I used to think that we women turned into super heroines, that somehow the title of MOM gave us powers we had never possessed before.
…Able to catch falling cups from hitting the floor, able to leap over “accidents” of pee, and able to …get manipulated by the tears of a two-year-old.
I have come to realize that we are just women, just humans, We could do all of that before, maybe without as much finesse, but we’re really just women who love our children and keep doing the same stuff day in and day out. There are no magic powers that give us more insight, we are just older than our children, there’s no magic that helps us see when they are pouring Cap’n Crunch all over the counter when we’re in another room. We can just hear the little buggers ‘tink’ing onto the counter tops and floor and their marble like rolling around sounds followed by the ‘uh-oh’. And there is no special mommy potion we drink that helps us to calmly talk about sex when that age comes around. We just muscle through it all with love and devotion.
I have noticed the difference when my children call me by the various titles of motherhood. Sometimes it’s ‘mom’, sometimes it’s ‘mamma’, sometimes it’s ‘mommy’, and of course the classic ‘mother’. Within each of those categories there are also differences that can range from making me smile to the tips of my toes, to raising the hair on the back of my neck.
- Example 1 Mom: ‘Mom’, the basic greeting and attention seeker, often prefaced by Hey, as in ‘hey mom’.- ‘M AAAHHHHM’, the long distance attention seeker, shouted from two rooms away which means, ‘hey my butt is glued to the seat in front of my computer/ tv and my legs have forgotten how to walk, the only things working are my throat and my mouse/ remote hand’ and I want you to do something for me/ see this. -‘Mu ah mmmmm’, the bubble mom, always good for a giggle and the sweetest thing babies can do with snot. -‘Mah ahm’, the classic ‘could you stop embarrassing me now?’ ‘mom’.
- Example 2 Mommy: There’s the ‘MOMMMMMMMYYYYY’ that only a pre-schooler can say the right way and is usually at pick up. It is one of those down to the toes smiling kind of ‘mommies’. -there’s the ‘mommyyyyyyy’ that precedes the ‘will you do this ridiculous favor for me because I really want to be growing up but I still want you to talk to other grown ups for me, cause they’re scary’. -Then there’s the heart breaking ‘mommy’ that is generally followed by an hour or so of cuddling, more snot, and hair with an unnatural part.
I remember the first time I realized that the birthing process did NOT grant me super powers, I was SO pissed! I was really planning on those kicking in! Eww, but the worst is when they figure it out for the first time… ugh. Luckily a child’s memory can be short lived in that department, because even my 20 year old still thinks I know everything, sometimes. He called me one day from his college campus – insert note* he was ON campus, I was at home*- and asked me if I knew if the computer lab was still open. “Hmmmm, no. You should ask someone there or walk downstairs and look”.
I have no super cape or clothing that makes me impenetrable either. Damn it. I find that I sometimes I could really use one, because hearing ‘ahhh I haaaate you’ screamed from behind a recently slammed door can sometimes sink in. The ‘Mom, mom, mom, mom,mom, mom,mom, mom,mom, hey mom,mom, mom,mom, mom,mom, mom,mom, can you hear me mom,mom, mom’, would be much easier to take with a sparkly, reflective cape. I could rock the cape, I think. The tights I’m not so sure about. Instead we mom’s have to just say “yes, I hear you, no you still can’t”.
I have a quote that sits on my desk. I have no idea who it’s from but it keeps me grounded. It says, “If only we let them”. These are 5 of the hardest words to follow through with and they are applicable to everything. They will learn to think for themselves If Only We Let Them. They can have safe fun If Only We Let Them. They can talk to me about anything If Only We Let Them. Really, insert whatever is going on after they can and follow it up with If Only We Let Them. I have to remind myself that, let does not equal make, and I learned that because someone let me.
I have also learned to say “it’s ok if you hate me right now, you’re gonna be glad when it counts”, and “I am perfectly fine with being the bad guy, blame it on me”. But that comes from experience not super powers. Would have been a lot easier if some Super Hero trainer guru had telepathically mentioned that a few years earlier, but hey I got it eventually, much to the dismay of my youngest 🙂
H’mmm maybe the real super power is that we do all these things gracefully and keep up the pretense of superpowers so well 🙂