Sunday, March 23, 2008

party girl

Last night we went to my brother's engagement party.

First off, I have to say that I was a very yummy mummy. I got a haircut yesterday so that my hair would be nicely done with minimal effort on my part. Then I had my makeup done, because my brother's fiancee wanted us to try out the makeup artist she wants to use for the wedding. I wore a very hot red dress and the only pair of heels that doesn't make my hips hurt. Wowza. I haven't looked like that in a looooong time. I even made it through the night without leaking milk all over my top.

Kali was dressed up, too... and she was totally playing the crowd. Seriously, she pulled out all the adorable stops* and was smiling, cooing, waving, grabbing hands... what a flirt! Everyone wanted to hold her, and being the relaxed mom that I am, I let them. I didn't know where she was most of the time, but we have a very close extended family and so I knew she'd be in good hands.

This is all a prelude to the fact that I've been thinking about Shlomit's latest post and wondering what it really means to be a mother. I mean, when you distill the whole motherhood thing... when you take into account the wonderful nurturing and affection and care that close relatives and friends can lavish on a baby, what does it really mean to be the mother?

My cynical side is jumping up and down, frantically waving her hand like a kindergartener who needs to pee. "Oooh! Oooh! I know! The mother is the person the baby gets returned to when she's pooped through her entire outfit and thrown up all over herself!"

Hmmm. True, I suppose. Partial credit, Cynical Sara.

Last night Kali was given back to me twice. Both times she was crying and couldn't be jollied out of it. I took her upstairs to my old room, nursed her, sang some songs, and she was happy and smiley again. We snuggled and chatted.

Being the mummy does mean that you can't pass the baby to someone else when the shit hits the fan... or the clothes. The buck stops with you. But the baby stops with you, too. When the child is grumpy, sick, sad, or hurting, you're the one who can make it better just by being. You're the mother.

*I think I just figured out where the phrase "pulled out all the stops" came from. When playing a pipe organ, the stops are the things you push in to get a different timbre, tone, or volume. When you pull out all the stops, you get the loudest, fullest sound possible. Wow, I'm so S-M-R-T!


Dagny said...

You ARE S M R T.



Azure said...

The part about what it means to be a mom was beautiful. It fills me with longing, in the nicest possible way. :)