Mom Suit

All I caught from the conversation was the phrase “mom suit.”

The kids were in the other room, parroting dialogue from an episode of Phineas and Ferb. 

If you’ve never seen Phineas and Ferb, the best comparison might be sort of a cross between The Simpsons and Animaniacs. If that helps.

My kids were re-enacting part of the “Perry Lays an Egg” episode. It involves a seemingly abandoned egg. Candace and her brothers Phineas and Ferb think their pet platypus, Perry, laid the egg and forgot about it. So Candace decides she must care for the egg, by dressing like Perry and sitting on the egg. She wants to be the “mom” on duty when the egg hatches.

Candace then has to explain her “mom suit” to people as various hijinks play out behind her back.

Candace as a platypus mom

An awkward moment for Candace (in mom suit) and Jeremy. Photo (c) Disney, from http://phineasandferb.wikia.com/

When I heard my son and daughters’ cartoonishly fast, canned-sounding reference to a mom suit I thought, huh. Maybe this could be a teaching (or learning) moment. As indeed it was.

What is a mom suit?

So wait, “mom suit”? Just what is a mom suit?, I asked.

Without waiting for an answer I went on, And what does my mom suit look like?

It wasn’t fair. I didn’t give them a chance to explain about Perry and the egg from the TV show. But it didn’t take long for my daughter to reply: Your mom suit? I’d say…house shoes and a robe.

House shoes and a robe? But why?

Clearly, this response required further investigation.

I actually don’t spend a lot of time in the above-mentioned garb. Even when I work from home I put on day clothes—shoes, even! And sometimes makeup! I do it because I need a bit of psychological separation from home and all things home-related.

I probed. Do you think I am lazy, or that I sleep all day, or something like that?

No, she said. I know you don’t sleep all day. It’s more of a symbol I guess.

Ok, but a symbol of what?

The conversation petered out from there but my mind was still churning. Maybe I need to spend more time outdoors? How much, really, would I need to change my habits such that my “mom suit” becomes something more, I dunno, glam? than a bathrobe and slippers?

I’m a chill mom

So I made a decision. I’m just going to choose to see it this way: someone whose mom suit is casual and comfortable is someone who is chill at all times.

I help out at the kids’ schools but I’m not all up in the PTA and the principals’ faces objecting to homework. I pick up and try to remove spider webs before company comes over but I let the house get messy while the company’s here.

Right? It’s like that. I’m comfortable with how I look and I don’t obsess over outfits that may or may not make my butt look big. These are all positives to the particular suit my child envisions.

Sure. I’ll keep telling myself that.

And if I’m ever in doubt I can just look to Phineas and Ferb, and remember:

“Nothing says mother’s love like a giant platypus butt.”