Sometimes I’m a mom and other times I’m a mombie. Though I have some experience in drowning out incessant noise (a skilled learned from growing up with four sisters), the mombie performance is a new and critical survival tactic for me as Dylan ventures through terrible twodom. Activating mombie mode is easy. There’s no full moon required, I need not be bitten by a fellow mombie (though being bitten by the child will trigger a transformation), and there’s no pathogen causing the non-communicative, unemotional, distant gazing mom I mutate into. The mombie culprit? Toddlers. Specifically when:
There’s no way out. Like when I’m driving home with Mr. Sunshine in the backseat and he suddenly comes down with a loud case of Goldilocks Syndrome. The straps to his carseat are too tight, too loose, and are never ever, ever just right. Screams and whines from the backseat ensue. ZONE OUT ACTIVATED.
There’s no reasoning. It’s time to eat but the food is too hot- a major offense to my wittle big boy. And instead of blowing on the dish or patiently waiting for the meal to cool, loud pangs of dissatisfaction are spewed, food is tossed on the floor, and cries for the dejected “yum yum” on the tile are made. Meal time zombie mommy.
There’s no explanation. The child wants up, now he wants down. And in both instances, he’s pissed. The more pissed off my toddler gets, the less I’m able to understand. My husband looks to me, “What’s wrong with him?” I stare, I grunt, and I shrug my shoulders, defeated. Full blown mombie.
Nothing works. I’ve mastered the art of diversion- practically a parenthood requisite…but it’s far from bulletproof. I only have so many tricks in my Mary Poppins bag and though I’m willing to scrape its bottom, sometimes nothing works. Like when the memory of a donut surfaces in my toddler’s mind and he wont let it go- I’m done. I don’t have any donuts kid. Does it look like Mombie cares?
Being a mombie is me being the best mom I can be in the moment. Non-reactive, unemotional, with one single purpose driving me to keep moving forward. And if you think that’s scary, you should see the alternative- she’s a real monster. But based upon my assessment of equally distressed children I’ve witnessed in public places, I can confirm that there are many mombies amongst us. Even dad-ombies. (Only the name for them is less cute.)