Fun. I can do fun. Really. Okay. Maybe not.

"Are you the fun parent?"

The neighbor's child, the one that always asks the pointed questions around here, was in my living room, asking me the one question I never wanted to answer.

But, like a smart lawyer who knows the answers to every question before asking them, she knew the truth.

No. I am not the fun parent. Daddy is the fun parent.

How did this happen? I had such plans. When I was in high school, I always figured I would be the coolest mom ever. Even my friends, as I got into my twenties, said "Boy, you are going to be a really fun mom."

And in that wonderfully blissful assumption of youth I thought, "Darn straight, I am."

As I grew up I had all the requisite background for being the fun parent. I was once a professional clown. I could twist balloons into dogs or giraffes (dogs with longer necks) or bunnies (dogs with longer ears). I remembered countless knock-knock jokes.

I even, at one time, collected comic books and could name all the members of the X-men – classic and new. My nephews were in awe.

I can't even blame it on being the stay at home parent who has to lay down the law, because for a time I was the after 6 pm parent and I STILL was not the fun parent.

Don't get me wrong. I have my moments. There was the night where we had sports caster bath time where every action in the bathtub was described in detail by the mommy-play-by-play announcer. And let's not forget opera day where we sang all our conversations in big, high voices (which went on for two hours before Daddy begged for mercy).

Yet motherhood has brought out the In-Charge-Marge in me. I confuse productivity with play. We must finish our rice painting! Let's color ALL the macaroni!

I plan complex outdoor activities when really all anyone seems to want to do is run screaming from the tickle monster. For four hours.

And I don't want to watch a movie 700 times so I can recite every line by heart. (Except for the Princess Bride. I love that movie.) Instead want all movies to teach something, anything. The capital of Uganda. The habitat needs of salamanders. The names of all the planets in the solar system.

I am so not fun.

Now that I've faced it, I find myself sneaking in fun. Last week it was green pancakes. Then there was a brief moment of pirouettes in the parking lot.

If I can't be the fun parent, I can at least have my moments.