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Thursday, June 21, 2012

I am Mama Bear

When I was young, I was afraid of pretty much everything.

My closet was filled with scary stuff, including a cardboard box on the top shelf that I knew  was a cardboard box, yet somehow it turned into a severed head every night as soon as the lights went out.  There was also a monster that lived under my bed and ate boogers, which was a lot more terrifying at the time than it sounds now.
Worst. Mascot. Ever.
(source)

Once, my brother and I were going through my mom's purse (looking for cash and drugs, no doubt) and we found a Noble Roman's pizza coupon with a picture of their mascot on it.
Have you seen  their spokesperson?  It's a horrible, pizza-themed monster, to which I say, "WHYYYYYY?"   The thing looks like the illegitimate, evil spawn of Grover and Snuffleupagus, with all the childhood horror of Ronald McDonald mixed in, and it was even worse circa 1979 because, as I recall, his nose was a gleaming, razor-sharp pizza cutter back then instead of whatever vegetable it's supposed to be now.
Anyway, my brother, being a typical big brother, told me that the Noble Roman's monster could slide off the coupon and come to life, which sounded about right to me, so I ran to my room and hid under the covers where I remained until I was about 23 years old.

In my slightly-older-but-still-young years, I was no longer afraid of the Noble Roman's monster, though I continue to object to him just on general principle because his existence flies in the face of humanity and common decency.  However, I remained frightened of other, more Grown Up things.

I lived with the certainty that there was someone perpetually crouched behind my shower curtain, ready to pounce the moment I was distracted and searching for my lost contact lens in the sink.  Similarly, secret ninja kidnapper Jason Voorhees wannabes lurked under cars in parking lots, waited in the bushes while I fumbled with my house keys, and were surely the source of every creak and rustle that punctuated the silence as I tried to fall asleep.

What a bunch of jerks.

But then came my even-older-but-still-relatively-young-in-retrospect years.

Those were the years when I became invincible.

Suddenly, instead of cowering under the sheets, I would get up out of bed wielding a baseball bat or small shiv, and investigate every nighttime noise.  No more skulking through parking lots - I began to walk with my head held high, keys protruding from my fingers like jagged brass knuckles, just daring  some punk to pop out from behind a Volvo and stumble into my eye-gouging fists of fury.  I mentally rehearsed upper-cuts and flying scissor kicks and combo moves that would make Chuck Norris look like Betty White taking a nap, with no doubt in my mind whatsoever that I could execute these impressive feats of agility and butt-kickery at a moment's notice.

Why, you ask?  What was so different all of a sudden?

Those were the years when my babies were born.

As soon as I became a mother, I was no longer the child in need of protection from the monsters under her bed.  I became the Mama Bear - a growling, ferocious beast a million times more terrifying than any imaginary foe.  Nothing - no sneaky tiptoeing burglar, no shadowy parking lot, no unlit figure in the shower stall, NOTHING - was going to threaten my fuzzy little cubs.  My love for my kids and that protective instinct gave me strength and bravery that nothing else in my life ever had.

I knew I was a mother when I stopped being afraid of the dark.  Then I started thinking about my babies crossing the street, and skinning their knees, and the possibility of their hearts being broken someday - and I started being petrified of pretty much everything else.


Mama’s Losin’ It
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22 comments:

  1. I love the mama bear aspect... until it comes to a spider.

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    1. That's so true! Why do I feel like I could take down a team of international assassins, but a spider will send me screeching into the other room? Hopefully nobody sends a team of assassin spiders.

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  2. What's with the stuff that hides behind the shower curtain? Still kind of freaks me out. Except, I have the opposite fear of the curtain being ripped off while I'm showering and a horrible reenactment of psycho going down. Only, I don't look anything like Janet Lee, and my fat would probably scare whoever it was off.

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    1. I guess I still had that fear too, but I've forgotten about it after a couple years of having a clear-ish shower door instead of a curtain. To make up for my lack of daily fear, though, now I get intermittent bouts of complete terror when my peripheral vision, now accustomed to clear-ish glass, sees something RIGHT OUTSIDE THE SHOWER!!!!! which of course just ends up being somebody's damp washcloth draped over the door.

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  3. That monster with a pizza cutter nose is terrifying! I was sure Count Chocula and the Frankenberry monster lived under my bed.
    Did you also stand on your bed and jump 3 feet away from it so nothing under your bed could grab your ankles and pull you under in the middle of the night when you went to the bathroom? Not that I did that, I'm just asking hypothetically...

