Wednesday, November 08, 2006
A New Low in Motherhood
Last night I was reading Tama Janowitz's Area Code 212, a collection of her essays on motherhood, New York, art, and (for some strange reason) animals. The book is dedicated to Paige Powell, my guy Basquiat's primary girlfriend.
I have always liked Janowitz more in theroy than in practice. I think her writing (as text) is fluffy and not that well-written. (Maybe I'm too critical though...as Ellison's Invisible Man was in my other hand. Gosh! I AM my father on EVERY level.) My feeling for Janowitz is kind of like my feeling for Hillary - I can't love her, but she's too pretty, smart, and charming to exactly hate. Slaves of New York was sort of our field guide to hipness in dorky ole' Albuquerque. Although, now that I am a New Yorker, I see the book should have been titled Slaves TO New York.
In any case, last night I was reading Tama's short essays on motherhood -which were really great. At one point she writes, "It occurred to me that I wasn't quite cut out for motherhood." This is the narrative of my existance.
Today, for the 56th time, in the 60 days of school that have occurred, my son refused to put his socks on. I had a total breakdown. I told him that I hated him and I was moving out. I told him that he was an f....brat and that I couldn't take it anymore. I feel horrible...even as I write this. But, I don't know what else to do, but write about it. We made up. He won - for today. No socks. Why is does parenting make kung fu or the army look like a cocktail party? How do our tiny ones make us show our impossibly best and our impossibly worst sides.
Ms. Janowitz writes, "Well, I made it though the day, and I only have another forty or fifty years to go."
Posted by Jennifer Bartlett at 7:00 AM