Friday, October 17, 2008

Chain Link

I have taken to asking Zoey questions that I want her to answer with yes, because she is prone to yes. Do you love mama? I ask. Yes. Do you want to brush your teeth? Yes. Last night we sat outside to eat our dinner, enjoying the last vestiges of Indian Summer, and in between bites of her grilled cheese Zoey climbed on my lap and poked at my tummy. Thas your baby in ‘der? She asked. No, Zoey, I said, there’s no baby in there right now. But you used to live in there, in my belly. Do you remember that? I asked. Yes, she said, and scrunched in closer. Do you remember the sound of my heart? I asked. Yes, she said. Was it warm? Did you hear my voice? Do you miss it sometimes? Yes, yes and yes. And then just as a test I asked, Were there cows in there? Baby lambs? Disco lights and a fog machine? Yes, yes, yes and yes.


Two days ago we were driving, I don’t remember where to. Zoey’s sippy cup fell on the floor and rolled under my seat and she screamed that she wanted it. Mama! Mama! My sippy cup! With my left hand on the steering wheel I wrenched my right arm back and around, my fingers grazing blindly at cloth, lint, the stray goldfish. I can’t reach it sweetpea, I said. But Mama! My sippy cup! And she would not stop with the screaming. I was on the freeway driving fast. I can’t get it for you right now Zo, I said. It’s not safe. Lesson one: do not reason with terrorists and two year olds. Mama! My sippy cup! Get ittttt!!!!! And I lost it there driving a tad bit over the speed limit. Through clenched teeth I spat, BUT. I. CAN’T. REACH. IT. And from there in her car seat Zoey spat back, BUT. I. WANT. IT. Surprised, I glimpsed in my rear view mirror and she was sitting there just laughing.
How long do I have before Zoey answers my questions with an automatic no? Can I have a kiss? No. Did you miss me? No. Before she stops laughing? The thought. Quite simply: It breaks me.
Long time readers of Petunia Face might have noticed that for the past few weeks my own mother has been missing in action. Judy of the paragraph-long comments. We got in a fight. I won’t get into what it was about, mainly because it’s over. Ish. It’s over-ish. The thing is no matter what she is my mother and I am me. We push each other’s buttons like it’s nobody’s business and we love each other even more. She is at once both too much and not enough. BUT. I. WANT. IT. And I am at once loving and hateful that she can’t always reach it.
In the end the answer is still yes, always yes. I remember what it was like to be in her belly. Yes, it was warm. Yes, I heard her voice. And yes, there were disco balls and a fog machine, strobe lights, it was a party. She is a party. And yes, I still feel the beating of her heart.

35 comments:

Richie Designs said...

Though I'm still on the fence about being a mom, between you and Karey Mackin...it totally sounds like fun and not the torturous experience I watch with some of my friends.

I especially like the disco ball and fog machine. That's one awesome party.

ah yes, mom and daughter fights...I totally like my mom as a person she is one of my best friends but we have decided that no more conversations about the kid thing ... nor the husband thing can be had.
a month long silence from a very large fight brought that on. eventually things return.

Richie Designs said...

I should give some credit to my girlfriends... it sounds like fun because I don't get to be present for the 2 year old melt downs and the NO's!!, the frazzled mom's, the missing blankies, the lack of mac & cheese at any given meal causing the meltdown.

I just like to hear about the happy, shinny people I suppose.

Courtney said...

this is such a sweet, sweet post. hoping things return to normal soon. We all miss Judy around here, but I especially hope she's back to you soon.

Rosalie said...

Oh thank God! There is nothing that makes me feel worse than a mother and daughter fighting...for obvious reasons. The truth is, even without my mom here, I still fight with her. In my head. And we make up too.
Xo
Ro

Misplaced Country Girl said...

Oh, that was beautiful. I have to go wipe my eyes now.

Ana said...

yeay! kiss and make-up...finally :)

Jessie said...

I wondered where she'd gone.

And, I think I can still hear my mom's heart beat, too.

Sarah Danielle said...

I cannot wait to know the feeling of being both a daughter and a monther simultaneously. (In a few years of course) It seems like a complete adventure!

Maggie May said...

totally. mother daughter relationships are roots and tangles and choking and also the great support structure. depending on the mother and daughter some. i am now the mother of a 6 yr old daughter (Lola) and the daughter of a 50something mother, and being the mother is definitely easier.

Robin said...

Great post. Yes, Judy's comments are missed - glad you two made-up-ish.

thismslife said...

OH, good one! I was hoping for something like that today!

Judy said...

Andy and Susannah and now Zoey, Bry and Morgan....YOU are my heartbeats and the breaths that I take. You, my children, gave all new meaning and purpose to my life. It isn't as if I haven't had other great loves or that I don't have a full and wonderful life but without you, my Center wouldn't hold.

So no argument, however intense, nothing you ever do or don't do will ever change that I love you with all my heart and soul or that, of all I've done in my life or hope to do; YOU will always be the best things I have ever accomplished.

You are the wind beneath.....no, no, no...that's just the tune I can't get out of my head today! Nevermind...

Another reason you have all been spared my copious and lengthy comments of late is that damned job thing keeps getting in my way-the NERVE!

