Thursday, June 9, 2011

Motherhood: United We Stand, Divided We Get Eaten By Zombies

There seem to be a few paradoxes that exist in the realm of motherhood. I mean, I (mostly, FULLY) love my children as much as they can stand it (and then some). Because, look! Kids are these amazing beings that changed my world for the better and nothing will ever be quite the same. And sure I miss beer and sleep but the crayon drawings on my hallway walls are kind of a decent if not mediocre trade-off! In the end, my sky looks bluer, the air smells less saturated with pollen, and the cupboards...well, those are looking a little bare, to be honest, but I'm trying to focus on the positive here.

And YOU! Fellow mother! You're my brethren! (::googles "brethren"::) Yes, BRETHREN! And we don't look down upon each other when we see the other's kid throwing rocks or skinning cats or flipping through a Playboy! Because united we stand and that kind of thing!

The point is that kids are great! And mothers are great! Precious. Innocent. Lovable. Giggle-inducing. Bright. Awesome. Breathtaking.

I long as they're MY kids. My kids and YOUR kids. But those poor, innocent mothers with those *other* children? We must be unified against the other. WE MUST STAND FIRM.

I'm talking about THIS kid. He's not yours, right? 'Cuz if so, I'm totally joking anyway!

Because all that flowery bubble-gum rainbow butterfly nonsense goes RIGHT out the window if we're talking about one of  THOSE kids that you have to encounter at the park. Or mall. Or liquor store. Or children's wing of the hospital. Or WHATEVER. Take yesterday morning, for example. I was registering my son for preschool in this new state of Texas. I'm a little nervous, but so is he, and so I'm staying positive and saying ridiculous things that little kids fall for like, "School is gonna be so AWESOME!" And despite the 65 forms I need to fill out, and the line that's 100 yards in length, and oh-my-god that Texas sun, we're having a nice morning together.

Until this kid comes along. Now, this kid was also registering for preschool. He was there with his dejected-looking mother and they were a few spots ahead of us in line. As we got to the front of one line and slumped over to the end of the next line, they were always in close proximity. And by "close proximity" I mean, the kid could've LICKED US if he stuck out his tongue. I could pick him out of a lineup if I had to, guys. Buzz cut. Dark hair. Lanky fellow. Blue shirt. Black sneakers. Eyes that peered into my very soul. I think he may have had his mother on a leash. Now, Plus One would kind of giggle nervously and say something like, "He's silly!" but I'm sure he was just being polite. Because how could anyone think the invasion of personal space is silly, especially when leashes are involved?! I've taught my son well, is what I'm saying. This boy, on the other hand was keen on tongue-sticking-outing, random pushing, crazy face making, running between my legs-ing, and ruining his mother's life-ing. (In fact, upon reflection, she may have exhibited signs of torture.) The cherry on top was when he'd abruptly stop and look up at me with eyes that suggested sociopathic tendencies. His mother would occasionally glance over and say his name with utter apathy, being careful not to make direct eye contact with her child. If she had no will to control him...then...then...

I was terrified. And yet clearly she needed to be saved. WHAT TO DO?!

And so we held steady, my son distracted with my phone and me praying that a large bird would swoop down and carry the child off. Because really, what the hell could I have done? As I said, it's not acceptable to judge or correct a fellow mother, for crying out loud, because we're all perfect and try so hard and I'M DOING THE BEST I CAN [muffled sobbing]. If we mothers don't have a unified front, I've heard that society will implode and the children will turn into zombies. Mother-eating fucking zombies.

Clearly a passive-aggressive was the most appropriate response in order to save the world from a zombie-pocolypse. A few crafty options popped up in my mind:

1. Pull out my hawk whistle and summon my neighborhood bird of prey. (Yes, the one that dropped a snake at my door. He seems to be for hire.)

2. Talk loudly to my son about the merits of good parenting, ignoring the blank, confused look on his face and secretly slipping him some fruit snacks in exchange for an agreeing nod and a condescending glance. (At the kid, of course. My god, what do you take me for?!)

3. Provide the problem child with a suspicious-looking package and send him to the Principal's office, signaling for the mother to RUN FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, RUN.

4. Suddenly shout, "Hey! I think I hear an ice cream truck outside! It's just a few blocks over!" Then signal for SWAT to come in and whisk the mother away to a safe room and into the Witness Protection Program.

5. Whisper to the boy a few "truths" about school, touching on the three-headed, green monsters in the cafeteria and the ghosts in the bathroom that gobbled up unruly little boys, and that the only safe place is with grandma, but YOU HAVE TO GO NOW BEFORE SHE DIES.

6. Casually reflect upon the kid's likely heroes: "You know, I don't think Diego ever went to school...the jungle is HIS classroom, that lucky bastard! And those Backyardigans! School is clearly for CHUMPS! And so is living at home with your parents! Have you ever seen Max & Ruby?" Then I'd hand him a sack lunch and tell him to hit the road.

7. Spot a teacher and strike up a conversation, "I didn't know you'd been paroled! Some people get so uptight when you build candy houses in an effort to lure children and toss them in an oven! Hey, have you met this fine young fellow? He wants to be in your class!"

But, in the end, I have an example to set for my children. So I brushed off those options and came up with some that were more straightforward.

1. Dropkick the child into his mother's arms and run like hell.

Okay, so I only came up with the one.

In the end, I left without enacting any shock and awe or rescue missions, and I lost sight of the two before we left the school. In fact, I'm not sure if they made it out of there alive. We should say a prayer for her tonight, mothers.

::flashes motherhood gang sign::