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Oscar night for moms would be fraught with problems

Tracy Curtis hspace=2

Well it's high season for award shows I can't help but be frustrated with all the nominations for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." In the movie, Brad Pitt ages in reverse. So what? I'm doing that. I used to work at CNN and stay up til midnight. Now I play Battleship and am in bed by eight. All these award shows for these silly actors, and still not one award ceremony for us hard-working parents. But here's what a lot of people don't know. A few years ago, the Academy actually did try to televise a live event honoring Moms and Dads - the Parent's Choice Awards. And I know this, because my husband was nominated. He was up for Favorite Male In A Supporting Role, for his performance when I got meningitis. He had to play the roles of Mom, Dad, cook and maid for six whole weeks. The problems with the award ceremony started the way any event in a parent's life starts - lack of babysitters. With all the nominees and their spouses being parents, getting a sitter was a nightmare. And as much as we fantasized about getting our hair and nails done before the show, we knew they'd just get ruined making dinner and bathing kids before the limo came to get us. The date conflicted with 11 PTA meetings, 6 talent shows, and the finals for the state spelling bee. And most of the dads coached basketball and weren't really up for a quick change into a tux in the church basement. There was talk of taping the show during the day while the kids were in school. But there was no way to cover all the bake sales, book fairs and casserole drives. And none of us gals really has a ball gown laying around. And moms opting to wear old bridesmaid dresses were at high risk of duplicating dresses with at least seven other women. The Academy offered a sit-down dinner, but the Dads wanted to grill burgers outside the venue. And the Moms preferred to bring a covered dish. But we all thought the open bar was an awesome idea. Being the organizers that we are, we did have our carpools worked out. I was riding with a mom nominated for Best Picture - her perfect Christmas card with all four children sitting in a cross formation in matching pajamas - all smiling. But they wouldn't allow cell phones, so we wouldn't have been able to call home. And none of us thought we could stay up that late. Although it was pointed out that the acceptance speeches would be brief, because who did we really need to thank? We always act alone. It would have been nice to walk the red carpet - any carpet really, that I didn't have to vacuum. But I'll settle for watching the rich and famous do it on TV. And know that, while no awards are given, what we do is just as important. Besides - maybe I'll win some money in the Oscar pool. Tracy Curtis writes a weekly humor column in the Charlotte Observer. You can read her columns every Sunday.