Rest assured I am here for you-as you are for me and that will always will be a fact.

Thanks to the Zoey video a few posts back, I and my entire office staff are now singing, "If you be nice to everyone, then they'll be nice to you!" Better than any Motivational or Customer Service speaker could ever hope to do!

Love You Always! (subliminal message....But I was right.)
Mom

The Lil Bee said...

Holy shit. You are my favorite writer. I just love your thoughts, I love the way you love Zoey, and I love the way you put it all out there for the world to see. I hope one day I'm as good of a mom as you.

supermommy said...

Oh, I just love it when they drop cups or Mickeys while I'm driving.

You made me cry at them end. So sweet.

Jules said...

Been there, except my mom and I haven't gone for weeks w/o talking to each other because we are far too co-dependent. ;)

The Lil Bee said...

Oh, and I kirtsy'd you.

Petunia Face said...

Thank you all for your comments. For those that commented that it makes you want to have a baby: DO IT. I mean really. IT. Babies are the best thing ever.

Thanks Lil Bee for kirtsying me:)

And thanks to my own mama.

Love you all,
S

Petunia Face said...

One more thing. Mom? Tonight I asked Zoey if I was right and guess what she said?
Yes.
Love and dry kisses,
Susannah

Judy said...

For those wondering about Sus' "Love and Dry Kisses' sign off comment....As a little girl-still does-hate "wet lippped" kisses-even moist lips are a turn off kisses-wise.I'm just guessing here but I'm thinking that Bry does have sole wet kiss priveleges. If I kissed her (after @ age 3) and my lips weren't completely dry, she'd scowl, dry her lips off with a fair measure of visable disgust, dry my lips off-later requiring me to dry my own lips- and wait for a do-over "dry kiss". To this day, I do an automatic self lip-moisture content assessment before kissing my Sweet Sus. The truth is she was on track at a precocious age because, really, who does want slippery lipped kisses unless there's sex involved? And, yes this probably is TMI...as well as a distant memory for me, but even then sloppy kisses didn't do it.

O.K. now quickly change topics.

Wait until Zoey gets the Gotz
19.5", blonde-haired, blue open and closable eyed, Ballerina Doll dressed in a pink tutu, ballet slippers, WITH brushable hair and change of outfits gift in the mail from guess who-a doll she can dance with, dress and groom...a doll that looks quite like her in her own beloved pink tutu. The BALLERINA Doll from Grandma Glitter...and THEN we ask her who was right...what say you then?

Right...now, off to do my '07 Income Tax prep that I THOUGHT I could get yet another extension for, but Noooo, they're LATE and every day now accrues a PENALTY so says my disgustingly chipper accountant who sounded suspicously like he was very much enjoying the fact that I will now be punished for blowing them off in April and thus confirming his hunch that I have become an aging financial dilettante, O.K., complete Fuck-Up. He sounded not one whit sorry, didn't even try for sympathy. Now, I can delay no more. I'm off to gather pieces of papers with numbers on them and complete my "Tax Planner Workbook". And,I am, as the smiling, Midwestern rental car attendant, "gobble-gobb,le" lady said to Steve Martin in the all time classic, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles", "YOU'RE FUCKED!"

Wasn't it quieter and shorter when I was in a snit?

Love,
Mom

Robin said...

What a beautiful post. I love the way you write and when you write about your daughter the love really shows. You make me wish I had a daughter (and the train has left the station on that, so thanks, but encouragement is wasted on me there).

Any Judy's responses are hilarious as usual.

karey m. said...

this was not the ending i expected!!! as i'm sitting here with sweaty eyes {your term.}...

i love posts like this. let me go check on the kirtsy and see where it is! xoxo.

and holy shit, richie!

Jennifer said...

This post made me tear up a little. I'm in a semi-fight w/ my mom too--I hate it!!

Very sweet post!!

gwen bell said...

Completely gorgeous story and writing. You have a wonderful way with words. Yes, yes and yes. <3

benson said...

can judy be my mom?

mylitlbratz said...

What a beautiful post...

Brie said...

beautiful post PF :)

just a girl... said...

wow first time here and cried when i read your post and sobbed at your moms comments. If i had known it was going to be like this I would have brought along some freaking kleenex for the ride.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Great - now I'm crying at work. This was incredibly touching. I don't think anyone who loves their mom could leave here with a dry eye...

beachbungalow8 said...

such a very sweet post. My oldest daughter, at age 3 began the love/hate/jealous/idolize dance. I wonder daily, where this will all go. You love them so unconditionally, you're willing to take whatever comes.

parenting makes you evolve as a person more than anything you'll ever experience. hands down.

Aartee said...

This was a really great post, you have a definite talent when it comes to writing and expressing your feelings here!

Paloma said...

Susannah, this made me cry. You have such a beautiful way with words. It is evident that you love Zoe and your mom with your entire being. I hope things go back to normal soon.

Jozette said...

this post made me cry. in a good way.

Patois said...

Oh, I could read the post and the comments again and again. Beautiful and hilarious at the same time. My kind of mom. My kind of daughter.

bmommy said...

There is too much love there for you guys not to be fine...I guess it`s just a mother/daughter thing because my relationship with my mom is the same. Your daughter`s adorable. :)

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