I’m sitting here in my kitchen begging my child to have some independent play time. He’s been sick for a few days, and today his whining reached a fever pitch. I would like a few minutes to sit alone and collect my thoughts. I will type for as long as I have, and see what I’m left with at the end.
*wipes child’s nose*
*sips cold coffee, contemplates hot refill, sips cold coffee*
We have a birthday party today. My son’s social life basically outranks mine at this point. I’m nervous about trying to make conversation with the moms, or feeling left out of conversations with the moms. I’m scared of moms that I’m not friends with on facebook. I wish I could go to a kids birthday party with the moms of facebook. Good chance we’d have more fun than the kids, and perhaps drink margaritas. Or else stand around awkwardly not knowing what to say, and instead messaging each other on facebook, and liking each others photos of the party at which we are presently standing around awkwardly. The moms and dads of facebook are basically my parenting community.
It’s hard to share your life all the time. I imagine it was always this way, that a mother’s life became less her own once there was a child to care for.
C: Can we wrap the present for the party?
L: In a minute.
I feel like I should in some way include fathers, and say that they too have the experience of their lives becoming less their own, but I’m going to let the mothers own this one today. My husband and I co-parent, we are both capable, we both care, and nurture, and love, and make dinners, and wipe noses, but still, even though we share it, there are some things that are mom things no matter what, and it may be that if there’s no mom, the thing doesn’t get done.
C: I’m ready to wrap the present! Here it is!
We stamped elephants and motorcycles onto some tissue paper, wrapped the present, sealing it with packing tape. Packing tape and tissue paper are what we had on hand. Sometimes home made is just a cover for resourcefulness.
While waiting for the wrapping paper to dry, C asked about one of the paintings that hangs on our wall. It’s one that Alex Arcadia did years ago. It’s called He Could Crush it if He Wanted.
C: Who’s that?
L: That’s Andy Warhol, it’s a painting that mommy and daddy’s friend Alex made. You remember Alex?
C: Yeah. Who’s Andy Warhol?
L: He was a painter in the mid to late 20th-Century. Some say he revolutionized the form. He made pop art. He painted large, arresting images, of things that were not typically the subject of painting. Alex painted his portrait.
C: Is he a robot now?
L: No, he not alive anymore. He died.
C: He died and became a robot?
L: No, he died and then wasn’t alive anymore. He was shot, and then about a year later, he died from complications with that injury.
L: I don’t know why he was shot.
C: With blasters? Is he a robot?
L: Everyone dies, it’s just a thing that happens. Your body dies, and your soul goes with God.
C: And then you be a robot?
L: I don’t think so.
*he pulls the trigger on his toy chainsaw*
There are too many people in my house. Dave’s brother has been staying with us off and on for a little more than a year. When he finished college, he was in Philly, staying with his dad and step-mom. That arrangement was not working out for any of them, so he would bounce up here on weekends, between looking for a job. When it finally became detrimental, for him for them, we suggested he just pack up his stuff and come up here. He would find a job in NYC, find a place, it would all work out. Well he found a job, and he likes it, and he’s even good at it, and he found a sublet, but it ended. So he is here. And we are here. That makes four people and a cat in four rooms, a hallway, and a bathroom. My apartment is a perfectly fine size. It is even ‘not small,’ by New York City standards. But it is best with three people, and a cat, and would be better without the cat, who is sweet in her own aggressively loving but sometimes mean way, but to whom I am horribly allergic. That fourth person really makes it feel like a mouse hole.
Plus personal space. I haven’t any personal space. My eyes bug out when I try to think of the last time I had the place to myself, meaning me awake, C sleeping, husband and brother-in-law elsewhere. When Dave’s brother became a bigger presence in the apartment, I moved my desk into my bedroom, where it is now a repository for clothes. If I sit on the couch, the cat rolls all over me, leaving me running for an antihistamine and an alcohol swab, to stop the swelling of her inadvertent slash intentional scratches. So I like the kitchen table.
C: I want to listen to some music!
L: What kind of music?
C: Lightning music!
*wipes child’s nose*
I contemplated turning on music that I like, and trying to enforce good taste on C, but when I turned on AppleTV, and he saw the logo for the Disney music station, I knew we were sunk, so I turned it on. We’re having some kind of farm themed sing-a-long.
*child wipes own nose*
C: I wiped my own nose!
He grabs his bike and hops on.
C: I have to go save Andy Warhol who has died!
He takes off down the hall.
This is my life today. I wanted to write something profound, but despite my best intentions, this is all I’ve got.
C: Hey, could you dance with me? I hear Andy Warhol’s foot!