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Thorny Devil Mom

By Holly Hester

Being a mom requires a lot of special qualities. Kindness, love, understanding, strength, courage, and blah, blah, blah... . I get it. We all get we're supposed to act like Hallmark cards every day. And I do try my best to embody the qualities necessary for raising healthy humans. But sometimes I'd love it if I could borrow some qualities from the animal kingdom.

1. The African Pixie Frog can hibernate in a water-soluble mucous sac for years.
I don't think I'd like to hide in a mucous sac for years, but hiding in a mucous sac for an afternoon might be nice. Do I have enough room in my mucous sac to bring magazines and a latte?

2. Axolotl
Axolotls are underwater salamanders that can not only re-grow their limbs, but also regenerate complex organs such as their hearts and brains. After having three kids, I'd certainly love to regenerate my mommy brain as well as most of my female parts and my butt.

3. The Thorny Devil
This cute little lizard drinks with its skin. What a great mom-quality that would be! You know how many drinks have been spilled on me over the years? I could have Slurpees, apple juice, chocolate milk, and smoothies all sucked up right through my jeans. Yum!

4. Bombardier Beetle
These beetles spray a boiling-hot liquid out of their butts when they're threatened. This quality would make going to the park a lot more interesting. Plus, my kids (especially my boys) would think having a mom that can shoot a super-heated noxious chemical out of her butt was not only cool, but hilarious.

5. Alpine Ibex
These wild goats can climb near vertical walls, a very helpful skill for when your kid gets stuck up a slide or in a tube maze or ball pit. I'm not sure the Alpine Ibex can climb in a skirt, but I bet any mom could.

6. Turritopsis Jellyfish
This creature is nearly immortal. When it gets old it dives to the sea floor and folds in upon itself. Then it reverts back to its "polyp" stage and begins life anew.
This, by far, might be the most helpful animal quality for a mom. Often times I feel completely dead at night, but in the morning I don't feel brand new. I just wake up feeling slightly less dead. Wouldn't it be great to not just wake up, but wake up totally alive for the first time? Maybe it's the sea floor part we're missing. Perhaps Hammacher Schlemmer could make a sea floor moms could dive to every night.

But until then, I guess I'll just have to take some Tylenol PM and dream of being more like an animal than a Hallmark card.

Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.



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