Sunday marked the end of co-sleeping with Nathan. At first I worried that I’d suffer some separation anxiety because he’s slept right next to me since he was born. But after nine hours of solid, unadulterated sleep with my husband in a baby-free bed, I got over that worry with the speed of a dress coming off on prom night.
During my high-school mock trial days, I learned one thing about being a lawyer: never ask questions unless you know the answer. I never ask Mike if he thinks a dress makes me fat not because he’ll blurt the requisite, “Of course not, honey!” but because it’ll be more like, “What? Huh? Were you talking to me? Do you know you’re standing in front of the television? Do you know you are not made of glass?”
When I came home today after chopping off seven-inches of thick black jungle hair, I asked, “So what do you think?”
“Oh it looks great! I wish you had consulted me first.”
“You wish? You wish I had consulted you about my hair?”
And the next thirty-minutes went something like this: I said, “Hello, 1952 called. It wants its male-dominated power structure back,” and he said, “No, it’s not what you think!” and I said, “Well, how am I supposed to take that?” and I didn’t hear what he said after that because my fingers were in my ears while I belted out Destiny’s Child, “All the women who are independent, throw your hands up at me!”
To be fair, I will not let Mike grow a beard or any type of facial hair. No goatees, no flavor savers under the lip. I don’t chide him on wearing his ragged Bite of Seattle sweatshirts or Joe Boxer pajama bottoms as regular pants, but beards are non-negotiable. He’s so hell-bent on tossing out his razor and joining some hairy-faced club. I don’t care if it’s as soft as moss in an old growth forest or it feels like a chinchilla, I don’t want Mike in a beard.
As long as I don’t have to be Crystal Gale, I’ll let him know if I’m going to dramatically alter my hair and Mike will never have a beard ever.
Yesterday I took Nathan to the portrait studio so I can have photos taken by something other than my dinky Minolta. I dressed him like a J. Crew baby, donning a tan khakis and an blue argyle sweater. Most days he looks like a Target baby, more specifically, a Target clearance baby. I beamed as the photographer set him on his side, his hand resting by his head. She began blowing raspberries and cooing at him. She played peak-a-boo. She spoke in tongues.
And there was nothing. Nathan stared at her, then stared at the light and back at her. I called his name, thinking that my voice would trigger some biological superpower. He gave me the same, unamused look that I’m sure will appear later when he’s 18 and I’m trying to convince him that mother-son matching reindeer sweaters really are cool.
There’s a scene in the Fountainhead when Peter sees blonde, statuesque Dominique and becomes so entranced that he understands what beautiful really is. When Nathan didn’t smile after fifteen minutes of two grown, educated women making high-pitched tourette-like squeals at his stone-cold face, I understood what people mean when they say, “He has a stick up his ass.” My son had a stick up his ass. Can I say that and still seem a compassionate, sensitive mother? Because there was a stick and I was definitely sure where it was located.
Granted he might have been tired, but my smile flatlined as we tried to get a smirk, a grin, anything. I told the photographer that we should just try for another time, maybe after the ass-stick removal surgery. I left there disappointed. It was as if I brought him expecting to see a circus and instead I got Deadwood.
Nathan: 1. My spirit: 0.
Big up to the West Seattle Blog for linking to me! Westsiiide!