DOCTOR WHO: Do Mothers Have A Sixth Sense?

I’m not a doctor, and I don’t claim to know the things they know. But I am a mother, and when it comes to my children, I believe I have a “sixth” sense. I’m pretty good at recognizing when they are really sick or really hurt – and not just suffering from a pathetically simple, “no you don’t need Penicillin or Demerol or Xanax (as if)” head cold, and not just throwing up because they are hung over even though they deny it, and not just needing to stay home from school because they “have a test today and didn’t study for it”, and not just distressingly hobbling about because they twisted an ankle playing soccer and now it’s broken, but when I ask them if they want Chinese food, they magically run across the room. OK, so my husband could help me with that last one. He is an orthopaedic surgeon.

DOCTOR WHO: Do Mothers Have A Sixth Sense? | TheFurFiles

All mothers have this otherworldly “kinesthesia”, this “ability to know things, don’t ask how” – at least, most of us do. It’s part of our biology, our scientific, rudimentary, plasmic, constitutional, nuclear, basil (is that a spice?) make-up. Like knowing to check the doors at night to see if anyone has locked them – they haven’t. Like knowing when NOT to ask my daughter about her schoolwork/to help clean the house/to be nice to her brothers so she doesn’t bite my head off (she’s pre-period, duh!) – as smart as he is, that’s a skill that my husband does NOT possess. Like knowing to bring snacks on a two-hour car ride (even when the kids are adults), because low blood sugar means low blood sugar no matter how old you are, and it can turn a perfectly normal boy/man into a monster, so it’s best to be prepared.

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IT’S A VERY VERY MAD WORLD: Subway Twilight Zone

I went to Subway the other day for my daughter – Subway the “sandwich store”, not subway the “underground transportation system” (in that case, I would’ve said “the” subway, but maybe you are not so good with grammar). My daughter was hungry for roasted chicken on whole wheat, and I’m a really nice person. That’s why it happened.

Anyway, when I went inside – a little reluctantly because I’m not a big fan of fast food places even if I’m NOT the one eating the crap – there was a short line of four people (including me), and two staff working behind the counter making sandwiches.

It's a Very Very Mad World: Subway Twilight Zone | TheFurFiles

The man at the front of the line asked for three BLT’s (bacon, lettuce, tomato), two toasted, one not – emphasis on the “one NOT” because that is where the problems began. The Subway sandwich maker girl person employee – a young woman by the name of May – assembled the two toasted sandwiches no problem, and was all set to put together the not-toasted one, when her brain operations seemed to grind to an unfortunate halt.

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WHEN GOOD MOTHERS GO BAD: I Think I’m Pretty Normal

I think I’m a good mother. A great mother, in fact. But I’ve had my moments. Not negligent moments, mind you, like I’ve never left my three kids – when they were under the age of five – home alone (with only the cats to babysit) so I could go out “partying” with the “girlzzz” (though I may have wanted to a few times). I’ve never hit anybody with a hammer (heaven forbid) or even a straw broom.

I will admit however to hanging up a few snowsuits really hard, and to “dropping” apples into the crisper rather than “setting” them in there. I was the one who paid the price for that when the kids refused to eat them after because they were bruised – isn’t that always the way? And more than once, I’ve folded laundry with such irritability that my fingers ended up slightly chafed from me pressing down so hard along the creases of the fabric.

WHEN GOOD MOTHERS GO BAD: I Think I'm Pretty Normal

No, I’ve never done “lines of coke” in the bathroom between the cake and presents at a birthday party, nor have I told the kids that they were “worthless pieces of shit” no matter how “are you kidding me with that attitude” difficult they were, but I have taken an entire Nintendo system (with games) to the thrift store out of spite. (It had been a long and frustrating six months, if I recall – kids go through some “we will fight over every single thing” phases, you know.) You could argue the disposal of a video game system to be a “good” mother moment. My children didn’t see it that way. Neither did my husband.

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I went to visit my parents a few weeks ago. I needed to get out of town – alone. I needed some “me” time, away from the dishes, the laundry, the barking dog and the “fuck you dog, we are NOT friends” ever-hissing cats, the often angst-filled millennial children, and the basic craziness that IS work and family. Not my husband though. I never need to get away from him, because he’s awesome and brainy and athletic and super good-looking. Right now, he looks like Tom Selleck, only darker. Thanks Movember. I know he’ll read this. Hi dear!


Anyway, I thought I’d be smart. To make it an uber-relaxing trip where I wasn’t required to drive the five and a half hours down the highway from hell (the 401 here in Canada) through “I’d rather light my feet on fire than have to do this all the time” Toronto traffic, I booked a ticket on the train. It would be tranquil; I could stretch my legs out, eat chocolate, and watch bad Netflix movies, I thought. At least, that’s how I imagined it would be. That’s the way I remembered it from when I took it ten years ago. Apparently, times have changed. Or I have changed. Or both.

Things never quite live up to the fantasy, do they? Just like when you think marriage is going to be a bed or roses – at least, that’s what you picture in your head when you are standing at the altar, about to say your vows, gazing into your beloved’s sweet face, with his chiseled jawline and his “I’ll do the dishes every day for the rest of our lives until we both die cuddled together at the age of ninety-six” demeanour. And then a few years go by, and those damn dishes are there, and he’s got that “dad” bod, and he is on his computer WAY too much for your liking.

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