Sunday, August 14, 2005

banana bread

My time at home with this little baby person is easier than it used to be. I was forced to admit this recently when a friend asked me, in just those words "It’s easier than it was at the beginning though, right?" "Uh, yeah," I said, conceding. It doesn’t tell you much really, but a going-on six-month-old who laughs and gurgles is far better company than a barely six-week-old who still only stares in your direction occasionally with a look that says "Who ARE you??" and then screws up his face to scream … again. Yes, sure, easier. In the meantime, there is loads still to deal with for me, not the least of which involves trying to keep my mind alive while I hang out for hours and hours with an infant five days a week and the adult world only stops by long enough to predict dire futures for the boy and let him chew on their fingers (See forthcoming blog on "work".)

This endurance test has brought on a sometimes-desperate need to create -- something. For example, I am overwhelmed with the desire to buy presents for my friends’ birthdays and wrap them in unique ways. I wake up imagining silk scarves used as bows or poems in calligraphy fluttering softly from the handles of baskets of goodies they’ve always wanted. And I have found myself, since Isaac was born, much more often than I can explain, in the kitchen.

Normally, you see, I don’t cook. Don’t like it. Don’t do it. Rather spend my time on other endeavors, say, eating. That’s why I married Mike, a man who has been known to walk in the door from work and, with one hand still on the knob, reach for the cookbook. Early in our dating life, I can remember several incidents when conversations with friends who were demanding to hear in more detail just who this guy was I was spending so much time with, ended abruptly enough. "He cooks for me," I’d tell them beaming. "He cooks for you?" they’d repeat incredulous. And the conversation would need go no further.

Since having a baby, things have altered slightly. "I’ll make dinner," my husband might innocently suggest on a Tuesday evening. My gaze flits between the baby lying on his play mat zoning out the way he does just before a really big poo and Mike’s back headed for the kitchen "NO!" I rush at him. "Why don’t you watch the baby," I say, trying to hide the quiver in my voice and bounding forward to block his way. "I’ll make dinner" I smile with what I hope looks like genuine pleasure, somehow, I think to myself, I’ll make dinner. In the next scene, I’m standing in my tiny kitchen, hands at my sides, shouting to Mike in the other room "What do I do next??"

You might think that helping to "create" a human being would have satisfied me for a time, but it does not. Perhaps I recognize just how little I had to do with all that. Instead I crave a product from my days, other than a pile of diapers. Another discovery about the real impetuses behind the choices in domestic life. Those 50’s moms in aprons were screaming for help. (Well, maybe we knew that already.) I hate to jump on the bandwagon in times when color-coded warnings instruct us how afraid to be, but I feel it’s only fair to tell you all, if we don’t find a sitter on Wednesdays soon so I can escape back to my writing group (see forthcoming blog on "sitters"), there’s going to be banana bread… lots of banana bread.

1 comment:

tracy said...

I think you can freeze banana bread. I hear canning is nice too.

I also have a feeling I'm going to be coming back to these posts 5+ years from now when I finally get around to thinking I might think about possibly maybe finding someone to convince me to have his baby. *sigh*

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