Well, look at me. It’s happened again. I’m utterly boring and tedious, an absolute zero in the good-company department. I’ve got nothing interesting to say to anyone who’s got something interesting to say. Unless you’re into diapers and nap schedules, I’m total drivel.
I’d almost forgotten about this stage of motherhood, when my brain is sucked dry of adult social skills. Not saying every stay-at-home mom becomes a repetitive dolt when they’re baby-tethered, but I do. It’s like I’m trapped in a box all day, and when I’m allowed to come out in the evenings, it’s all I can do to not talk about what it was like inside that box. Necessarily, it’s either that or philosophical discussions — by which I mean fuzzy rememberings of well-formed ideas I used to have when I was not an automaton.
Not one to sacrifice naps for activities, I’m shackled to my home for about three hours every day. Windows of time between naps don’t leave much space for adventure either. It’s jail, really. And what’s a person going to get done during a baby’s 2-hour nap, if not the laundry and the housework? The occasional blog? Some Net surfing? Call it an excuse, but it’s how I’m wired: If I try to do anything of import, anything at all that requires some concentration or self-discipline or, God forbid, a deadline (part and parcel to my line of work as an editor and writer), so help me, I’m going to resent it something awful when baby interrupts. And he will. So I don’t.
I spend every single day with a cherubic creature that can’t even say “moo” let alone discuss current affairs. I mimick the cat meowing 17 times between dawn and dusk, trying to teach him to do the same, and I stop noticing how annoying it is to do that. Repetition and simple-mindedness are our domain. I might even think it appropriate to regale friends and neighbors with stories about, oh, I don’t know, the baby trilling in the crib for an hour–again. Like they give a crap.
Look, I know it: I’m boring. And tedious.
Did I mention that I have been talking more, not less, now that I have nothing to say? Just ask my husband. He’ll tell you about the awful pillow talk, in which I give a blow-by-blow of the way our baby boy discovered how to put one of the shapes into the shape-sorter. He’ll tell you how much he’s enjoying my beating to death the topics of how much chlorine to put in the hot tub, whether so-and-so is as obnoxious as I deem, and how much flatulence I’m experiencing as a result of this or that food we ate. The desperate grasping for topics other than the baby is pathetic really. You don’t have to ask him either: You can just look at his eyes and see the glaze on them.
I’m so freaking boring. And tedious. Did I mention that?
Because I have so little happen to me each day, I make mountains out of molehills. Running out of toilet paper warrants diatribes. The lack of good mangoes this year has been discussed repeatedly. And by “discussed,” I mean I’ve mentioned it 507 times to my husband. He doesn’t care deeply about mangoes. He has a job, a career sort of thing where he goes off and speaks to other adults about melanomas and blood pathogens, or something like that. I don’t know, because I haven’t been paying attention. I’ve been too busy talking about my minutiae.
God, I’m boring. And so freaking tedious.
The rest of the world is moving and shaking, and I’m not. Oh, well. I’m treading water, waiting for kindergarten to start, waiting for bedtime, waiting for naptime, tick-tick-ticking the minutes off until my husband gets home. I’m blogging. I’m folding clothes. I’m trolling the Web for freelance writing jobs. I’m feeding the kids. I’m practicing my banjo. I’m folding more clothes. I’m checking the chlorine in the hot tub. I’m checking Facebook. I’m looking for good mangoes. I’m changing diapers. I’m feeding the kids. I’m doing it over and over and over again.
God, I’m boring.
Which is why I really should have titled this piece:
“In Defense of Opening the Chard at 4:55 PM.”