When it comes to protecting your own child, you’ve probably heard the expression to go or become a “mama bear.”  I’d like to coin a new term for a more extreme form of a mother defending her young:

Go Mama Jumbo (as in elephant)

Why the new term? Well, I have it on good authority that bears don’t have ANYTHING on elephants.  How do I know this?  How can I be absolutely sure that I am only sharing accurate, interesting and helpful  information on my blog?

Am I a secret zoology expert?  Do I frequently read or watch National Geographic? Am I a simple fan of elephants at the zoo?

I won’t keep you hanging in suspense any longer… I know this because of watching a famed Disney Classic:


Dumbo Flying-2
Dumbo Flying-2 (Photo credit: Henry Mestre)

I have been lucky to watch Dumbo again and again with my daughter recently. (Can you believe there is a 70th Anniversary edition available?!) The scene where the kids are teasing Dumbo and pulling his ears drives Mama Jumbo over the edge, causing her to grab the little boy, give him a spanking with her trunk, throw hay bales, knock down a tent pole (okay, give her a break, she’s getting whipped by trainers at this point), and loudly trumpeting with crazy red eyes.  Poor mama ends up in solitary confinement because she defended her son. (and I cried when Dumbo gets to visit her in solitary confinement).

Thus the new term – go all Mama Jumbo!

I could relate to this child-defense response on so many levels.  As a mom (and parent), you have that natural, almost animal instinct to protect your young – at any cost.  Today alone I screamed, “No wait,” to remind my daughter not to run out of Target into the road. There are many things we do each and every day to keep our kids safe – just think of all of the childproofing – outlet plugs, gates, door knob protectors, etc.  Pure love will drive you to great lengths to protect your children.

Mama Jumbo actions also brings up the taboo subject of other adults disciplining your child. Everyone has their own ideas on appropriate discipline – babysitters, grandparents, day care centers, schools…and even spouses. When something conflicts with your own rules at home, then Mama Jumbo will appear without hesitation. I can’t recall the last time I went Mama Jumbo to address different discipline approaches, but I’m sure it will happen at some point.

What makes you go Mama Jumbo?  If you are more scientifically inclined than me, are elephants (or another animal) particularly protective parents? At the very least, I know they don’t eat their young!