Portraits of motherhood: How kids see moms

A lopsided nose. Eyes bigger than basketballs. Hair frizzier than a well-loved Barbie doll. Kids say — and see — the darndest things. While it can be less than flattering to see ourselves the way our children do, motherhood through their eyes can also be revelatory. For this Mother’s Day, we went into the hearts, homes and minds of five local kids to find out how they see their moms. Grab a Kleenex.

Oluseyi Lydia Fajolu

Drawing by Toluwani Fajolu

Oluseyi Lydia Fajolu

As told by Toluwani Fajolu, 6, Maple Grove

Is your mom nice? “Yes, all of the time. She only gets mad when I don’t do stuff that she says, like when she says, ‘Go to bed,’ and I don’t listen.”

Is being a mom hard or easy? “Easy. Because cleaning the kitchen is so easy.”

What do you like best about her? “Her work, because she gets doughnuts for us.”

Where does she work? “At Syngenta. She takes care of plants.”

What does your mommy look like? “She’s brown, big and tall. She has black eyes.”

What’s her favorite thing to eat? “She likes water and noodles.”

If you had a million dollars, what would you get her for Mother’s Day? “A million Easter eggs.”

What does Mommy like to do when she’s not working? “She eats dinner, then rests. And listens to church on the TV.”

Is she a good mommy? “Yeah, because she lets me watch TV sometimes and she buys me new shoes and dresses.”

My mom is prettiest when ... “She goes to church.”

My mom always says ... “Go clean up your room. Go write 1 to 200.”

Oluseyi Lydia Fajolu Toluwani Fajolu and her mom, Oluseyi Lydia Fajolu. Fajolu Video: Toluwani (age 6), what would you get your mom for Mother’s day if you had a million dollars?
Stacey Wigley

Drawing by Julia Wigley

Stacey Wigley

As told by Julia Wigley, 5, Rosemount

How old is your mom? “22.” (She’s 36.)

What do you like best about her? “She likes me. She cuddles me every single day. She’s really nice.”

Does your mom ever get upset? “Sometimes. During accidents ... like car accidents.”

Do you ever get in trouble? “Not that often, but sort of, if I put stickers on the walls.”

My mom always says ... “I love you.”

If you had a million dollars, what would you get your mom for Mother’s Day? “A donkey.”

Where would she put a donkey? “In the back yard.”

Is being a mom hard or easy? “Hard, because she works a lot doing the dishes and cleaning our rooms.”

What’s your mom’s favorite thing to eat? “Coffee and beers.”

What does your mommy look like? “She’s pretty. She wears lots of lipstick and eye shadow and she always curls her hair.”

Do you want to be like her when you grow up? “No. I want to be a singer and a basketball girl.”

What does Mommy like to do when she’s not working? “She reads on her phone every single night to go to sleep.”

Inoue Julia Wigley and her mom, Stacey Wigley. Wigley Video: Julia (age 5), what do you like best about your mom?
Sue Inoue

Drawing by Quinn Meaney

Sue Inoue

As told by Quinn Meaney, 8, St. Paul

What do you like best about your mom? “She likes to go to restaurants and spend time with us. Sometimes she gets us stuff.”

What does she look like? “Poofy hair. She’s either really excited, really tired or really mad.”

My mom is happiest when ... “When we do something good in piano.”

My mom always says ... “Practice.”

Is being a mom hard or easy? “Hard. She’s always talking about doing the dishes, the lawn and because we’re slobs she’s always picking up after us.”

What does Mommy like to do when she’s not working? “She likes to go to places like museums and malls.”

If you had a million dollars, what would you get her for Mother’s Day? “A grand piano.”

My mom is prettiest when ... “She’s happy.”

What do you want to be like when you’re a mom? “I’d go shopping a lot and if I had kids I’d make them do piano.”

What’s your mom’s favorite thing to eat? “Tonkatsu. It’s a Japanese meat dish. I think she likes it. ... I do.”

Is she a good cook? “Sometimes, but she doesn’t cook Japanese food. She likes to make Oreo truffles, banana bread, pancakes.”

Inoue Quinn Meaney and her mom, Sue Inoue. Inoue Video: Quinn (age 8), is being a mom hard or easy?
Nicole Jordan

Drawing by Gabriel

Nicole Jordan, Bloomington

As told by Gabriel, 6

What do you like best about your mom? “How much she loves me.”

What does your mom look like? Sometimes she wears a scarf and shirt and sometimes she just wears a shirt. She puts [her hair] down at night and I think she has green eyes and tannish brown streaks in her hair. I have a toy who has blue streaks in her hair.”

What is your mom really good at? “Playing the piano and I think that’s it.”

Is being a mom hard or easy? “A little bit in between, because sometimes me and my brother get into a fight.”

What does your mom like to do? “Cuddle me and Noah and be with me and Noah and Dad. And play piano.”

Where does your mom like to go on vacation? “I think Disney World.”

Is she a good cook? “In between yes and no.”

What’s your favorite meal that she makes? “Cinnamon rolls.”

What’s your favorite thing to do with your mom? “Cuddle, because that’s my favorite thing to do in the whole world.”

If you had a million dollars, what would you get her for Mother’s Day? “Maybe a glass something, like a glass bowl.”

My mom is prettiest when ... “She wears a really pretty blue and white scarf.”

Why do you like to draw your mom? “Miss Cooper says she loves my pictures a lot. She also says sometimes it looks gorgeous and I think she really means it.”

Inoue Gabriel and his mom, Nicole Jordan. Jordan Video: Gabriel (age 6), what’s your favorite thing to do with your mom?
Jenny Radack

Drawing by Walt Nelson

Jenny Radack, St. Paul

As told by Walt Nelson, 9

Describe your mom: “She’s absolutely crazy for my dog Jasper. She likes chocolate. She just started getting into liking hockey. She likes TV shows — she watches a lot of TV shows at one time. She loves having the house clean and ... she works a lot and so she likes the weekends.”

What do you like best about her? “She never really gets mad.”

What don’t you like about your mom? “She has a bad habit of not telling people in the family things like, ‘Hey, I’m going to New York.’ ”

If you had a million dollars, what would you get her for Mother’s Day? “Lots of chocolate, a cabin, a very nice house and a really awesome room for my dog. And I’d take her for a huge shopping spree.”

My mom is prettiest when ... “She’s ready to go to work, when we’re going on vacation and when she just doesn’t care about what’s happening.”

What does she look like? “Small and wimpy.”

Is being a mom hard or easy? “Hard. She has three kids and two are very annoying. Not me, I’m the perfect one. She has a dog that likes to eat the trash. My brothers are very chaotic.”

My mom teaches me ... “To keep things under control and ignore my brothers when they’re being crazy.”

Is your mom funny or serious? “More funny than serious. She can make the weirdest faces ever and she makes funny jokes and it’s really funny to be around her. Sometimes they’re lame jokes that you don’t understand, but they’re still really funny.”

Do you think Mother’s Day is necessary? “Definitely. Because moms do a lot of the stuff in the house. They cook, they take people places and they take care for you and stuff.”

Inoue Walt Nelson and his mom, Jenny Radack. Radack Video: Walt Nelson (age 9), is being a mom hard or easy?

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