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    1. I actually did think about it when I get out of bed, but I forced myself to plant my feet firmly on the floor when I got up while trying to convince myself that the monster had to sleep sometime, too. Going to bed, however, is a different story - I've been known, as an adult, to take a running leap into bed from halfway across the room to avoid any potential ankle grabs. I had to give that up when a baby started sleeping in my bed, though - my aim isn't very good when I'm doing a frantic fear-leap. :)

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  4. This post made me smile. I love the mommy defense mechanism kicking in and making you a mommy badass. :)

    I used to watch a lot of scary movies so I would sleep with the covers up to my chin. Like dracula couldn't get through cotton.

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    1. Right - and my clothes were cotton, but that wasn't any protection at all - I needed an uninterrupted solid wall of 300 thread count to REALLY deflect the bad guys. ;)

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  5. Ha! That mascot is freaky! I was told my dolls could come alive and turn evil and made my mom lock them away in the attic. To this day dolls still kind of freak me out!

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    1. Dolls are super freaky, and not in the Rick James way. Especially those porcelain ones - eeeeghhewwegh. Luckily I had my teddy bear army to protect me (no Teddy Ruxpin, though - he was worse than the dolls).

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  6. When I was a kid my biggest fear was leading a life without true meaning. But now as an adult I relish it!

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    1. Ha! I cringe at all the things I imagined about adult life when I was a kid. The only one I was right about is that my feet do touch the ground when I sit on the couch now.

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  7. I find it funny that not only would I destroy anything that tried to harm my kids, I also feel that way about stranger kids, too. I definitely ran out of my house to chase off two grown men who were stealing a ten year old boy's shoes right off his feet. I still to this day have no idea what I was thinking!

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    1. That was a pretty crazy thing to do, running out there like that (cut that out!), but I can see where you'd get the urge. What's even crazier is what the hell two grown men wanted with some 10yo's shoes - what's wrong with people???

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  8. I love your blog! You're hilarious. My sister and I were always afraid that there was someone lurking behind the mini-blinds in our room, or standing in the tall skinny window right next to the front door so that every time we went to bed we RAN past that window and up the stairs. Sad.

    Now that we're not afraid of mini-blinds anymore, I like hiding in parking lots waiting for her (when we're meeting somewhere), and when she's parked the car and is gathering her things, I sneak up on her window and bang on it really loud with my hands scaring the crap out of her. Hehe. Super mature. :D

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    1. Hahahaha! That is way too funny (for us - probably not for your sister). Thanks so much for visiting - and for following!

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  9. My fear is tornadoes. I am not afraid of thunder storms or hail, but if the wind picks up just a little too much... You see, I'm a safety girl. I have my emergency food supply and water and blankets and camp stove and things to entertain the kids and miles of plastic and duct tape and so on. When I'm out with my friends, they KNOW I'm the one with the full first aid kit in my diaper bag. I'm ready for ANYTHING! But how the Hell do you prepare for a tornado? Except to drag your kids into the basement and cower until the wind dies down...I finally stopped doing that since I don't want my children to share my fear of things you can't do anything about.

    Oh, and I TOTALLY walk with my keys through my fingers...I've been doing that for as long as I have had keys...I'm sure it was one too many Kung Foo movies on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid.

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    1. I have two words for tornadoes - cement shoes. My big thing is house fires, complete with recurring nightmares. ::shudder:: Good for you for being careful about passing the fear on; I know some kids whose mom is afraid of storms and is super vocal about it, so her kids freak out if it so much as clouds up outside. When a thunder storm brewed up, my kids would have their noses pressed to the window (totally unsafe) while her kids hid in the basement (maybe a little too safe). :)

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  10. a. That mascot is creepy as hell, who would buy a pizza from that? Especially if they get cut with it's nose?

    b. I found an error in your post. A sleeping Betty White could kick the asses of an army of Chuck Norrissi (that's plural)

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    1. THANK YOU, I knew I couldn't be the only one who thought that was an absolutely terribly marketing idea - dumb monster.

      Hahaha - I'm telling the Chuck Norrissi you said that. ;)

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  11. I have the exact opposite issue. I wasn't afraid of much until I had my daughter. Now I'm so worried about someone hurting her. Anxiety sucks.

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    1. Totally - now I'm not scared of the Boogeyman, but I'm terrified of everything else, like choking hazards and uneven terrain that could trip them and also real boogeymen. :/

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