What Moms Are Made Of
From all accounts, when I was a little girl, I was, like most little girls, made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Of course, when I became a teenager, I was made of sarcasm, drama, and everything hormonal.
You tend to mellow out a tad after all of your friends abandon you and your parents become afraid of you. But did I go back to sugar and spice and everything nice? Maybe for a time: Long enough to snag a husband anyway, but not long enough that anyone else would have noticed.
I guess I was being slightly deceitful to let my boyfriend think I was even close to “everything nice,” but I think I believed it as well while we were dating.
Then we married and I realized that I was the one being deceived. He didn’t necessarily want sugar and spice and everything nice. What he wanted was someone who would walk his dirty socks to the hamper, shop for his underwear, and do all of the things that he was apparently incapable of doing. It was most important to find someone who would do all of this without doing him mortal harm.
Dating seems to be a tool for measuring a person’s tolerance level because, well, nobody wants to be stabbed in their sleep.
Fortunately, for him, I was still willing to put on the airs of sugar and spice and everything… um… mediocre… until we had children. Then I became Momzilla.
My husband is just one of the many husbands who must wonder what happened to that sweet girl he married. The one who laughed at his jokes and ran her fingers through his hair. That girl whose sweet face smiled up at him when he brought her flowers.
Momzilla thinks his jokes are stupid and it’s not her fault that he has no hair to run her fingers through, is it? When he brings flowers, she only wonders what on earth he’s done now. When she smiles - which is really scary and usually means you should run - a road map of brittle wrinkles appear on her face.
Mostly, though, Momzilla frowns and says things like: “Clean up your room,” and “Did you pee in the bathtub again?” and “Don’t eat the crayons!” She usually has the look of someone who has just tasted a persimmon: the squinty eyes, the pursed lips, and dilated nostrils. At times you could swear that she’s grown horns and breathes fire.
Sugar and spice and everything nice? Try alum, and cayenne pepper and everything offensive.
Momzilla has an alter-ego, however. This alter-ego is called Mommy. Mommy could fool one into believing that Momzilla never existed, but her husband knows it’s still hidden inside, under the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and deep inside the warm comforter she tucks around a little one. The snuggly good night hugs and kisses are just a cover-up for Momzilla.
What he doesn’t know is that she’d rather be Mommy than Momzilla and that he has a great deal of control over that. She’d much rather curl up on the couch with her little sugar and spice and puppy-dog tails, if only she didn’t have laundry to do. She’d rather play a game of hide and seek with them than empty the litter box. She’d rather take her husband to bed than mop the floor.
If her husband could somehow take some of that burden from her, Momzilla would melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. If she couldn’t exactly be sugar and spice and everything nice again (because she forgot how), at the very least, she’d be Splenda and nutmeg and everything harmless.