Her Bad Mother

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Another Head Cold, Not My Own

*Edits! Below! Keeping you on your toes!

One of the challenging things about being a quote-unquote mommy blogger - a writer whose motherhood provides most of the grist for her writing mill - is the unpredictability of the mommy life. You can have neat little essays on the whys and wherefores of mothering - on the physicality of mother-love, on the experience of fear in motherhood, on the mystery of Whither the Tits? - all drafted and lined up for publishing (this one on Thursday, that one on Saturday, resting and blog-cruising on Friday...), and then wham. There's a growth spurt or a sleep regression or sudden weaning or spontaneous dress rehearsals of your baby's dance troupe and everything that you had planned on writing fades to grey against the bright messy colours of all this stuff that you must write about RIGHT NOW.

Tonight I was all prepared with my thoughts on my much-delayed post on the physicality of maternal love and had worked out my opening line ("I've never been at ease with my physical self...") and planned on banging it out after dinner. But then WonderBaby's little sniffle exploded into a nasty head cold at the same time as yet another tooth cut through her gums and our household exploded into a frenzy of pain and despair.

She shrieked and she wailed and she rubbed her sore, wet nose with her tiny fists. She clung to me and sniffled and choked back snotty sobs and then wailed some more. She rubbed her wet little face into my chest and was miserable. We were miserable.

There is no more terrible sound than the sound of your child in pain. There just isn't. It doesn't matter that you know that those cries are provoked by ordinary, everyday pains - stuffed nose, sore gums - those cries pierce you all the same, they cut right through you like so many knives, so many sharp, sharp knives. They hurt.

So you clasp your child to your chest and you whisper urgently that it's okay, sshhh, it'll be okay, and you press your lips against her wet cheeks and pull her as close as you can and you wish fervently that the beating of your heart will calm her, that somehow you will be able to will her pain away by holding her closer closer closer and warming her cheek with your breath. Because it must work both ways, mustn't it? You can feel her pain as keenly as if it were your own. Shouldn't she feel your strength, your calm - the calm that you are pulling, tugging, up from your very core for her - shouldn't she feel that? Aren't you, the two of you, one body?

You're not. She cries, she hurts, and your heart breaks because you can't make the hurt go away. So you just hold her, and stroke her hair while she sniffles and moans. And you sit there as long as you have to, until her crying slows and her head falls heavily against your chest. You sit there and hold her, cradling her little body and breathing her in. You sit there for a long time, for a very long time.

And then you carry her over to her crib and lean your body in as far as it can go, keeping her pressed against you as you lower her down, and you lay her down, and she uncurls her little fists and rolls onto her side and you stay, hunched over, listening to her breathe.

And then you pull away, and back quietly away, and leave her, alone, sleeping, in her crib.

And you think, we are not one.

We're two. She will bear her pain, her pains, and her blisses, as her own. Apart from me.

It's a terrible thing, and a wonderful thing. And I can't think of anything else tonight.

I didn't forget about the Perfect Post awards. I dithered about how to select a post to award, because I wanted to award to it to, well, every single one of the Speaking a Joy Which Can't Be Words posts, but a) they don't let you do that (understandably) and, b), it could come off as just so much self-promotion (it being my own writing prompt and all.) So I dithered and dithered and dithered some more and then it was yesterday and WonderBaby got sick and things fell to shit and there you go.
So, to all of you who wrote those beautiful posts - I honour you (HBM curtsies deeply.) I think that you all are wonderful and that you are extraordinary writers and that your children are very, very lucky to have you as mothers. Anyone out there who is looking for some heart-tugging reading for this weekend - yes, you - go read each and every one of these posts. And then tell the author how wonderful she is.
Your posts were all perfect. Every one of them.
(And big thanks to the loverly Cheeky Lotus for deeming my original Joy post worthy of a Perfect Post Award. I'm honoured. Really. Thank you.)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Things I've Learned This Week

1) That the trolls that cruise the flashier corners of the blogosphere are waaaay meaner than your everyday, run-of-the-mill mommyblogger tards. The thrill of getting a post up at the must-read Huffington Post was harshed somewhat by the sting of blogtardage.

An example: reading your piece made me want to scream... (at) my own mother.

He didn't mean that in a good way.

2) That it's cool to see your writing up at a site like the Huffington Post, even with the blogtardage. Bring it on, bitches.

3) That the mothers of the blogosphere are extraordinary. Okay, so maybe this wasn't something new that I learned, but the lesson sure was hammered home. Your songs of love for your children, your odes to the profound physical connection that bonds mother and child, have been taking my breath away. Moving me, and inspiring me, and reminding me that this is an extraordinary community.

Thirty-five posts and counting. Keep singing.

4) That babies will eat cat food if they can get it.

Veganism is making me pale. Bring on the meat pellets!


*Kristen also has a post up at HP. Check it out.

*An early visitor to the Basement is back with an update to her story. You're gonna want to hear this...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What Did You Do With *Your* Old Pasties?

The It's Not Easy Being Green Dancers prepare for their upcoming command performance of Anne Geddes WTF: Geddes Gone Burlesque.

Performance is all about presence...


... and kick-ass costuming.

Dude. You gotta wear the pasties. I have a reputation to uphold.

You're takin' pasties for the team, Frog.

Gimmicky, yes, but it draws the crowds: PussyFrog Doll


I put pasties on my baby.*

I am a Bad Mother. I make no apologies.

(And, yes, I am an abuser of helpless toys. Kermit will doubtlessly require years of therapy to recover from the damage of being coerced into prancing about as a skank ho-phibian. Again, no apologies.)

And. Am hungover. Last night was TO mommyblogger debauchery, and all that buffing and vodka tonic slurping knocked me (already struggling with a cold) on my ass. It was all that I could do today to lift a hungover finger to upload exploitative pictures of my child and her amphibian dance companion.

Full report, with photos, tomorrow on MamaBlogsToronto.

In the meantime, seriously - what did you do (what would you do) with all those leftover pasties?

*You asked, Dawn. I delivered.