Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Mom Arm

This appeared in my front yard yesterday morning. He (i think it's a he, my deer IQ is low) likes roses.


I have this reflex with Em that whenever she and i are walking and there are cars around i will stick my arm out in front of her to protect her from coming near any car. She was fine with this as a small child as she paid NO ATTENTION WHATSOEVER to cars, that was my job.

Now that she is 16, i still do it. She complained once, giving me the standard "i'm not a child anymore" line. I explained to her that i couldn't help it, that as a mom, it was just a reflex to keep her safe. She accepted this with more grace than i would have managed at her age with my mother.

Last week i was out walking around with a person i hardly know, and at the crosswalk i automatically stuck my arm in front of him to prevent him from stepping into the street.

"Oooh, sorry," i told him, grinning sheepishly, "it's a mom reflex."

Good thing he thought it was funny.

41 comments:

Ortizzle said...

Good thing your arm didn't hit any delicate areas when it swung out in defense! :-)

flutter said...

my mom still does it to me, and I am 32. That deer is gorgeous..

liv said...

My mom was more likely to give me a good shove between the shoulder blades...I know, right?

Mother of Invention said...

My 88 year old dad still does that with me, at 53!

meno said...

ortizzle, my arm wasn't that low. :)

flutter, see, it is a reflex. The deer was beautiful, and he continued to munch on the roses while i took pictures of him.

liv, ha! And the sad thing, i i don't really doubt it.

moi, that's sweet. I guess it just another manifestation of love.

Lynn said...

I also "mom arm reflex" with my dog.

Dick said...

I think that is a protector reflex, not limited to Mothers. It is well intended and most people will recognize it that way, although it may seem a bit odd when the recipient is an adult.

Gordo The Geek said...

That's awesome, Meno. I would have found it funny.

Yes, that's a young buck. Big antlers for this time of year, too ... :-D

Sienna said...

Meno I love the photo of the deer! that is gorgeous, strewth that is a lot of undergrowth in your yard. (Been a bit of a drought here, plant growth is a huge novelty for us).

I have the same reflex (with the arm, on roadsides); so difficult to stop, plus I always, always only 3/4 fill all cups, and glasses of drink...(so they don't spill and burn or splash)....people must think I am mean with wine or coffee....

Love the deer!

Pam

platypus said...

Lovely picture. The closest I get to that is a hedgehog in some heather... ;)

I have that reflex too but so far Stumpy's OK with it, although at 14 she's obviously a bit behind Em. I haven't stopped anyone from crossing yet but I did once walk way down the high street to a crossing place, which made my colleagues laugh given that I didn't have a baby with me!

Irrelephant said...

Dick is right, dear--I STILL do it, even in this era of multiple airbags, crumple zones and mandatory seatbelts.

Deer in your yard. I'm so profoundly jealous. *S* All I seem to manage is the neighbor's annoying little dogs.

Joan said...

OK I'm not a mom but I must have the mom gene because I do the "arm extension" exercise waaaay too often. Or it may be that "school crossing guard" desire which went unfulfilled when I was young.

greentshirt said...

I do the exact same thing.

Doesn't matter who is in the passenger seat of the car, if I suddenly have to stop or brake hard, I automatically throw my arm across their chest to hold them back.

I love how you pick out these random blog topics. You have a gift.

peevish said...

My mom used to do that to me in the front seat of the car, back before we had seat belts & kids had to ride in the back seat. I think I've inherited it from her.

I'm so glad Em is tolerant of it. Sweet!

ms chica said...

My sister does the arm cross to passengers when she drives. She practiced a lot as she always waited too late to apply the brakes. She is the reason I'm flat chested.

The protective instinct is hard to override, I find myself on alert when I'm around kids and seniors.

meno said...

lynn, you must have long arms. Or tall dogs.

dick, i called it a mom thing because, in our family, it's me who does it. You are right, i think most people recognize it as well-intended.

gordo, i'm glad to know the gender of my new friend. He's big because he's been eating all my roses. His little antlers already had a branch at the top.

Pam, no drought here yet, we are still waiting for our summer to start. Maybe you should just get sippy cups for the wine and beer.

platypus, i would love to see a hedgehog, i think they're cute.

irrelephant, deer, racoons, eagles, herons, ducks, moles, bunnies, rats, voles, mice, opposums, mountain beavers....it's a busy place, although the cats dispatch many of the rodents.

joan, that's it! i was a substitute crossing guard in grade school and i so wanted to be a regular one.

greent, i don't think i perform this trick in the car, i'll have to watch for that. And thank you.

lisa, i remember standing in the front seat of the car as a child while one of my parents was driving. Maybe they were hoping i'd fly out the window. :)

TTQ said...

Yep my mom does it still, and even thoughI don't have kids I've been known to do it to other people when driving.

Scott from Oregon said...

Mum did that to me growing up. I never do it, because I am a guy and we are rational and we know that you would be ineffective in stopping anything and would be more likely to rip a shoulder to pieces.

I do require everyone in my vehicle to wear a seat belt, though.

jen said...

i doubt it'll ever go away. it goes along with your heart continuing to walk around outside of your chest for the rest of your life.

thailandchani said...

