Monday, 21 January 2013

Can I Have This Dance

I remember I was vacuuming or trying to and you were pulling at my trousers or trying to because I kept flagging your hand away with a sort of swiping motion, usually reserved for removing stains. I used the remote to direct away your interest. "Just a minute," I said," Let Mommy finish, just this, just that, just one more thing and then the kitchen."

You didn't realise that I had a sort of schedule,  we sort of ate around this time and sort of cleaned around that time, different activities for different days to fit different forms of development: literacy, social interaction and coordination. Had to get my ticks in before we could take part in frivolous play.

Routines, the unwanted guest, I would rather live in a world of chaotic stress then live with structure.  However it was a lifestyle choice.  One that I often reevaluated and recreated in order to be a good mother. So, as with your father's sports car and my smoking, sporadic trips to faraway places, frivolous shopping and naughty nights out, it all had to go bye byes to create a household and lifestyle that was appropriate for a tiny little miracle like you. In came the white sheets, organic sleep suits, fruit smoothies, mothers clubs, dusted mantles, clean toilets, spotless floors and ironed panties.  I wanted the perfect home for the perfect you. A happy and safe home, but was it?

As you grow, you will be barraged by domestic goddess themes, which subtly impregnate false truths and infect unrealistic expectations.  There will be pictures of women smiling while they scrub toilets and wash floors and you may feel the need to smile back, don't! They are not your friends.  They are paid to lie, run! You will overhear pensioners on buses and trains reminiscing about household pride, joys of cleaning. Well, dear, their memory is shit.  And then, of course, there is that smiling mother of your child's school friend, who wears linen trousers, eats only organic, has stain free cream carpets and an ivory sofa. Open her closets and you will free a cleaning lady.

You are not as old as my favourite jeans, but faded pencil marks on Grandma's wall reminds me that your dynamic form is ever changing and I am missing the performance because I am vacuuming, diligently, heartfelt -back and forth, back and forth.

Days slip by and time goes faster and faster as we grow older and older.  Your infancy was a flash, toddler years a breath and I am so afraid that your little girl years will simply disappear in a moment of distraction.  I understand how you could not prefer my preference for vacuuming over cuddling, wiping stained toilets over puzzle making.  Why should I simply walk to a store when I could be pushing a doll pram, skipping alongside you. You, wearing silk and satin, glitter and velvet gowns.

Interesting how easy it is to touch the Dyson button and hear that annoying buzzing motor mute.  Also, interesting that I could still slide across the laminate floors like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, "Come on join me, little one," I put my hand out to you and you took it and you laughed and so did I, and then we ran around this trying to be perfect home dancing and singing.  It was so much more fun than vacuuming. I danced techno, jumping up and down on the bed.  You went heavy metal, head banging until dizzy, thick curls everywhere.  Then you did a mix up, throwing in an ABBA pose, finding your tiara and yelling "Super duper trooper." We dressed disco with blankets for capes, twirled around, kicking toys out of the way and prancing around in princess dresses to finalise a designer look.

Your father walked in to see us crab shuffling to the bathroom, knees and elbows moving in and out.  He stepped over plastic high heels, moved aside the custom jewellery that cluttered the counter, turned down the screaming radio and we stopped and we turned.  You with drugstore makeup smeared across your face, surprised.  You slid to him in your Peppa Pig socks, brought  your plastic microphone to your tiny mouth, pointed up to him with your other hand "I sekky and know it," and then gave a good Elvis-like shake. I looked at the dirty dishes piled in the sink, grease on the stove top, clean, wrinkled clothes thrown across the table and I stood quiet and smiled. "Have a good day at work, Dear?" Your father smiled, pulled me in and swayed with me as we did at our wedding. We then gathered you to us like a bouquet of flowers. My favourite part of the day.

So, if you want to know why you don't remember Mommy ever having a show home.  Blame yourself, kid. And, thank you because I will always be grateful. 

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