You’ve probably read the appropriate books and feel as though you are prepared for motherhood. I’m here to tell you…you’re not. Even your best friends are keeping you out of the loop. Why the silence? Your friends with kids are too BUSY! Once they have babies, they don’t have the time to have luxurious phone conversations telling you all they know.
Now your mother-friends are not answering their phones. What are they doing? They’re deciding between screening the call and chucking the phone in the diaper pail. For a mom, the sound of a phone ringing often causes more dread than a root canal. Besides the interrupting of a nap, diaper change, or feeding, moms hardly ever have the time or energy to talk on the phone.
Some moms don’t even realize their wealth of knowledge until their children have grown and they can finally breathe again. By then, they’ve forgotten most of it, so they start exaggerating. These charlatans can be identified by phrases such as, “My baby never cried” and “My baby always slept through the night.” This behavior demonstrates The Parenthood Principle: The more kids you have and the older you get, the more rapid the brain cell destruction.
So once again, we are left with our octopus icon as our instructor.
COMPARISON CHART: OCTOPUS AND HUMAN MOTHERS
The following list of Octopus Facts (from Jacques Cousteau’s observations) illuminates the similarities we share with these creatures:
Upon seeing an octopus stare at its reflection in a mirror: “Then, it (the octopus) seemed to reflect, and, distressed, returned to its hole and refused to come out.” (Many human moms don’t even own mirrors for this very reason.)
“The body of the octopus looks like a bag.” (The reason for aforementioned lack of mirrors. Which is worse, resembling your pet or your purse?)
“Their soft bodies can squeeze into impossibly small cracks and crevices” (New moms forcibly stuff into their pre-pregnancy jeans with crowbars.)
“The arms are powerful and flexible, with two rows of suckers that help it grip its slippery prey.” (Octopus arms are necessary for taking a baby out of the tub.)
“They also have beaklike jaws that can deliver a nasty bite, and venomous saliva, used mainly for subduing prey.” (Witnessed at playgrounds and bargain basements)
“While her babies are growing, she (the octopus) never eats and never rests.” (Enough said.)
“When octopuses in captivity need sleep, they slump into corners of their tanks and catch a few winks by narrowing their pupils…which shows how important it is that they get enough shut-eye.” (She’s not ignoring you – she’s sleeping with her eyes open.)
“By day, the octopus spends most of its time hidden in its lair.” (Some new moms do not emerge for the entire first year.)
“The octopus does most of its hunting at night. It emerges from its rocky lair to seek…its favorite foods.” (Midnight snack, anyone?)
“It is easy to identify its lair by the pile of discarded shells outside the entrance.” (Substitute discarded “Cheerios” for “shells,” and you have a dead ringer.)
“If an octopus damages one of its vital arms, it can grow a new one.” (Nobody learns to adapt like a mother.)
“Often, however, the octopus avoids detection completely. It can change its body colour and texture so perfectly that it can virtually disappear” (Human moms accomplish this same feat by turning off the ringer.)
“The octopus squirts ink into the water to form a screen. Hiding behind the dark cloud, it creeps up on its victim and grabs it from behind.” (Is there a better way to put kids to bed?)
“Considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates” (Wow, what a coincidence!)