During the break, the children wanted to watch Monsters University (again) and so everyone jumped on the couch and got ready for the ride. A particular scene including Squishy’s Mom sparked an entire internal conversation with myself which – in turn – made me realize something I was STILL doing in my 40s. I think if you are a woman, you should read this quick post.
Squishy’s mom is supportive.
Let’s just start there. When we see her – the few times that we do – she usually is blindly supporting her son. This even includes acting as the getaway driver during a break-in. I’m not quite sure she was aware of what was happening, but I suppose that adds to her charm.
But Squishy’s mom was created to represent the stereotypical mother. In her floral pajamas with curlers in her hair, offering up food during the most inopportune times, sing-songy even when everyone else in the scene clearly is in a state of panic…Sheri Squibbles is simply out of touch.
She also doesn’t take care of herself. Well, I suppose she does because she has curlers and makeup on, but we never see her in actual clothes… ever. It’s always just her housecoat and a bit of lipstick. Maybe Sheri is a woman who had someplace to go but now needs to tend to her son and never had a chance to get there. I actually never thought about that notion until this very moment.
Well, while watching Monsters University during a pretty crazy scene with Squishy’s mom, Caleb turned to me and told me that I reminded him of her.
That we were exactly the same.
That stopped me in my tracks. What did he mean? When I look at this woman, I see someone who is completely out of touch with what is going on around her. I see someone who is overweight and ugly. Someone who is overbearing at times and completely annoying. Did Caleb see all of these things in me?
My head began to spin. Am I this to my children? Am I so out of touch? They are getting so much older now. Natalie will be 14 in a few weeks. How is that even possible? The boys spend so much time trying to play Fortnite and I spend even more time begging them to get offline. Am I annoying? Do they see me as annoying? I need to be annoying because they need to get offline and spend time with real people in real life.
My mind was racing and saying terrible things back to me. In a matter of seconds, I shattered every concept I had about myself as a person. I threw myself on the ground. I confirmed my worst fears. I was failing.
And then I did what I tell my husband to do when we start to argue. I requested clarification. I calmly turned to my son and asked him what he meant. I didn’t say it defensively. I asked using the tone that you would if you wanted to know the time.
What do you mean, buddy?
He was laying on me. We were sharing a blanket. We were both facing forward and so I couldn’t see his face. He was twirling a piece of his bangs as he always does when he watches television and without batting an eyelash he said, “She’s happy. Just like you.”
Happy. That’s what he meant. He didn’t see a nuisance. He didn’t see a burden. He saw a caring and loving mom who had a pocket full of gum and a face that was always smiling. And Sheri Squibbles reminded him of me.
At that moment, I squeezed him with all my might and was reminded that children do not see what we always see of ourselves when we look in the mirror. Maybe it’s time we start looking at ourselves the way our children do.
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Now, I am on a mission to buy this Sheri Squibbles plush doll. It’s only on eBay. I think I have to bite the bullet because I need it as a reminder that I’m doing the best I can as a mom and my children see that. They don’t only see my mistakes. I can’t thank Sheri enough for that. She allowed me to ask a question I was afraid of and because of it, I now feel healed.
Listen to your children.
Listen to the good things that they say about you, too. We get red flags thrown at us all day – from the media, from online platforms, from friends and family, from the mirror. But don’t forget to welcome in the sunshine as well. And when you see it, absorb all that vitamin D in because it will fill your heart whole.