i am conspicuously absent from all our photographs. it should be obvious why, though, as i am the one behind the camera. besides whipping out the tripod and the remote there isn't a huge margin of chance for me to get in the picture– and then when i do it's not the picture i want, it's the picture i'm able to make work. it's hard for me to dial back the controls and let someone else frame the shot and so, the mama, the photographer, stays on the other side of the glass. i can do it better than you so you should just let me do it, even if that means i don't directly join in the fun.
if a mama isn't in any of the pictures, does she exist at all?
if a tree falls and no one is there to see it, does it matter?
after my grandfather (and yes, he was always grandfather, not grandpa) died my dad spent hours looking through his old photos and videos. he came out with hours of footage of... landscapes. scenery. gorgeous vistas. and. no. people. the camera has no memory of the family, just the sunset in all its stiff inhuman glory.
i sometimes feel like i'm not myself. well, that's not true, i am very much myself, just myself on autopilot. my self that knows all the mom-jobs and will do them in order to complete the day as needed– robot mom 2.0. robot mom 2.0 will wash the bottles, feed the snack, collect the laundry, play at the table, adjust the socks, fetch the water, read the book, put the baby to bed, do the dishes, sit down to rest. an endless cycle of the same specific tasks that must be completed to keep the house's engine running.
i struggle to turn mom 2.0 off and slip back into human mode. at the grocery store last night jon and i walked down the drink aisle and i said, "sorry jude, no juice for you, because your mom is a bitch. juice is bad for babies." and poor jon rolled his eyes and i don't blame him because mom 2.0 is kind of an annoying know-it-all and she doesn't let us have any fun. sometimes i want to punch her right in the mouth.
but other times she is shelter. so much easier to come home and be the ever-present-super-interactive mom 2.0 when i'm tired and the day has been long. i know how to do it, what to do, how to meet all the jude's needs. flip the switch and automatically tasks are completed.
they wrestle for control within me; regular relaxed me and ultra-informed mom 2.0. some days are better than others but lately she's been winning– i need to turn the dial back to the other side.
i don't particularly mind that she exists, our mom 2.0, but i want to be able to flip the switch myself instead of having my subconcious do it for me. i'm good at the job, or at least i try hard, and the work is all-encompassing– but that doesn't make it more fun. sometimes it's probably ok for us sit around in our underpants drinking chocolate milk and playing with electrical cords.
...but only unplugged ones with the outlet covers on. and, you know, the organic chocolate milk. on the freshly vacuumed carpet. see this? this is how i get in to trouble. i love knowing and learning but sometimes information can go too far and take you right up into a bad place.
i'm up-fucking-tight, yo. robot-style.
it's not how i want to be, i need some balance in my life.
i just have to figure out how to find it.
November 2, 2010
she's got jumper-cable lips
attachment parenting FTW|boohoo sad face emotionalism|deep dark parenting confessions|family|help|i'm a moron|nablopomo|parenting|thinking|this is getting kinda serious|