Wednesday, August 02, 2006

my many bosses

Pre-child, I did a terrific job of navigating life and doing what I believe is right in the world and for myself while being able to circumvent too many instances of authority. For instance, I run a fairly large non-profit - and I've never owned a business suit. I've even kept most of my piercings. I've managed to live without having to compromise too much of what I considered to be essential about myself. My personal life is the same thing - J has no interest in telling me what to do and that works out perfectly - so we've managed to navigate a partnership based in mutual love, understanding and compromise. For the most part it even works. We've made sure that travel is incorporated into our lives and carved out time to do the things we want. I look at it as flying just under the radar. Just low enough to not get any particular attention which frees us up to do whatever the hell we want. No particular code or creed other than actively loving each other and those around us. Again, for the most part, it works.

And then we had a kid. Now I have many bosses. Many figures of authority in and out of my life that want to help steer the ship. Sometimes fine, sometimes amusing, sometimes, well, I just hand over the wheel for no apparent reason and all of a sudden, we are on somebody else's course. M's daycare, for example (um, ok, child development center educators) have definite opinions about right and wrong behavior. I have gotten much feedback. The other day it was "We assume you put sunscreen/lotion on M before dropping her off, as we do not use it till after naptime." Shit. And here I was thinking how cool I am that I manage to get her to school on time. With her shoes on. While I totally understand sunscreen, that phrase rattles around in my brain every morning. I responded with "doesn't saying that remind of you of that scene from Silence of the Lambs with that chick in the hole in the ground, you know, put the lotion on the baby in the basket.....?" Wrong answer for madam daycare, by the way.

And no need to get into what happens if you are not on time... suffice to say it's an expensive proposition. By the minute. But I love these caregivers, and I love the environment M is exposed to, so I suck it up and am somebody else's mommy. Because M's mom doesn't do those things. M's mommy straps M to her back and treks through Central America. M's mommy doesn't care if M says fuck because her daddy yelled it when he dropped something on his foot and M is in a repeating stage and doesn't have any reason to use the word for it's intended impact anytime soon. However, somebody else's mommy cares a lot about M saying fuck at daycare. Or in front of grandparents.

Grandparents are the other new boss of my life. Pre-kid, we ran amuk in hedonism and travelled over holidays and forgot to get married and rarely clean the house. Post-kid, you'd think I was the one who sanctioned the war on Iraq. All of these transgressions now mean I am a bad mommy who doesn't want her child to succeed because don't you know you could DIE in central america?, who is selfish in denying M her first birthday cake, and don't we know that M will only feel secure if her parents are legally married??? The day she asks for proof by way of a marriage license is the day I strap her onto my back and take her back to the wild so she can please get a grip on her own reality.

Maybe the many bosses will come in handy after all....

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Holy Blogroll, honey.

And might I say I have had the intense pleasure of sitting and chatting with many of those genius women and they are as supah-cool as they seem.

But yes. The roles change. The Mommy role emerges. Social expectations come crashing into a life that may have been blessedly free of them before.

Maybe someday I'll tell the story of Dawn crying because her baby wasn't baptized(WTF?) and Oh my god, she won't wear the German Christening gown I was christened in and her soul will burn in limbo...

Until I realized I hadn't been to church in oh, let's say 22 years.

But the Mommy role? emerges in wierd ways...