Last night, nearly six years after giving birth to my first child, I finally became a Real Mom.
I declare this the moment because I have finally mastered the Mom Look. The one where you just look at your kid, and she drops what she’s doing, her eyes get big, and now she’s listening. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get Mom Look. I had a feeling it might be tied to the threat of spankings, and since I’m not even sure my kids know what the word “spanking” means, I don’t know what fear my Mom Look carries. But it works. I will use my new power responsibly.
Thanks to the recent influx of Star Trek on Netflix, I’ve been reliving all the old favorites. So this morning when I was reflecting on the Mom Look, it converged with the assorted alien species dancing in my head. I got to wondering… how does the Mom Look work for them?
Klingon mothers come with an assortment of Looks built in to their ridged faces, and none of those Looks are good. While I imagine there must be some Klingon version of Mom Look they could bring forth, it comes with a risk. It seems to me that a particularly petulant Klingon child would probably just bust out his baby bat’leth and commit matricide.
The Ferengi kids, though–they’re culturally rewarded for selling their mothers to the highest bidder. Since they’re also candidates for the galaxy’s most misogynist culture, I imagine Ferengi moms spend most of their time looking for nice, non-Ferengi second husbands while they conjure up ways to get out of oo-mox tonight. They join the Klingon moms in looking a little terrifying (plus a little ridiculous) to begin with, so conjuring Mom Look is probably a tough job. Their one chance at exerting some power comes from their responsibility for pre-chewing their families’ food. That means when Ferengi-Mommy does give you her look, you know you’d better be careful when you swallow at dinner.
Pakleds were the next that came to mind since I just re-watched “Samaritan Snare” two nights ago. On the down side, it’s tough to seem threatening as a mom when you look like a potato with flaming caterpillars for eyebrows. I envision Little Pakled during potty training, leaving a puddle in the corner after being asked twenty times if he needed to use the Pakled potty. He looks up with his big potato eyes and says, “I looked for things. Things to make me go!” Mama Pakled’s heart melts. Mama Pakled cannot make Mom Look. It’s just not an option for a giant potato.
At the complete opposite end of the mom spectrum are the Betazoids. We’ve seen the Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Riix, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. We know what happens when your mom can hear your thoughts and feelings, even if she should be minding her own business. When that’s the way the world works, you don’t develop a Mom Look. You develop a Mom Thought, or even more simply, a Mom Emotion. Baby Betazoid’s brain hears that one coming, and she straightens right up.
At the end of the universe, I think we can all learn something about Mom Look from the Vulcans. Spock has Mom Look, and he’s a man! (I really must learn how to do that eyebrow thing.) They love their children as much as humans, but any mother who can send her child out into the desert for the Kahs-wan is a mama you don’t want to mess with.