Based on the observations of my three children, I have drawn the following conclusions about Other Mothers:
- They are unbothered by messy bedrooms, improperly wrapped cheese, cars returned to the driveway with the gas gauge on ‘empty’, lunchboxes filled with uneaten food, missing mittens, or repeatedly broken cell phone screens.
- They are “fine” with making dinner and having no one show up to eat it, sitting with a dining companion who texts throughout the entire meal, and clearing the table on their own while the rest of the family does a dine and dash (and they are not even remotely curious about where everyone is going).
- They do not read report cards, attend parent-teacher conferences, or, god-forbid, volunteer to chaperone school events.
- Even in the wee hours of the morning or the middle of the night, they do not perform driving duties while wearing their pajamas (nor do they take out the garbage while still in a housecoat, with their feet stuck in their husband’s rain boots).
- They recognize that the need for brand-name clothing is as basic as the need for food and water and, as such, freely offer up their credit cards (and they never question how many pairs of skinny jeans are “enough”).
Other Mothers are ever-loving, ever-smiling, ever-understanding creatures who do not “lose it” over minor, unavoidable things like:
- $250 Ugg boots worn out in the rain (while $200 Hunter rubber boots stand dry in the foyer),
- Learning about the spilled milk “incident” only after the basement rec room has begun to smell like an armpit and 2,000 fruit flies have taken up residence on the mysterious carpet stain, or
- Having their favourite television show NOT recorded because the DVR was filled with a Lifetime channel marathon of Dance Moms
I wish sometimes that I could be one of those Other Mothers; a serene doppelganger of myself, whose mind was untroubled by the practical realities of life; a Stepford Wife but without the Texas-style hairdo. Then I ask myself how that would work. Would my children eventually be buried alive amid the rubble of their bedrooms, lost forever beneath the weight of a hundred pair of unwashed skinny jeans? Or would they choose life, grab a laundry basket and a shovel, and dig their way out? Would they learn to like the taste of hard, fuzzy cheese? Or would they unravel the mysteries of Saran Wrap?
Are Other Mothers really the domestic goddesses that my children describe? Or is it perhaps that Other Mothers, as I have long suspected, have Other Children, who never track mud through the house, can’t wait to walk the dog after school, and love to take extended car trips with the family (especially if the flatulent dog comes along for the ride). That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it!
Ah yes. I remember way back, during the Jurassic period, meeting Other Mothers on the Street Where We Lived. We never knew each other’s names. We were just “Owen’s Mommy” and “Jason’s Mommy,” etc. It was Jason’s Mommy who told me what to do when I heard the children shrieking in pain and panic.
“Turn up the volume on the stereo until you can’t hear it anymore,” she said.
Best advice I ever got.
Wise words of wisdom my friend!
At every parent-teacher evening, I look everywhere in the hope of spotting “everyone else’s parents”, who drive the most recent car, read their teenagers’ minds before they have time to think of anything, provide a steady stream of cash and play taxi at stupid o’clock in the morning. Either they don’t come to school meetings, or they don’t exist. Keep your eyes peeled and let me know if you find one – we’ll keep them in a special centre and sell tickets for other parents to observe them 🙂
I am sure that they exist… of course, I also love the idea that unicorns roam some exotic corner of the rainforest and mermaids are currently singing from a rock somewhere in the Mediterranean. You gotta believe!