Saturday, October 1, 2011

Super Mama

So the other day I was at a local consignment shop looking for a themed costume set for my girls.  I noticed the plethora of Spiderman, Wolverine, Batman, Superman, Super Girl, and other flame headed outfits that I didn't recognize.  I smiled as I selected a Pooh Bear for Jenna and a Piglet for Naomi-too cute! Great photo opportunities for both of them and a third the cost that I’d pay in the retail stores-go ME, Go, MAMA, go me, It’s your birthday! What a super shopper, I mused. If only they had a super mom costume too.  Still grinning at my $9.75 receipt, I headed to the car and rolled this idea in my head for a minute.  Supermom…what would that superhero look like, what would she act like, what would make her…well, SUPER?

Supermom would have to be….

Strong: There are endless reports of super mom strength out there. Most of us have heard stories of a mother who lifts cars that have fallen and trapped their child. But on a day to day basis, who else, besides a super mom, would be able to carry a backpack diaper bag, (full of diapers, a container of wipes, two changes of clothes, water bottles, and snacks) a purse, a 15 pound car seat carrier containing a 13 pound infant, a 25 pound big sister on the other hip, with a free hand to hold the dog leash and a set of keys.  

Fearless: Have you ever seen a mother in protection mode? There is nothing fiercer on this planet! Supermoms who brave fires, alligators, bears, raging rivers, cobras, and yes folks, even dreaded black widow spiders, will spring into action to save their offspring. Even if the predator or perilous situation normally leaves them immobilized with fear, the super mom autopilot kicks in and that arachnid is squashed 60 times in under 3 seconds.
Situations that would make brave men shiver have virtually no effect on super mommies.  My father was removing letters off a wall once, slicing his own thumb in half with a razor blade resulting in it flopping back like a banana peel. He refused to go to the doctor and using gauze and bandage tape was actually able to heal it completely without scaring.  Really brave-no tears or anything. But you sit him next to a diarrhea diaper change or a projectile barfing baby and he bolts across the room. Super mommies have a natural immunity to all things repulsive, horrible, and hideous.  This fearlessness strengthens with each birth of their children.  With a little Vick’s Vapor Rub under the nose, she laughs in the face of what makes other citizens’ gag!

Special Powers: Kisses are the super mom’s most potent power.  When applied they have the magic to ease the pain, slow the flow of tears, and communicate an overflowing of love and comfort.
They also have super hearing and concentration.  This ability enables them to be able to carry on and decipher a cell phone conversation with her husband, select the correct book and hand it to her daughter in her car seat, drive a car, all while tuning out high pitched two-year-old complaints about the noise coming from the crying infant.
Supermoms have eyes in the back of their heads-(Ok! Not really-but they are smart enough to use the reflections in the microwave that show the mirror next to the dining room table reflecting the 2-year-old climbing the bookshelf).

Athletic: Super Mom must be able to leap a pack-and-play in a single bound in attempts to save Jenna’s treasured organic roast beef and lettuce sandwich from the villainous food snatching arch enemy Mindy-dog! Or race after a toddler at lightning speeds when their Elmo leash has broken loose in aisle 3 of the grocery store.

Wear A Costume: The costume of super mom changes daily but there are hidden symbols of her super life if you are observant and look closely enough…white spots or cream colored streams on her shoulders (baby spit up), various colors of small handprints on her butt (from hugs with little hands dipped in paint, sidewalk chalk, or lunch leftovers).

Arch Enemies: Yellow# 5, Anything with Sugar, Belated bedtime, and aforementioned sandwich eating Mindy-dog (see athletic).

Secret hideout: The bathroom.  Where else can Supermom get a few precious and uninterrupted moments to herself?

Alter Ego or Identity: There are many:
1)    Wife.  This identity is only used on rare occasions when Supermom and her husband aren’t too exhausted after the kids finally fall asleep or on the two times a year they attempt a date. 
2)   Her real first name. Supermom doesn’t hear it very often once she takes on the role of mommy.  Sometimes supermoms are totally shocked by the sound of it.  “Hello? This is Mommy, whom may I ask are you calling?” “_____, hold on a sec…Oh! Right! That’s me-what are you calling for again?”
3)   Super Mom also has a myriad of other unspoken aliases: housecleaner, housekeeper, baker, chef, cook, chauffer, taxi service, nurse, doctor, story-teller, boo-boo kisser, hairdresser, stylist, psychologist, laundress, and even seamstress for those gifted with that skill.

Vehicle: Mini-van.  You must be careful to decipher between elderly person van and Super Mom getaway van.  Totally recognizable if you stare through the windows at the interior: Goldfish cracker crusted car seats and toy graveyard lining the floor is a dead giveaway every time.  

Uses Gadgets: What superhero would be complete without a wide array of gadgets to help them in their missions?

It’s basically a blue plastic compartment with a hose attached that you suck on to extract buggers from a child’s nose. Does it look disgusting? You bet! Is it really? No. The sticky germ filled slimeballs get caught in the cleanable compartment and are unable to pass through the tubing into your mouth.  This gadget might also help classify supermoms as fearless.

2)   She’s Packin’. In place of Batman’s utility belt, super mom comes packed to the hilt.  Wipes, thermometer, infant Tylenol, Sippy cup, spare clothes, diapers, butt paste, teething ring, bottled water, safe size chew snacks, first aid kit, and lest we forget the never-ending flow of hand sanitizer all packed in a convenient over the back, one strap diaper bag- equipped with a cell phone holder just above the right shoulder. This is supermom’s most handy accessory even if she does look like she’s embarking on a six-week survival mission through the jungle.

3)   Swing Baby Swing: Only way Supermom gets to eat any meal with both hands is when her child magically falls asleep in this amazing gadget. Equipped with 3 speeds, two swing styles, and 6 musical settings you don’t get more high tech than this baby J

4)   Super Mom’s Ultimate Weapon: Not a gun, sword, or bow and arrow. You don’t get more powerful than Wiggles Greatest Hits on CD, for those moments when nothing else will calm the mayhem around you.  When the desire to hear anything but screaming takes over and the urge to beat your head repeatedly against the wall fades into a blissful world of Fruit Salad, Dorothy the Dinosaur, and most importantly the vocalizations of contented two-year-olds attempting to sing along.

Good of Society: The most important characteristic that makes Super Mom a superhero is her fight for the good of society. There is no one who has a greater impact on molding our future generation than a Super Mom. Her relationship with her children and her guidance in their growing years influence the formation of values and attitudes they will carry throughout their lives. Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or evil in human life.

That makes the job of Super Mom the most challenging and the most rewarding in the world. A 24 hours a day job that begins from the birth of her first child until the mother passes away, the gift that keeps on giving, as her own children have children of their own and carry on the stable home life she herself fostered.

A Jewish proverb once said, “God could not be everywhere so he made mothers.” Mothers, we may not be able to leap a building in a single bound or intercept an Earth-destroying asteroid with our bare hands but there is no question how crucial we are to society. This ability and willingness properly to rear children…make motherhood the noblest office or calling in the world…. She who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters…deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God [McKay, pp. 452-54].   In short, Batman and Spiderman got nothing on us! 

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