02 November 2009

Much ado about blogging, and pasta

Let me sully this post by first speaking about my writing here, and elsewhere. I think reflexivity is pretty pertinent to a month-long yard sale of musty, randomly priced ideas I’ve had to drag out from storage because I have nothing of real value to say. Everything I write is off-the-cuff, from conception to execution, and I only sit down to write when I feel confident that my mojo (or in this case blomo) is in good working order.

This is why I have a partially written piece that gives me the evils every time I maximize its worthless bulk to see if I can perform some kind of emergency surgery to get it at least looking like something I could post on a collaborative site made up of fearless, prolific bloggers. But that’s the irony of my situation: the words I conjure are either living or dead, and the dead ones are usually too far gone for the defibrillators.

So you may be in for a fairly ghastly house of spooks, gimps and amputees this month, and I can’t even pretend it’s a lead-up to Halloween. What I can do is try to keep this as close to its original intent as possible: an online log of day-to-day events as they occur, at least for the month of November. I might even be able to convince you that I do more here than shovel gruel into the mouth of a nine-month-old boy and then scoop out the results hours later. Slightly more, then.

Today, for instance, I tried to do what I do every day, which is to make a sort of minor celebration of life using whatever positive feelings and tangible materials I have at my disposal and fashioning them into some kind of ticker-tape, bunting-choked fanfare that will propel me out the door and into the world, where we all live and pretend that nobody else lives as well or as colourfully as we do. That last part is something I don’t do anymore, actually. I’ve let too many minor characters act out their stories on my stage over the years, and wouldn’t know how to play the leading lady to a flea at this point.

Regardless, I know that I have to raise a wee one, and wee ones naturally feel they are at the centre of everything, with passersby cheering them on from open windows and city sidewalks. This is why they smile so damn much, and why they have no qualms about screaming at you in public if you’ve deprived them of a teething biscuit for longer than five minutes on a bus journey to the nearest play group. This is a delusion you want to nurture, because it takes a buttload of confidence to make your way in this world without letting some bullish, snub-nosed kid grind your feelings beneath his heel because you wouldn’t let him push you off a swing.

We do not push people off swings, we two, no. We stand idly by and grin madly at the fun those kids are having until someone’s father notices us and sheepishly pries his sprog from the chain-linked ropes so that we can have a turn ourselves. It’s chilly, and his breath is hitching with laughter as I push him gently away from me and he comes drifting back into my hands, and I remember that although this doesn’t come naturally to me, the stuff of memory is born from playground antics with your mother or your sister or whoever is in charge of your experiences, and I want him to have as many happy memories of his childhood as I can reasonably provide.

I remember how some baby book or website or newsletter told me that it was my job to make sure that Hartley transitioned from helpless infant to confident baby - to “turn him on to life,” they said. And I wondered how I could do this after allowing him to lie naked under a florescent lamp for three days, screaming for hours on end, because he had a touch of jaundice and that’s what the hospital wanted. He went from being the only baby on the ward who never cried or complained, to an inconsolable, blubbering mess who hated everything to do with being alive. I really felt like that was my fault.

But I needn’t have worried, as this kid is turned on full bright. I don’t think a day goes by that he doesn’t screech with delight over his evening bath, or his lunch, or some silly expression on my face.

So anyway, we had a bit of a swing, and then I took him down the slide a few times, and we headed back home, where he played happily alone in the living room while I made dinner for myself. Whenever Bruce is out for the evening, I try to take the opportunity to eat something he would never in a million years concede to trying. That’s anything that includes vegetable pieces, by the way. Earlier today I’d picked up fresh ingredients for a vegetarian bolognaise (I use Quorn mince, because it makes an awful lot, and because I’m the only one eating it so I have to consider its longevity in the fridge), and I chopped and seasoned and threw it all together in a pot to simmer for an hour.

My pasta sauce is pretty much like my writing – I mainly rely on common sense to roll it out, and if I throw in a little more cooking wine and a little less oregano than last time, it usually still turns out okay.

I had to let Hartley play with a plate of cold noodles, since he’d already had his dinner and wasn’t in any mood to let me eat mine without his participation. Then I gave him a lovely warm bath and a good feed before putting him down, and now he’s sleeping soundly in the next room, which is how I managed to find the time to bash this out. Usually, I lie with him until he’s fully asleep and then transfer him to the cot before tiptoeing out again. While he drifts, I surf the internet on my iPhone, which is mainly how I get around online these days. I steal a moment here and there when I’m out with the baby, or while he’s napping, or sitting in his Bumbo eating toast.

As the cold weather sets in, I become more interested in stories about recipes and cooking, and Erqsome never lets me down on this front. She remains the biggest culinary/crafting genius I’ve ever met, and she can turn a pretty mean phrase as well, which consequently leaves me feeling hungry and full, all at the same time. I know I don’t usually praise other bloggers here (most of them are pretty good at bigging themselves up on their own blogs), but you’d be surprised by what this girl can do with cabbage. She’s my inspiration in most things, and I still refuse to molest that lovely hank of wool she gave me for my birthday this past year. At least until I can work out what I’m doing.

1 comment:

emmms said...

So this is why I've been inclined to blush so fiercely all day! You're too kind, my lovely.