Rivalry (part 1)
I was ready. I am, after all, a mom. My job description, if you’re not too modern and forward-thinking, is to care for my children. I am the kisser of boo-boos, the bandages of skinned knees, the wiper of tears, and the chicken soup preparer for the ill.
Still, they forget me, mostly in favor of the DAD. That overindulgent, unwise and unpredictable counterpart of mine, the ying to my yang. He is their partner in play and their partner in crime. The DAD breaks the rules that the MOM sets in place and suffers the consequences along with the brood for such infractions.
It is this fact that gives him his appeal. He suffers alongside them, a bonding experience in which the MOM cannot indulge.
But, there is no bond more bonding than pain and fear. So, when the bodily fluids begin oozing, dripping, or even spraying from the bodies of the fickle younglings, in the form of urine, snot, or blood, they run from the DAD (who is probably also somehow responsible for their predicament), and they run to find the MOM.
It is when they are in this state that they fully embrace their commitment to the MOM by calling out at the top of their lungs. In their pain and terror, they are no longer bothered by the friends who may tease and ostracize them, calling them “Mama’s boys” and a selection of other names intended to undermine their relationship with the MOM through shame and peer pressure.
They are also no longer worried about the DAD’s opinion of them. They wholeheartedly betray their allegiance to the DAD, even going so far as to tell the MOM the details of what the DAD did to get them to this point of suffering.
It is in this precious moment that the MOM, hands on her hips, a look of deep concern strategically posted upon her face, apron fluttering like a cape in the breeze, steps out into the open to intercept the squalling child.
She embraces him. And in that embrace, he is safe from the DAD and the DAD’s foolish and dangerous shenanigans. And they two become one, in an alliance against the DAD. The MOM sends out a disappointed look, like a ninja’s throwing star, and it hits the DAD directly in the heart.
And along with the look, there is another message that only the DAD can perceive. It is a tiny, almost imperceptible smile in the dark corner of the MOM’s mouth. It tells the DAD that she has won.
Then the child, through his anguished tears, sends out a smaller but somehow much more damaging look which also hits the DAD. The child’s look takes the DAD out at the knees, saying, “I trusted you, and you betrayed me, and now I have formed an alliance with the MOM, and I love her more than I love you! Now stay back, or she will not hesitate to make you sorry!”
So, it is when one of the brood gets sick. The afflicted ones, whether it be the teenagers or the younger ones, each walk past the DAD to find the MOM. They have even been known to ask the DAD if he knows where the MOM is at that moment, all the while purposefully keeping their suffering from the DAD while the MOM is being located.
And when the MOM is located, the child with the affliction tells the MOM all of the details of said affliction. They never question their choice to find the MOM while keeping their ailments from the DAD. It is some instinct that drives them. An innate understanding that the care that they will receive from the MOM will be wholly superior to the care that they would receive at the hands of the DAD.
I have, in fact, witnessed a trembling and terrified protest against the DAD spearheading an operation to remove a splinter. In these circumstances, only a MOM will do.
…………..Continued in Part 2…………..