Monday, February 27, 2006

Crawling

It’s been a couple of days since I had a chance to write here...and I have missed it. Ideas for entries float through my head when I have no access to a computer or even a pen...walking the mile with Madam to get her to sleep or breastfeeding or showering. And so I have had this antsy feeling all weekend, as though I’ve only been half awake, making up sentences to entertain myself at 3am and then realizing they would be forgotten by sun up. When I was younger, my habit of narrating everything as it was happening would drive me crazy, because it seemed like an impediment to actually fully experiencing it, in flow. Like I said, I was a nascent little Romantic. Little did I know that it would serve me well someday, keeping me awake as Madam and I greet the dawn (and pre-dawn, and the pre-pre-dawn) together. At least I got to bask in the brilliance without having to see it brought down with a thud by going on the page and leaving my brain. And for once, I even had an excuse to do so!

I don’t often write about Madam here, in part because we are a hermetically sealed little unit most of the day. The Executive Geek works from home, but he’s laboring heroically to save his struggling start up, so he’s not able to spend all that much time with her. And since we live on the other side of the country from both of our families (and I have no friends here yet), it’s basically just Madam and I all day long. So this place is my time to be in my own head, to remember my own thoughts...to remember that they still matter. It’s strange...I think most of my childless friends have pulled away in part because they assume they’ll be regaled with tales of prodigious poop and magical milestones, when actually I just want to talk about, oh, ANYTHING else. Just to reclaim some of that old mental land.

Take my average conversation with my mom lately. For the best effect, put on some loud Telemundo in the background and procede to translate this conversation into rapid-fire Spanish:

Ring

Me: Mami, hi! How are you?

Mom: How’s Anjali?

Me: Fine, she just ate. So did you hear about...

Mom: What did she eat?

Me: Um...peas and brown rice. So what about that...

Mom: Did she eat it all?

Me: Uh, yeah...so anyway...

Mom: You know you have to put her on the floor for play everyday, right? I mean...she’s at the age...(I’ll spare you the long, drawn out lecture I hear every. single. day.)

Mom: Well, I have to go...tell her I love and adore her (insert high pitched baby talk and kissy sounds here).

I adore that my mother adores Madam, and I don’t begrudge her joy in being a grandmother--Madam is the only one of her grandchildren she actually saw at the moment of birth, so she claims they have a special bond. Madam would probably agree, considering the gleeful smiles that erupt around my mom. But...it’s like Mami thinks that motherhood should subsume all of my other selves, and well...it doesn’t. That fact alone makes me feel a wee bit freakish compared to other mothers, who mention how “every thought has changed since the baby.” I’m still basically me-an expanded, remixed version of the old standard, but you can recognize the melody. And I want it to stay that way.

Not that mommyhood hasn’t affected me. Watching Madam is such an education. She’s such an opinionated little person--knows exactly what she wants and woe to the person who tries to convince her otherwise. I crave that kind of assurance in my own life...albeit with fewer yelps of rage. No obstacle can hinder her for long, and when she’s working on a new skill, it consumes her every waking and even sleeping (sadly for me) moment. Now it’s “learning to crawl.” Everything is connected to the Glory and the Dream of Crawling--any toy is quickly sized up as a help or hindrance to this wished-for state, and is dealt with accordingly. I wish she wouldn’t wake herself up (and me) by going on all fours in her sleep and rocking back and forth in a vain attempt at locomotion, but secretly I think it’s kind of cool that she’s such a tenacious babe.

When she gets like that, I always remember all of the religious injunctions to “be as a child”, “and a little child shall lead them” and all that. I used to think it was about being innocent and yielding to Higher Will and all that kind of maudlin, overly-idealizing-childhood stuff...but now I think it’s about being fiercely committed to a desire. Being willing to chew on it, yank on it, push it, wake up practicing it, until you can finally crawl your way to fulfillment.

They say (you know, the They who speak on these things) what you concentrate on expands. I see it happening everyday with Madam, and hopefully I’ll start waking up with fingers tapping on the comforter myself soon.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Yummyteece said...

...but now I think it’s about being fiercely committed to a desire. Being willing to chew on it, yank on it, push it, wake up practicing it, until you can finally crawl your way to fulfillment.

Wow...WOW... WOW. I love this thought. you've just made that "little child shall lead them" makes sense to me in a way it never has before. WOW.

1:58 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

i love the way you wrapped this post up. what an incredible realization and i'm so glad you shared it with us. i too have days when i'm nothing more than "britton's mom" and i miss just being me, michelle.

4:35 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger Mardougrrl said...

See, those wee morning hours can yield some valuable fruit too. :) And thanks so much for your comments--considering I read and enjoy both of your blogs so much, it really makes me happy to think that I can be a part of the conversation.

5:19 PM, February 28, 2006  

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