Why I am a Wire Monkey Mama

This summer, while visiting some friends in Peterborough, I heard the story of the experiment involving baby monkeys. The monkeys were given a choice of a wire monkey that was hooked up to a milk supply and a plush one (I can’t remember if she was attached to a milk supply- hang on, maybe I should just use the good old interweb and not rely on hearsay-here seems to be a reliable enough source to describe the experiment: whyfiles) that was not. The baby monkey would drink from the wire one and then go hug the (correction) cloth one. In the conversation I had with my friend, the metaphor of the wire monkey had come to symbolise a mother who gave her children what they needed but in a harsher less pliable manner than most. I immediately related. This image was brought home to me a few weeks before commencing this blog when I was randomly browsing other mommy blogs and came across an entry that described this one mother’s horror at witnessing an impatient mother with her child in the bathroom. This particular blogger was appalled at how the mother was standing in front of the stall door, asking every two seconds, “are you done yet? come on, let’s go!” or something to that effect. The bloggermom was even more appalled to see the same mother with her daughter just leafing through magazines when she got out of the washroom.Well folks, I am ashamed to admit it (okay, not as ashamed as I should be) but that mommy is me. I am impatient. I don’t like to spend hours in the bathroom (and if it was up to my little one, that is exactly what we would do-hence the impatience). I can completely understand the mother who would rather be looking at magazines than watching a stall door.
I am a drill sergeant. I like things to be done when I ask them to be done. If they are not, the domino effect would occur and our lives would topple one unfinished task on top of another. I am deathly afraid of the chaos that would ensue so therefore I adopt a military attitude when it comes to potty breaks and snow suit wearing. So sue me.
And just to give a brief synopsis of the other traits that make me a wire monkey, for the sake of getting it out of the way once and for all. I am not that cuddly. I need my space. I tend to be very unsympathetic when it comes to nightmares and waking up in the middle of the night. To my utmost chagrin (and this is something I will write further about), I make my daughter cry almost everytime I try to help her with her homework.
Wow, I sound like a shrew but there you go. I guess you can’t be a wire monkey without a bit of shrewness…

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4 Responses to Why I am a Wire Monkey Mama

  1. French Panic says:

    Hot damn, you have Bel Canto on your creepy-library -book list-hooked-up-to-Amazon-that-every- librarian-blogger-has! I am going to ignore the fact that you are so insidiously connected to multiple techno-geek things (I need to remove the technorati logo thing on mine; it makes me nervous for reasons I don’t feel I need to explain at this time) because I am so happy you like this book! I recommend this book to everyone, all the time, probably multiple times.I feel confident otherwise that you will not become a part of that horrid group of mommybloggers who only identify as mommies with their child’s picture posted in the space meant for their picture. And also you won’t be posting pictures of your infant child thing, enthusing over how beautiful and cute and adorable it is, when clearly it is not, and looks a little retarded and stupid-eyed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am pleased also that you are not flogging your children by blogging. As one of our run-talks went, think about Mothers and Kids, Vets and Animals, Gynecologist or Proctologist and their….I refuse to join the trend of flaunting myself in such a way- Yuck

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ok ,I realise you posted this about a year ago, but I just came across it now in my online research of Harry Harlow’s experiments. As an adult child of a ‘wire monkey mother’, can I suggest to you that you start to show love an affection to your children – today. Otherwise they might end up like me: socially depraved, insecure, needy, etc. I don’t blame my mother for all of my problems, but I do blame her for not hugging me once in a while and showing me even a minute degree of affection. By the way, today is her birthday. I MIGHT call her, but only after MY needs for the day have been taken care of. This is how she treated me growing up, so this is how she will be treated in turn. Ask yourself: when you turn 55 years old and are living alone, will your children call you?

  4. Dear Anonymous,First of all, thank you very much for your comment. I am really sorry that your mother was such an implacable wiremonkey. I, however, am not as bad as it may seem. Yes, I need my space, and yes, at the end of the day, I relish having nobody touch me. This does not mean though that I do not show affection or love to my children. The title of Wiremonkey seemed appropriate to me in the context of my fellow mothers who all seem to have more patience than me when it comes to their children’s whims. I am busy. They are busy. Things need to get done. I guess what I mean is that I don’t mean Wiremonkey literally, just in the sense of a Mrs. Doubtfire (with a lot more sarcasm and way less amusing anecdotes). I just mean that I have some rough edges. As for them calling me when it is my birthday,I sure hope they call me more than once a year…

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