are certain things that moms with small children need. Other things we can live without.

Flowers


Cut flowers are beautiful, and we'll never tell you not to purchase them. If you're going to splurge, go ahead, spoil us. We deserve it.

There's only one problem. Cut flowers die.

Potted plants are a much better choice because they last. They also provide an enticement for little fingers itching to dig.

Select a plant that can be transplanted outside. Then we don't have to worry about leaving the child and the plant in the same room.

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Chocolate


Most of us are carrying around a few extra post-pregnancy pounds. Please don't point out that our last pregnancy ended a few years ago and that by now we should be back to our original weight. Consider us a work in progress. At times, progress goes in the opposite direction.

You can help. Think moderation. We don't want a super-sized candy bar or a 5-pound box of chocolate. A few small pieces of decadence will suffice.

If fruit is involved - like strawberries dipped in chocolate - we'll be especially grateful. In our minds, one cancels out the other.

Dinner


If a dinner out is planned, can we celebrate some other day besides Mother's Day? Restaurants are crowded, and it's hard for little ones to wait so long. We'd enjoy a barbecue at home just as well, especially if we don't have to man the grill. An outdoor picnic is great because the kids can run and play and we won't be thinking about cleaning the kitchen floor after lunch. (By the way, we don't mind eating on paper plates.)

Perfume


Please don't buy expensive perfume with a heavy scent. What smells incredibly good to adults may send our tiny tots into sneezing fits.

Most young children have a highly acute sense of smell. It's one of the ways a baby knows his mom - just by scent.

Select instead a slightly perfumed hand sanitizer or lotion that we can use on the go.

Clothes


We want hemlines to be longer than 6 inches.

On a recent outlet trek, I asked a teenage boy behind the counter if the store had any skirts. He took me to a rack holding skirts that would be too short for my 5-year-old. I laughed and said, "These are skirts?" He looked at me as if I was from Mars and said something like, "Yeah, lady."

"Well, I was looking for something a little longer."

He took me to a rack of straight, ankle-length khaki skirts. Somehow I couldn't imagine running after my preschooler in one of those.

We moms do a lot of bending and stretching. We need clothes that move with us. Plus, there are badges of motherhood - stretch marks and varicose veins - we'd just prefer to keep to ourselves.

Greeting cards


Everyone talks about the expense of greeting cards, yet we continue to buy them.

A homemade card with a child's drawing is priceless to us and is one thing we will save year after year.

The backward "S," the stick figure family, the sweet, shy smile when it's handed over - this is the best part of Mother's Day.

If you have a few sheets of construction paper and some crayons or markers, you don't even have to run to the store.

How's that for a mom's efficiency?

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