I'm not the best mom, nor the mom with the most kids, and I'm certainly no Soccer Mom or Supermom. But even being the minimally effective yet lazy mom that I am, I am Such The Mom through and through.
Young Son and Lovely Daughter, my two "onlies" ("only-es"??), were born 16 years apart. Young Son is in 2nd grade. Yes, I have been mom-ing for a long time and I still have a fair amount ahead of me. After such an extended soak, the salty yet slightly sweet brine of mom-ness has permeated my very core.
Now that I am in A Relationship with Mr. Bicycle -- a person who has never reproduced -- I am, for the first time, becoming acutely aware of the effects this extended state of mom-hood has had on my personality.
I am hyper-aware of other people's business. Now granted, some of this comes from being married for just under 60% of my life, but I think the mom marinade has had a profound deepening effect. Other people's shit left undone can drive me to distraction; indeed, even more so than my own shit. It doesn't have to be important shit, nor does it have to have anything at all to do with me. But if I am aware that someone in my inner circle has an uncompleted action item, I cannot rip that mental sticky note from the inside of my skull until I have verification* that the task has been completed.
The rainy season had begun and Mr. Bicycle hadn't yet stowed his new electric lawnmower in the garage. It haunted me. Why? Is it my lawnmower? No. Do I have to buy the replacement next spring when he drags it out from under (half-under) the back steps only to find it's a moldering heap of rust and moss? No. Did it bother me? Immensely.
What did I do? I eventually moved it into his garage. After asking his permission, of course. Yes, I am Such The Mom, but see? I did manage to remember that he's Not My Kid.
Also, there are some key phrases that I have at times repeated daily that some people never utter even once in their life.
- Leave your penis** alone.
- Don't eat your boogers.
- Do you have to pee?
- Eat it. It'll keep your poopy soft.***
Mr. Bicycle informed me that he has never once said any of these things. Not even once. I advised him that they might spice up conversations with his coworkers. There's something about lobbing a flaming bag of poo like that into the middle of a conference table that just makes my day. Which segues neatly into...
The last -- and to me, the most telling -- indication of how deeply this state of mom-itude has affected my being is that my delight in embarrassing my children has morphed over the decades into a complete willingness to embarrass myself and anyone within a 10 foot radius for a laugh, regardless of how cheap.
Comedian Josh Sneed advises that, when faced with a choice of actions, one should "Do what makes for a better story." Amen, brother! This tendency of mine can launch Mr. Bicycle directly into a severe attack of jaw-clenching, hyperventilating mortification. Which is pretty entertaining in its own right.
Yes, indeed. It's good to be Such The Mom.
*Yes, there must be verification. Trust but Verify is my Mom Mantra.
**Or pants, if talking to the female child, or if in public with the male child. But since Lovely Daughter in in her mid-20's now and living on the opposite coast, I rarely have to say it to her anymore.
***With Young Son, however, I've adopted the minimally more sophisticated "It's good for your colon!" But of course I have to say it in my really loud Wanda the Fairly Oddparent voice.