Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Really, Who Am I?

Our family has various names they'd like to be called by Evan, eventually. All types of creative names that are variations on the Original Grandparent (OG) names.

In my day it was like, Hey Gramps, turn up the A/C ya cheap old bastard, and Grandma, do my chores, I'm watching cartoons.

Not this generation of grandparents, though. These old hippies want names like Siti and BaBa and Poppyseed muffin. Hebrew names, Arabic names, Polish names, nonsensical names.

Oh but then there's my dad, who would prefer to be referred to as "Grandfather." Nerd-alert.

Nonfiction: I'm at work, uh, all day and night. Indeed, I've been watching that masterful little piece of cinematography you see below pretty frequently to remind myself of what baby looks like. That way, when I finally get home, I'm not all "hey, who are you, infant? You think you can just lay there all the time, you little freeloader? Beat it, you!"

Anyway, so I was watching it again a few minutes ago and suddenly felt all lost and weird inside. I was like...yo that's my baby. She my offspring, dude. As lame as it sounds, it sort of hadn't totally hit me until that moment. See, I don't really feel like a mama. That's what people are calling me these days, and I keep looking over my shoulder, all, "who? That lady over there? Yeah, she's kinda old and saggy, she's probably a mama."

At first methought I was more like dad. Cause I play Grand Theft Auto like it's my job and I think "Ain't No Fun If the Homies Can't Have None" is the best track on Doggystyle.

But then I realized, I don't feel like anything, really. Does having a kid automatically make you a mama, or whatever? Or do you earn the title once you've scraped fecal matter from the face of your watch a sufficient number of times (again, nonfiction. How does it get there so often?)? Because I don't feel like a mom. I feel a little like a shepherd. Occassionally minding a solitary, excessively small sheep, usually while E is in the shower.

But grandparents are totally cool with being grandparents. I was like: are you ready for this, parental unit? They're all, hell yeah I'm ready to be a Poppy/Siti/Grandfather. I was born ready. It's probably because they've done the whole parental thing already, and being a grandparent is some sort of custodial cakewalk in comparison. But still, their hyper-readiness for us to produce offspring makes me wary. What's in it for them, damnitt? Sometimes I think they're just reveling in the feeling of payback. Leaning back in their chairs, occasionally pointing and laughing as I stumble my way through taking care of this baby.

"Ha ha, look at you. Up all night, eh? Ya like that? Ah, ha ha. Oops, there's a little fermented regurgitated breastmilk on your arm there. Oh, ho ho."

Meanwhile, I just shuffle around with my staff, an inept shephard with no name of my own.


Amoussou said...

Jai Baba

Pixie said...

I just have to say this first- every time you write- I am enthralled. You have a fabulous RAW and FUNNY as shit way with words- and where your subject seems to be somewhat serious on occasion, I find myself laughing my Cuban ass off because you are HILARIOUS!
That having been said- Have you read Lesbian Dad by any chance?
Seems like a lot of Not-the-Mama'a (not Mama-TYPES in other words) are being called Baba.
I don't know really- I am such a mama type and my kid pretty much calls me "whatever! i don't know" to my face on a regular basis- but it does seem like if you don't feel like that there should be something else to be called.
How about MA?
somehow i can totally see little Evan yelling "Ma! Get outta the way lady, I'm gonna blow!"

Well... no real words of wisdom- 'just love it when you write.

amy said...

hysterical! i still find it hard to believe that i'm a mama and i gave birth to the kid over 2.5 years ago. it's incredible really! and just wait, when her sweet little voice calls you mama, it will totally f*ck you up, over and over again!

i can totally relate to the new generation of grandparents too! my mom decided she was gigi, for grandma gayle. and my mother in law, she decided she's mimi, no real explanation, she just liked it. totally weird!

MsPrufrock said...

P is nearly two and it's still weird for me to hear her call me "mama" or "mummy". It's exhilerating every time, even when she's whining about stupid shit.

Also, "grandfather"? Does your dad wear spectacles, smoke a pipe, and read only leatherbound books?

Anonymous said...

I haven't been called a hippie in a very, very long time. I'm truly flattered.

Poor Doug.

charlotte said...

for 2 years my wife and i felt like "what? we're not moms, yousee, Smarty just lives with us."

Anonymous said...

That's absolutely correct --- grandparenthood is a cakewalk in comparison to parenting. I think I might feel even more amazement, though, with this one generation removed relationship --- grand babies are magical, too good to be true.
Not-so-creative, "Nana"

P.S. I love your sense of shepherd-hood.

Drowned Girl said...



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Black Hockey Jesus said...

shepherd's are so awesome.

M said...

I can't stop laughing, you are an amazing writer. Just thinking about what you've written makes me giggle.