I've seen people doing that.. and always thought it was kind of amusing. Now I learn it is instinct. :)


Peace,

~Chani

meno said...

ms.chica, it's good to have something to blame on your sister. But really, i would choose flat over big anyday.

ttq, guess it'd just the protective instinct then, not a mom thing.

scott, i don't do in in the car, as you say, that would be useless. I do it when out walking. I have actually yanked Em out from in front of right-turning ass holes trying to run her over in the crosswalk when we had the light. She doesn't even look.

jen, i doubt it too. I just hope i can refrain from grabbing at strangers in the future.

chani, it sure feel automatic. That's why you keep your dog on a leash, so you don't have to throw your arm out in front of him.

luckyzmom said...

I have done this while driving before there were seatbelts or carseats. I did it once while giving a female co-worker a ride home which resulted in my right hand clasping her right boob. We laughed because she had a child the same age as mine. Never the less I was completely mortified.

Not so embarrassing anymore when I instinctually do the same to my adult daughter, son or even my husband. We all consider it a Mom thing too.

My Reflecting Pool said...

I understand perfectly dear. while driving I have that reflex to the passenger seat. I try stopping my 6'0" 200lbs husband everytime I stop short. He laughs every time too.

Schmoopie said...

That is a wonderful picture. He looks very content in your garden.

I was such a nerd. I was actually "crossing guard captain," along with a boy I had a crush on. We had to get together and plan the meetings for the whole team in 5th grade. It was difficult to concentrate on the meetings when all I wanted to do was stare at him.

sari said...

All we get is lizards. Sigh. A deer, it would be so lovely, but all he would have to munch on would be prickly cactus.

meno said...

luckyzmom, it's as instictive as trying to grab the falling glass. I remember before seatbelts too. Yikes.

reflecting pool, you would have quite the arm if you could stop that much mass!

schmoopie, you ARE a nerd, and i am jealous that you were a "real" crossing guard.

sari, i'll send him right on over. He is cute though. I hope he comes back sometime.

Bob said...

accepted with grace for right now is good, but eventually she will probably look for you to cease this as an indicator that you acknowledge that she's grown up.

Jennifer said...

I do that all the time, too. And my "baby" is six foot five. Go figure. It's one of my automoton features, I presume.

QT said...

This picture is too cute!

My mom still does the arm thing. EVERY TIME!

I don't think it goes away.

Mama P said...

I think it's sweet. Like the photo of the young buck, both are en-deering. (ooooh, I like me some puns.)

mrschili said...

Have you seen the - what is it? Liberty Mutual? - advertisements? It's sort of a "pay it forward" sort of thing; one person sees someone do soemthing nice for a stranger - I think the first guy picks up a toy a baby pitches from her stroller - and it proceeds all the way around until a woman keeps a headphone-clad kid from stepping out into traffic. It's an instinct I wouldn't apologize for...

urban-urchin said...

my 7 year old rolls her eyes and says "Moooom" when I do that. I don't care.

I too have done it to strangers. Mostly they laugh.

Rhea said...

Sweet! I would love to see deer in my yard. I think the horns means it's male. But I could be wrong...

JaniceNW said...

I know a way to keep the deer from your roses or any flower he likes. When I lived in NW Wash. I would get deer all the time from does and fawns to mega bucks. ;) If you take some egg yolks(raw) mix them with water and then spray them on your roses it should keep Bambi there away. It worked well on my hyacinths!!

As for the arm thing, my kids are 16 and 18 and if I'm driving I still do. My mom did it too. Maybe it's genetic?

Beck said...

I totally do that all the time. Usually to my husband. He always gives me such a strange look?

Tink said...

I do that to Hoop too! One time I did it while HE was driving. He looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Eh. Maybe I have.

Awesome picture!

meno said...

bob, from what the other parents here are saying, she might need to look for a different indicator, like me letting her pay her own bills. :)

jennifer, We are the Stepford Parents! Resistance is futile.

qt, i am beggining to think you are right, that it won't go away.

mamap, groan! that was bad, but i am smiling.

mrs.chili, i haven't seen that ad, but i will keep on yanking people from doom, real or imagined.

u-u, your daughter is an independant little thing isn't she? Mine doesn't seem to mind, especially since i explained it to her.

rhea, Gordon above said that it was a boy. And he sounded like he knew whereof he spoke!

janice, i will keep that in mind. So far the deer are not a problem, as this is only the second one that i have seen in the yard.

beck, it annoys my husband too, but i think he's just going to have to live with it.

tink, okay, that is over the top, but quite cute, like my new deer friend.

CS said...

Saw deer for the first time in my own field today (looked likea doe and a fawn). I do the Mom arm, and have also done it to people I don't know well.

AC said...

Me too.

Of course, I remembered the Seinfeld episode about stopping short on purpose.

I had a deer come close yesterday too but my photo came out blurry and I only had the one chance before he/she leapt away.

TaraDharma said...

my mom reflex includes sticking an arm in front of my 19 year old when we are driving and the car must stop abruptly -- she's hasn't gone through the wind screen yet!

Antonia said...

I've been doing that for some years before becoming a real mother. My friends once cracked up when we were crossing a road on a blind corner and I said "Halfway," in very matriarchal tones. Can't help it.