An attempt at empathy

First of all, if you haven't seen the Mompetitors short films, go right now and watch this introductory one at least. You will laugh until you cry. More importantly, this blog entry won't make any sense unless you have seen it. Incidentally, this is yet another example of why I will never be a famous writer/humorist because there are just too many funny people out there (and the mom-blogger market is totally saturated). Still, I persevere, pathetically lapping up the meager praise from the few kind friends who encourage my habit.

I noticed on one of the films that someone had left a comment, the gist of which was that the films' maker was obviously siding with one perspective in the mommy battles (i.e. the sane mom) and maybe she could try making a film from the perspective of the "mompetitor" (obviously the person leaving the comment is a mompetitor herself). My first reaction was, Get a life. My second reaction was, It would be impossible to make an entertaining film mocking the other mom because she is totally normal and sane. My third reaction was, But if she tried to make a movie taking the side of the mompetitor, what would that look like? And my fourth reaction was, Why don't I try and see, what else do I have to do? While I am not technologically savvy enough to actually make such a film (and would probably be sued by the brilliant woman who made these), I thought I'd offer her a possible screenplay to try. So here is my attempt to see life from the Mompetitor's viewpoint:

Mompetitor (MP): Hi, I see you were able to turn off the TV this morning. I'm so proud of you!
Other Mom (OM): Yeah, it was hard but I thought of you and your kids and felt inspired.
MP: What did you and your kids eat for breakfast? I find that is the key to having enough energy. We eat plain, steel-cut oats with flax power and fish oil every morning.
OM: We all just ate sugar.
MP: Like Pop Tarts or Lucky Charms?
OM: No, like sugar. LIke I opened a bag and gave everyone spoons. Is that not good?
MP: Actually, no--sugar causes obesity and tooth decay. It's probably also why you and your kids are so tired all the time, it's not a steady energy supply.
OM: Really? I had no idea. I am so glad I met you so I can learn all these things.
MP: By the way, I read in the New York Times this morning that there has been a recall on Snuggleride car seats. Do you use that brand?
OM: Oh, we don't use car seats. My kids like to ride in the bed of our pick-up so we let them.
MP: Well, that sounds fun, but it's really unsafe and actually illegal. 1,768 kids die every year from riding in pick-up beds. And according to state law, kids have to be in a car or booster seat in the back seat of the car until age 8.
OM: Age 8, seriously? How are they supposed to drive themselves to school from the back seat?
MP: That's the law. Kids aren't supposed to drive until age 16 anyway.
OM: For real? Wow, you know everything. Thanks so much.
MP: No problem, I really care about kids and realize that not all moms have time to research everything so I consider it my responsibility to try and help out.
OM: Oprah should give you an award. I mean it, I'm going to write her.
MP: Oh, you're sweet. How's the new baby doing? How's the breast feeding going?
OM: Oh, I've quit, she wasn't sleeping very well so we started giving her formula with codeine in it.
MP: Hmm, well, I don't think codeine is safe to give a new born.
OM: Really? But it works so well!
MP: Yeah, I know, but it's not safe. And you should really give breast feeding another try--did you know that it is scientifically proven to make your kids healthier and smarter?
OM: Really? So that's why my kids are so stupid! Man, I wish you had been around for me a few years ago. But I think it's too late to try again this time, I'm all dried up.
MP: You can take a hormone that will make you lactate. That's what I did with our middle child, who is adopted. It really worked too. Even though her birth mother was drunk for her entire pregnancy, my daughter just passed the MENSA exam and is already a certified genius. Remember, breast feeding is always worth it!
OM: I'm going to my doctor right now to get me some of those hormones. You are a life saver!
MP: You go girl, you can do it! Hope to see you again soon. In the meantime, here's my card, call me anytime you have questions. I'm here to help.
OM: Thanks so much. You are seriously an even better person than Sandra Bullock.

OK, so that was predictably lame. And I still think the Mompetitor comes across as an evil witch. So I think this pretty much proves conclusively that she is. Empathy can really be a useful way to prove yourself right.


  1. Not lame at all, Holly. I did see the mompetitor the other day and enjoyed your screenplay just as much with several laugh out loud moments. Garrett knew right away I was reading your blog. Thanks for the laughs!


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