Just now, I had to slam into the Time-Out Button–the ginormous red one on the wall made famous in cartoons. I (metaphorically) threw my body up against it and left the room.
The kids killed my cup of sugar. I’m pissed about it.
As is custom, the toddler completed his dinner in 3 minutes’ flat, creating a gap of time before I sat down with my plate. When I lifted my first forkful of food, he barked, “Some?”
Now, my baby girl has also become a puppy at mealtimes. She often crawls over to the applicable food consumer and pulls her body up on the chair or sofa cushion. Sometimes, she swipes at the plate or seizes an individual piece of food. Other times, she just stands there and waits for a taste she knows is coming.
I sat center stage, balancing the plate of yum on my lap that the hubs had created. Jrue was to my left, hunkered over the arm of the sofa, asking for my cube steak. Jai was standing propped up to my right in the L of our loveseat and chaise. I ignored Jrue initially, but remembered my potentially compromised cup of orange juice by my foot on the floor. Yes, orange juice—this particular beverage because I’m intentionally drinking less carbonated liquids (which has me operating on much less sugar and patience than I would normally have).
I moved my orange juice from the floor to prevent Jai from tipping it over and positioned it up on the couch next to me, a maneuver I successfully enacted many times before. I warned Jrue, “Watch out for mommy’s cup.” He grunted.
I began the role of Momma Bird.
I supplied Jrue tiny pieces of steak. Between each bite, I pushed Jai’s arm away from taking my plate as I dipped a fork into my mashed potatoes, then into her two-toothed chops. She smacked her lips in joy…such a happily eating baby. I wish my meal experiences were such.
Jrue alternated shooting off 5 questions per 30 seconds and whining for the aerosol spray that was sitting on the bar. Jai pushed her body against my leg and reached for my fork with splayed fingers. I shoved her potatoes, and she wildly spit them with a grin. Jrue shook my shoulder and repeated my name while pointing energetically to the spray. Jai clutched the cushion after almost falling and called out in protest. I scooped food into my mouth faster.
Jrue then began screaming for no reason other than as an entertainment outlet, and I ordered him to stop. I reset my orange juice cup and, again, told him to be careful, as he was dangling over it. I really just wanted my steak and potatoes, so I set Jai on all fours and turned her towards daddy. “Attack daddy, Jai!” One kid at a time.
I inhaled my food and attempted to hold a normal conversation with the hubs over Jrue’s noise that, honestly, had me jogging towards the edge. Jai found renewed kneecap power and planted herself back to my side. In a sudden tantrum, Jrue lurched forward towards me and…knocked over my cup, soaking the side of my pants and the sofa cushion. My cup of delicious sugar that I deserved so much…
“Oh my GOD!” I yelled. I pointed to Jai, then Jrue. “You…and YOU…are getting on my nerves!” Jai feigned a look of patented shock. Jrue projected the timeless “I’m-in-trouble” look. I picked up my plate and the emptied cup. On the way to the kitchen, I announced, “I’m going to my room and I’m writing some stuff! No one bother me!” I dropped my plate on the kitchen counter, grabbed a dish towel, blotted the sofa cushion angrily, then stomped to my bedroom.
“Oooo, she’s mad at ya’ll,” I hear the hubs say to the kids. My laptop was sitting on my bed…it needed to be charged. The charger was in the living room where chaos lived. So I did the next best thing—scooped my phone from its charger and went to the bathroom.
In a memo, I typed, “Why do moms get the worse of their children? Namely, why do mine act out only for me? I get all kinds of yelling and screaming and pointing and cursing and general cacophony because I am walking into the house. It’s like, I’m Godzilla, and the kids are innocent city citizens.”
I’m Godzilla. I’m Godzilla. Why am I the Godzilla?
My “mom-ing” philosophy is creative-based. I’m an authoritative parent with several daily sparks of free range since I love initiating activities and allowing the little people to lunge forward through them independently. I hug on demand, fetch milk on demand, show Disney on demand, and feel highly intuitive and protective. I clean unnecessarily to keep allergies at bay. My go-to request is not to scream, but to ask. I feed them my food.
Yet, I’m the “bad guy.” There’s no clear line. I do all these “good” mom things, and I do not give up the aerosol spray that the kid wants, and I’m suddenly forever mud.
Why am I the Godzilla?
In a Huffington Post article titled “Godzilla’s Secret History,” Kevin Lankes writes Godzilla “. . .is many things, a product of the environment that created him. . .[and] a symbol of destruction, prejudice and arrogance.” This is not the most positive portrayal of a mom, but, if coming from the point of view of a toddler seeking dominance, mommy is strongly fierce and inexplicably take items away and likes to direct…and she reasons that it’s because she said so. Talk about arrogant.
Of course, Godzilla, the reptilian-dinosaur monster, is said to serve as a metaphor for post-war Japan, symbolizing the walking-talking fears of radiation exposure of the country in the 1950’s (Lankes, 2014). The monster’s calamitous movement through Tokyo usually represented a fear of sweeping sickness, which, in fact, happened: Many citizens were severely sickened or burned following exposure and/or later died (Lankes, 2014).
Not to such a critical level, but I must represent some degree of fear for Jrue, a gigantic boulder in the way of eating all of the chips and watching all of the unwrapping YouTube videos and never bathing ever again. I steal his precious freedoms. I say “no” and the phrase slaps Jrue silly. When I come into the house, I am traveling “Party’s Over.” I set out expectations and command clear language usage and pick up all toys left on the floor. In these ways, I suck. Just like Godzilla.
In a highly enlightening blog post, Kate of KateSurfs.com rationalized my feelings of Godzilla puzzlement. When discussing why children may trend towards misbehaving for moms, she wrote, “. . .YOU, mama, are their safe place. YOU are the place they can come to with all of their problems. . .YOU, dear mama, are a garbage disposal of unpleasant feelings and emotions. . .that’s what we, as mothers, get: the uninhibited expression of a raw emotional release, slapping us in the face, the second we stumble through the door.”
A garbage disposal. It makes sense.
Like most moms, Godzilla is an icon of symbiotic warning, of the dangers of what was actually happening in the immediate world with the dangers of what could dreadfully happen in the future. In essence, the monster’s existence comes from a place of caution and care; just like the safe space I created for my childrens’ problems when I birthed them.
Katesurfs. “The ‘Actual’ Reason Why Children are 800% Worse When Their Mothers are in the Room.” Katesurfs.com, 15 Aug. 2015, http://www.katesurfs.com/2015/08/15/the-actual-reason-why-children-are-800-worse-when-their-mothers-are-in-the-room/. Accessed 29 Dec. 2016.
Lankes, Kevin. “Godzilla’s Secret History.” The Huffington Post, 22 Apr. 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-lankes/godzillas-secret-history_b_5192284.html. Accessed 29 Dec. 2016.