The Quirks We Choose To Embrace

From the moment you see your first positive pregnancy test, you start to expect certain things about motherhood. Life is going to change, you know that. You expect the diapers and the long sleepless nights, the hoards of dirty laundry and the temper tantrums.

Where I was wrong is that I expected I’d become a “mom”. I am my daughter’s mother, but I didn’t magically become what I thought a real mom should be. Real moms cook homemade meals, listen to tasteful music, act gracefully, and know how to keep up a home. I guess I expected to suddenly become my mother. But after giving birth, I still ordered delivery pizza way too often, still listened to explicit rap, and still had no idea how to clean a bathtub. Something was wrong; The magic fairy that made new moms into proper moms had missed me!

In some ways, I am sorry my daughter won’t get the same kind of clean wholesome home I grew up in. But once I accepted that I could be a mom and remain myself at the same time, I’m grew proud to be a weird mom raising a weird daughter, quirks and all.

From all the GeekMoms, here’s a secret list of quirks we choose to embrace with our families:

  • I make my kids wear clothes with geeky references they don’t understand.
  • I make my daughter listen to NPR’s Car Talk.
  • My husband rejoices when I get a new gadget, because he knows he’ll get my old one.
  • I buy boy pajamas for my daughter. Trains, dragons, robots, comic book and video game characters… Why do boys get all the cool stuff?
  • From the time she could hold a controller, I’ve been training my daughter to play video games.
  • When I tell my daughter I got her a new book, she asks which app and which device.
  • I may have been known to get my son a Lego set that’s too hard for him, and then enthusiastically build it myself.
  • I took my daughter to Comic-Con, filled her bag with comic books and made her sit through the GeekParenting panel.
  • I subtly encourage a “Backyard Science” party over all other party themes just to have an excuse for Mentos geysers and instant snow.
  • I discuss Plants vs. Zombies strategy with the kids at the bus stop.
  • My oldest son and I talk about Glitch the whole time we take runs together.
  • I used the Star Wars ABC book to help teach the alphabet. A is for Anakin!
  • I gave my daughter all of my old action figures and toys. She sleeps with Batman and Darth Vader plays with Barbie in the dollhouse.
  • I sing Sally’s Song from Nightmare Before Christmas as a lullaby.
  • We taught our kids to play DnD by taking them to reunions of our collegiate players.
  • I played the Star Wars symphony as part of a concert band while pregnant; I still hum pieces of it to my daughter hoping she remembers it fondly from in utero.
  • We did read to the babies every night at bed time, eventually including all the Harry Potter series in later years.
  • When a classic movie is remade, the kids have to see the original first and often read the book too.
  • My daughter’s first Halloween costume was a penguin so she would look like the Linux penguin.
  • I preferred homework to housework.
  • Like the stegosaurus, I have a second brain … I have used a Palm for about 15 years.
  • I am insufficiently concerned about others’ opinions.
  • I got my son a bubble wand that looked like a light saber and took Jedi pictures of him when he was 11 months old.
  • I had an iPod full of the entire Beatles collection playing in my son’s room all night. He was a good sleeper but my husband developed a strong aversion to The White Album!
  • When I announced my pregnancy to my family, we delivered the message in code on a cake (OK, this one is no secret because my last name is on it!):

Do you have any confessions to add to the list?

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Ariane is a programmer married to another programmer. Together they have two little girls who don't stand a chance against their nerdy lineage. Ariane can also be found writing about STEM travel at Geekling's Guide to the Galaxy.