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18 Things Only A Martian Mom Will Understand (You Won't Believe #13!)

Stephen S. Power is the author of the novel, "The Dragon Round," published by Simon & Schuster. His short fiction has appeared recently at Deep Magic, Flash Fiction Online, and Lightspeed. He's also a Pushcart-nominated poet. He tweets at @stephenspower, his site is stephenspower.com, and he lives in Maplewood, NJ.

1. Explaining to your kids that they're all still siblings, no matter which of your wombs they came from.
Besides, most days you can't remember who came from where yourself.
2. Your mother calls every week just to remind you how easy you have it.
"I helped conquer this planet!" she says. Right, Ma. Uphill. Both ways.
3. When an Earth mom says, "You let your kids keep snakes? Why not a puppy?"
"Because we don't eat puppies. We're not monsters."
4. Threatening to whip your kids with a tentacle--
Even though you'd never do it.
5. But loving your kids when they spread their tentacles on the subway and the Earth moms are too chicken to ask them to stop.
Sometimes they're worth it, these kids.
6. Your grandmother ships you a "taste of home," and it tastes more like sandy lichen.
Then you force your kids to eat it so they can understand their heritage.
7. Your kid got in trouble because her friend convinced her to be the look out.
If someone's only your friend because you have long, flexible eyestalks, then she's not really your friend.
8. Celebrating Christmas even though you're not Christian.
So what if Martians can prove mathematically that gods don't exist. Presents!
9. The Earth moms assuming you must know the Overseer and always asking you for favors.
That you are, in fact, in constant telepathic contact with the Overseer, does make refusing them more satisfying.
10. Buying four identical t-shirts at Target so you can sew the sleeves from three of them onto the fourth.
You tell your kids their bodies are beautiful and they have nothing to be ashamed of, but you also remember what it was like trying to fit in.
11. It's not having to yell, "Scrub every sucker!" that's tiring.
It's checking that they have.
So many tentacles. So many suckers.
12. Not knowing which is worse: "I think single moms are so brave."
"Um, I have three husbands_"
13. Or, "Where's your husband? What does he do?"
"And they each live in one of my wombs, producing all the semen I could want, thank you very much."
14. Freaking out when you think you're kids have been snatched by rebels when actually they've turned the color of the couch.
As if you haven't done this at book club to avoid some annoying Earth mom.
15. Creepy Earth boys asking your kid out just because she's Martian.
But if you could stuff Idris Elba into one of your wombs...
16. The first question on the playground: "So you're from Mars. What's that like?"
"Actually, I'm from New Boston. And most of it is still a wicked crater."
17. Creating mnemonics to understand cultural practices.
One womb, one husband. #EarthMom #MustFeelUnfulfilled.
18. The PTA always figures you're bringing in flan for International Day.
"Madre de Dios. Do I look Hispanic? I'm Martian. You're getting sandy lichen. And maybe snakes."
The End
This story was first published on Monday, November 28th, 2016

Author Comments

This story was inspired by Cassandra Khaw's tweet challenge: write a Buzzfeed-like headline from a dystopia. This title, then the story immediately wrote themselves.

- Stephen S. Power
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