Mommies understand the importance of security. In fact, it's safe to say that we represent the real frontline in domestic security. We are the infantry that protects our nation's actual infants. The threats we deal with are real. They are imminent. They are snotty. This is because all potential hazards, be they al Qaeda, a peanut allergy or Justin Bieber, are dealt with in one context and with one purpose: protect and herd the younglings. One minute, your house is a lovely family home, then next it's a hostile occupation -- just add the flu. Or drive by McDonald's and your minivan suddenly becomes an unruly prison bus. If the terrorist threat were limited to infidels who frequent nudie bars, we'd be like: "Oh. That's terrible. What do you feel like for dinner? Pasta?"
MommyLand has a Security Agency. We've already issued a Schmidt Advisory and we suggest you review it carefully. It's for children -- and spouses -- to remind them that it's unwise to bother mommy when her eye gets all twitchy. And why does her eye get all twitchy? Because mommy is at war.
Here's the list of the Potential Domestic Terror Threats for October 2010 (Fall/Winter edition).
Bioterrorism: Our children are exposed to millions of infectious microbes every day through their ongoing contact with the giant, seething petri dish we call "school." We understand that the compulsion to slather them in hand sanitizer or spray them down with Lysol before allowing them into the house is frowned upon by those who claim that exposure to these pathogens breeds a healthy immune system. These people may also claim to enjoy the cleansing benefits of a nice case of the stomach flu.
THREAT LEVEL: RED
Enviro-terrorism: The autumnal weather brings with it glorious fall foliage -- the immediate precursor to those stinking leaves falling all over the yard and needing to be raked. Can we also talk about the brown, slurry fluid that magically appears after it rains on leaves? What is that? And let's not forget the autumn foliage's surly, pimpled step-brother, Leaf Mold. How we dearly loathe seasonal allergies and their effect on our families. There are two choices: (1) allow your children to sport vomit-inducing snail trails; or (2) give them allergy medications that transform them into diabolical meth-fueled demons.
THREAT LEVEL: YELLOW
Cyber and Informational Terrorism: If the outside of your home is dominated by piles of rotting leaves, the inside is dominated by leaflets. And flyers. And "art projects." And notes from teachers. And requests to sell wrapping paper. And catalogues selling outerwear. It all becomes so overwhelming that we just want to start a fire. But you can't! Don't throw anything out! It might be important. Especially if it's from the school. Whuck?! Picture day is tomorrow? The bad news is that the paperwork that we can't recycle -- or burn -- is now a large anxiety-inducing pile of crap that is only going to get bigger
THREAT LEVEL: ORANGE
Espionage: It's reconnaissance, search-and-rescue, and sometimes search-and-recover. Library books, mittens, lucky baseball caps, the school project Mom hid so the baby can't destroy it and now we have no idea where it is. There is only one possible way that this many things go missing. We blame nefarious forces working inside the house. Namely, Anti-Alice. Unlike her Brady Bunch counterpart, Anti-Alice finds nothing and makes nothing, but is quite successful at hiding homework, stashing gloves and whispering little gems into our children's ears -- "just leave it in the car" and "wait until the morning to tell her about the project due today" --- that sends the threat level immediately to red.
THREAT LEVEL: GREEN or RED
Global War on Time/Overnight Contingency Operation: It doesn't matter what we call it; it's the same battle. And our enemy is sly, elusive and unrelenting. The tick-tick-tick of time vanishing away into a great black sucking vortex of jackets, hats and hoodies. Why does it take three children 45-minutes to put on shoes, coats, grab their backpacks and get in the car? And here comes Daylight Savings, that saucy minx. She shows up and it's a left turn right into crazy town. Daylight Savings should actually be called: "The Destruction of Your Schedule and the Return of Your Kids Losing Their Schmidt Every Night at 6:30."
THREAT LEVEL: ORANGE
By the time everyone has gone off to bed -- husbands included -- moms are still busy working; reading paperwork, signing permission forms, glaring at piles of unwashed dishes and checking in with their MommyLand allies. What may sound like chatter and snorting to our enemies is, in fact, strategizing for their destruction. Which would go much more smoothly if we all had a glass of wine. Which we can't find. We're pretty sure Anti-Alice is behind that, too.