In my Momzilla entries, I have hoped to expose the seedy underbelly of the moms who mom too much; that is to say that I want to highlight the obnoxiousness of people who either think they can be a better mother than you without giving you the benefit of the doubt, or people who simply display exaggerated mother characteristics --traits that would be found in any ordinary mother, but to a scary or socially intolerable degree. You know, kind of how like Godzilla was an über lizard.
So if you see yourself in any of my Momzilla portraits, I don't necessarily think you're a bad mother --I am not necessarily judging but just re-telling my own encounters as best I can, for the good of society (and for a laugh, as applicable). But you might do well to try and curb your Momzilla tendencies. And don't look at me that way, young lady: I know what's best for you.
Without further ado, the latest action figures in the Momzilla catalog: the Baby Snatcher™ and the Just Swimmingly!™
The Baby Snatcher Momzilla™, which comes in a set with greedy beady eyes and a sugary-sweet demeanor, does just that: she is out there to snatch your baby. Or to at least pretend, in a realistic and frighteningly convincing way, because she could always take care better of that cute baby of yours. Of course.
Out shopping a couple of weeks ago with Rev. Mom, we encountered the first specimen of this momzilla. She was really quite nice but she wanted to take my baby. While I was getting a mini-makeover, she kept on extending out her arms to hold the baby.
"I guess Mommy doesn't want to give you up, does she? DOES SHE?"
It took me a couple of seconds to realize I had a vise grip on the baby's foot. So, a social animal by nature, yours truly laughed it off and grudgingly gave the baby up. And then I did a scan of all the possible exits.
"You are SOOOOOOOOOOOO cute! If you were mine, I'd take you home and fatten you up!" and "Oooh, aren't you darling! I'm going to take you home with me, you're so sweet!" echoed from my left.
At first it was just kind of mildly annoying, but when I exchanged glances with Rev. Mom and realized she was also looking mildly concerned (my own mother, Rock of Gibraltar, who does not bat an eyelash at adversity in most forms, apparently was freaking out internally as well). But then Baby Snatcher Momzilla® was on the move. Oh-my-God. ALERT DOWNTOWN TOKYO!
She was just going to another counter to show off the baby, and to repeat just how many Porterhouse steaks or whatnot she was going to feed my 8-month old and just how cute he was and how much he seemed to like her. But my heart was slowly threatening to beat out of my chest or just climb out through my throat, jump off and go beat her up.
I was done with that: I walked up and got my baby.
She just gave me a tight little smile and replied something to the baby, like "aww, Mommy wants you back, doesn't she?" and which did not sound wholly friendly. Then she went on to say how she wished her now big boys were still little and how she misses babies. Did she mention her boys were and are BIG?
Thinking this an isolated incident, a few days later I met a very sweet housekeeper from Thailand in Tampa. Sweet, that is, until she started with the same bullying demeanor.
"Come here, baby!" she goo-gaaed. She wanted the kid to somehow jump from my hip hold onto her 4' 10" frame?
She insisted ("I hold the baby?") until I acquiesced. She deftly held the baby, who completely dwarfed her frame (take THAT, big-boys lady!) and started to indoctrinate him into saying goodbye to mommy because apparently he was leaving ("ha ha! bye mommy!"). She told me about her four boys, "and a girl..." *heavy sigh* and about how her boys were big and strong and had gone away from home and how she missed babies.
She was much sweeter than the other lady, but again there was that edge of nostalgia and sadness associated with having grown kids. And, of course, the whole psycho thing about running away with my baby.
Which leads me to ask the following: Is this how true baby snatchers get their career start?
Momzilla number two: the Just Swimmingly! Momzilla™, complete with dashed hopes, resignation, and Brillo pad to scour extremities --gray hairs and fake smile optional-- is one hell of a downer who somehow always manages to say that things are going "Just Swimmingly!" whenever they so obviously are not.
And I don't mean just like regular stuff, because I think every mom and every child caretaker has felt a little bit like they need to repeat to themselves that things are okay even when there is a crisis.
I am talking about patent, freaky-ass, old-fashioned DENIAL in here. The kind of denial that reaches out and leaves a cold and clammy hand on your shoulder and makes you wonder if YOU are the one who needs therapy for ever doubting that things were other than, "Just Swimmingly!" This is a very tricky kind of Momzilla to have in the catalog, honestly, because by their own denial or frazzled demeanor you would think them the opposite of Momzilla-ness. However, the more you are reassured that Courtneah isn't viciously trying to kill Kreesy; or that JoJo's bead up his nose isn't worrisome; that Natalya's diapered butt at 4 years of age is an indicator of her "practical" nature; or that Calliope's weird hand-shaking is nothing more than her pretending to be a pretty ballerina and is in no way reflective of a deeper neurological problem; the more two things pop into your mind:
1. Wow... maybe I am too much of a worrier. Certainly this woman doesn't seem concerned.
2. Holy Christ in a pig-poke! The child shakes her hands into her chest in the very epitome of what people crudely recognize as the "retarded gesture"!!!!!!! What is WRONG with this woman?!
I would like to talk more about the Just Swimmingly! Momzilla™, but there are two things that impede my progress: I have an almost-nine month old talking about the Cuban embargo crisis and how the United States sometimes fails at being the police of the world; and honestly? This Momzilla kind of breaks my heart.
Until later, peeps. And please don't tell me that weird hand-shaking is "just a phase," or that toilet-training isn't supposed to be accomplished by a certain age: there is only so much denial one can take into the weekend.